Literal Change?

Literal Change is a Canadian not-for-profit that provides literacy education to Ontario's incarcerated population


"Literacy is a bridge from misery to hope. It is a tool for daily life in modern society. It is a bulwark against poverty, and a building block of development, an essential complement to investments in roads, dams, clinics and factories."  - Kofi Annan

 Photo Credit:  Jonathan Mandeville

Photo Credit: Jonathan Mandeville

  As estimated by the Correctional Services of Canada, two-thirds of federal inmates are not at the basic level of literacy to function in modern society (2011). The Literal Change Team is teaching the skills and strategies to help the incarcerated population reach proficiency. As a result, this will help these individuals achieve their educational and career goals as they reenter their communities.  

The Literal Change Team offers one-to-one remedial literacy classes to inmates in two of Ontario's maximum security detention centres.

 Photo Credit:  Stephen Attong

Photo Credit: Stephen Attong

We work with three types of learners:

  • Those with low literacy
  • GED and high school diploma hopefuls
  • ESL learners

 Photo Credit:  Alex Grant

Photo Credit: Alex Grant



Of people entering correctional facilities have less than a Grade 8 education or level of literacy skills.


Of people entering Canadian correctional facilities don’t have their high school diploma.

up to 30%

Reduction in recidivism can be achieved through programming depending on the level of literacy the prisoner achieves.