Promoting literacy at work and home
Natasha Loh, Decoda’s office administrator, integrates literacy into both her work and home life while raising two young boys. She believes literacy is a building block to success in life.
“Literacy is fundamental to lifelong health and wellness,” she says. “Literacy enables people to make better choices, understand their rights and seek out opportunities.”
Born and raised in Vancouver, Natasha studied English and Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University. “A health communications class greatly influenced me and set me on the trajectory I’m on today,” she says. After earning her BA, she interned at Frontier College (now United for Literacy), where she witnessed how literacy combined with a safe space can foster community and confidence among youth. She went on to cultivate her skills and gain valuable experience working at Coast Mental Health and Lu’ma Native Housing Society before joining Decoda in 2019.
With more than a decade of non-profit experience, Natasha thrives on the diverse responsibilities her job has to offer collaborating with every team member. “I love the variety it provides,” says Natasha of her role. “One minute, I’m working with early years program materials and then the next minute, I’m helping subscribers to The Westcoast Reader. The best feeling is helping someone connect with a resource or newspaper article they have been searching for.”
Decoda’s executive director Sandra Lee appreciates Natasha’s commitment, skills and knowledge.
“Natasha has a can-do response and will put her hand up for any committee or task,” says Sandra. “She has the ability to run point on multiple responsibilities.”
“Natasha is an avid public library user and has a broad knowledge of what is happening in the world. She is our go-to person on current events and knowing ‘who’s who’. She comes up with great story ideas for The Westcoast Reader, and I am always learning from her.” Natasha is also a skilled writer who contributes to Decoda’s literacy blog, offering insights into topics such as: Stories of Determination: Asian Heritage Month; Cultural Literacy: Your Next Adventure; The Many Ways to Become Physically Literate!; Take a journey through time this summer!; and two Summer Reading blogs (2021 and 2023) with some great children’s book recommendations Decoda’s Summer Reading.
Natasha shares great ideas and photos on Decoda’s social media. She dresses up for Halloween or Christmas and takes adorable photos of her children doing fun literacy activities.
Family literacy champion
As a mother, Natasha understands how important it is to include family literacy in everyday activities.
“Every opportunity is a learning opportunity when kids are young,” she says. “Whether you’re following a recipe in the kitchen or counting change at the cashier, take the opportunity to teach your child about numeracy and literacy.”
Reading with her children is a nightly ritual. She passes on her childhood favourites to her sons. “It brings me the utmost delight to know he’s soaking in the same details from the story and pictures that I once did.”
Natasha’s Family Literacy Tip:
“Use the time you spend commuting, whether you are on foot or on wheels, to discuss the signs you see. Ask questions about what they mean or why sometimes they’re different. Discuss what happens when drivers or cyclists don’t obey signs.”
Balancing raising young readers and work, keeps Natasha busy. When she does find some free time, Natasha says, “I love getting lost in a good book or swimming laps. For a while I was experimenting with fermenting different types of vegetables. I made a delicious radish leaf kimchi!”
Contact Natasha at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Decoda Literacy Solutions is BC’s provincial literacy organization. We support community-based literacy programs and initiatives in over 400 communities across BC by providing resources, training and funds.
Our work supports children and families, youth, adults, Indigenous and immigrant communities to help build strong individuals, strong families and strong communities.
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