Beyond the Book: Learning from our History (2009)

Prepared by the Ontario Literacy Coalition (OLC), now called Essential Skills Ontario, this document takes a historical look at literacy from the 19th century through to present-day programming in that province.

It includes sections about federal involvement in literacy; the history of French language education rights in Ontario; deaf literacy; and the connection between literacy and social justice.

The authors have also included material about specific organizations such as Laubach Literacy Ontario, Frontier College, the Ontario Native Literacy Coalition, and Coalition ontarienne de formation des adultes (COFA).

While much of the document is focused on literacy efforts in Ontario, the authors have also included information about the Antigonish Movement, an adult education initiative that began in Nova Scotia; Jane Addams, a social reformer who founded Chicago’s Hull House to help the poor of that city; and the Port Royal Experiment, started during the American Civil War to help former slaves become self-sufficient.

To learn more about Essential Skills Ontario, click here:

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APA citation
Ontario Literacy Coalition (OLC). Beyond the Book: Learning from our History 2009. Web. 6 Feb. 2023 <>
Ontario Literacy Coalition (OLC) (2009). Beyond the Book: Learning from our History. Retrieved February 6, 2023, from
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