A Trivia Challenge for Literacy

Research | October 29, 2014

How many adults in British Columbia have trouble reading a newspaper, filling out a work application form or understanding a lease?

The answer is 40%.

While most of us take the ability to read and write for granted, many adults, youth and children in our province struggle with literacy skills. And not being able to understand street signs, instruction manuals, or a medical prescription has a huge impact on a person’s ability to function in society.


Did You Know?

49% of BC adults have trouble calculating a tip or understanding credit card interest rates.

30% of those with high literacy say they have excellent health, compared to 19% of those with low literacy.

A 1% increase in literary levels would raise Canada’s productivity by 2.5%, an estimated $32 billion boost to our annual GDP.

Learn more about literacy here.

“That’s a lot of people and they are usually afraid that someone finds out,” says Brenda LeClair, director of Vancouver-based Decoda Literacy Solutions.

“I can guarantee you that everyone has people around them who need support for literacy, reading, writing, numeracy and skills like problem solving and critical thinking.”

To offer British Columbians struggling with literacy the support they need, Decoda Literacy Solutions invited its supporters to a “costumes optional” trivia night fundraiser at Vancouver’s Butcher & Bullock.

At the event and through various Giving Groups participating trivia teams raised over $25,000 to bring literacy to people in need through community-based programs supported by Decoda.

“What I have seen through the last month is just amazing. People who weren’t comfortable with online giving before, gave trough Chimp,” Brenda says.

“I think that nice balance of adding a personal touch, as well as the convenience of the technology, is a brilliant thing.”

As part of Ignite Giving, all donations through Chimp to Decoda and other participating charities were matched automatically, dollar for dollar — which was a huge incentive for donors to give to her team’s Giving Group, says supporter Cynthia Whitaker.

“This is the first time we have come together as a team to fundraise and it’s been a blast,” she says.

“I believe there’s a role for government to play and there’s a role for community, for grassroots fundraising. So, in a way, you could say, we’re the bottom up.”

Cynthia Whitaker and Mark Campbell are both members of team "Boardwalk Dominion". Through their Giving Group they've raised $1,325 for literacy.
Cynthia Whitaker and Mark Campbell are both members of team “Boardwalk Dominion”. Through their Giving Group they’ve raised $1,325 for literacy.

Given the huge success of Decoda’s first foray into grassroots fundraising, Brenda LeClair believes this fall’s trivia challenge was just the beginning of many more fundraising campaigns to come.

“This campaign has really mobilized and inspired everyone close to us and it’s a step toward  being more sustainable with our funding and not relying completely on government grants. It’s just the way of the future.”



It’s Trivia Time

You might have missed the event, but it’s not too late to test your knowledge!

  1. What famous book starts with the words “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”? And who wrote it?
  2. What boy band did Justin Timberlake belong to that made him famous?
  3. What year am I? The first Nintendo Game Boy goes on sale in Japan, the Berlin Wall falls, and the Exxon Valdez spill happens in Alaska.
  4. What is kept in a ship’s binnacle?
  5. This tune is played backwards. Can you identify the song and the group who produced it?


Click here to find the answers.

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