Literacy is empowerment, enabling diverse students to make meaning in print, multi-media, and non-print environments through interactive processes of reading, writing, speaking, listening, and viewing, so that they can communicate with meaning and purpose in a multicultural world.
Literacy is situated; it is a collection of cultural and communicative practices shared among members of particular groups. The nature of these practices, and the demand for them, vary from one context to another. Because technology has increased the intensity and complexity of literate environments, the twenty-first century demands that a literate person possess a wide range of abilities and competencies, literacies that are both multiple and dynamic.
However a culture defines it, literacy touches every aspect of individual and community life. It is an essential foundation for learning through life, and must be valued as a human right.
TST BOCES Instructional Planning Council Spring 2008
Including language from literacy definitions developed by UNESCO, NCTE, & the Centre for Literacy of Quebec