• Home
  • Breaking the word barrier

Breaking the Word Barrier

About the book

This book offers the inspirational stories of 17 adult literacy students who bravely ‘broke the word barrier.’

For some, the simple tasks of shopping, filling out government forms, or writing job applications proved daunting. Others wrestled with the additional challenge of undiagnosed dyslexia.

And so they took a leap of faith by enrolling in adult literacy classes while raising families and working outside the home.

In time, these courageous adults turned their lives around. They began reading to their youngsters at night. They helped older children with homework. And they passed written tests that brought them better paying jobs.

Remarkably, these 17 people also agreed to share their stories for our book. Their act of immense generosity brings hope to others in similar circumstances.

About the project

WFNB initiated the project but partnered with Laubach Literacy New Brunswick (LLNB) to bring it to completion. Marilyn Lerch (former WFNB president) and Peter Sawyer (LLNB) shepherded Breaking the Word Barrier from start to finish and deserve special mention.

In 2008, 17 WFNB members interviewed 17 adult students attending literacy programs or academic upgrading classes. The students ranged in age from 19 to 71 and came from across New Brunswick. This book would have remained a dream without the WFNB writers who volunteered their time and talent.

What’s more, it would have remained in manuscript form without the financial support of Atlantic Lottery Corporation and the Province of New Brunswick. The Greater Moncton Literacy Advisory Board, Legs for Literacy, Laubach Literacy New Brunswick, and Moncton Regional Learning Council also provided funding.

WFNB and LLNB owe much gratitude to Goose Lane Editions, which published the book in 2009. Publisher Susanne Alexander, managing editor Akoulina Connell, and editor Paula Sarson took the project into their hearts and helped to make our dream come true.

“This book is a tribute to courage. It is about ordinary people doing extraordinary things, about people who do not quit. Their stories are incredibly moving and their dedication to overcoming life’s misfortunes is exemplary for all those who have been privileged, fortunate, or have had a much better hand dealt to them.”

from Foreword to Breaking the Word Barrier, by Lieutenant-Governor Herménégilde Chiasson

What else is New at the WFNB?

Upcoming Events

Territorial Acknowledgement

The Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick acknowledges that the land on which we live, work and gather is the traditional unceded territory of the Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet) and Mi’kmaq Peoples, and we honour the spirit of our ancestors’ Treaties of Peace and Friendship. 

"Writers' Federation of New Brunswick" is a registered non-profit organization. New Brunswick, Canada. 

© 2021 Writers' Federation of New Brunswick

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software