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Province invests in literacy programs to benefit adult learners

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The Community Adult Literacy Program (CALP) will support literacy projects in 90 communities around British Columbia in 2013-14. Projects receive up to $40,000 each to provide instruction and support to adult learners in everything from basic literacy to high-school completion.

Projects for 2013-14 in the Northern Lights College region were announced for the following  communities:

  • Atlin, at NLC’s Atlin Access Centre
  • Dawson Creek, at the Dawson Creek Literacy Society
  • Fort Nelson, at the Fort Nelson Community Literacy Society
  • Fort St. John, at the Fort St. John Literacy Society

”Strong reading and writing skills are the starting point for many adults looking to upgrade their education and get a job with a good paycheque in their back pocket,” said Advanced Education Minister Amrik Virk. “This year alone the Community Adult Literacy Program will benefit more than 9,000 adult learners, helping them gain the skills and confidence they need to pursue their ambitions.”

CALP projects focus on the individual goals of adults, such as improving their literacy and numeracy skills to enhance the quality of their lives, improve their job prospects, further their education and skills training, strengthen their families and increase their involvement in their communities.

”If I didn’t start going to the Fort St John Literacy Society, I wouldn’t have finished my courses,” said Lisa Jewell, who completed her Grade 12 requirements through the community adult literacy program in Fort St. John. “My tutor was amazing! She was really patient and knowledgeable, and took the time to work with me! My kids were down the hall with the early childhood education instructor, while I could crack a book, talk with the teacher and other people studying there, and bounce ideas. After finishing Grade 12 in the spring I have started college, and hope to go into either social work or criminology.”

CALP projects are offered in a variety of settings such as schools, non-profit organizations and native friendship and community centres. Most projects have trained volunteers who offer one-to-one tutoring and small group classes that are tailored to meet the literacy and numeracy needs of young parents, Aboriginal learners, and other adults in the community.
”Hundreds of people in the Nanaimo and Ladysmith regions receive critical one-to-one literacy tutoring each year through CALP grants,” said Rebecca Kirk, chief executive officer of Literacy Central Vancouver Island. “We leverage the grants through partnerships with Vancouver Island University, community agencies and over one hundred trained volunteers to provide quality, learner focused, tutoring to adult learners.”

Community groups collaborate with a public post-secondary institution in their region to deliver literacy training, encouraging transitions from community-based programs to post-secondary studies.
”CALP is vital to our ability to deliver the essential programs many adults need to be able to participate in the economic resurgence in the province,” said Denise Henning, president of Northwest Community College. “The BC Jobs Plan, our industry partners, our communities and adult learners will all benefit from this investment in the future.”
Since 2001, the government of B.C. has invested more than $23 million in CALP, helping more than 84,000 adults improve their reading and writing skills.

Community adult literacy funding supports programs all around the province, which are delivered by community groups working with B.C.’s public, post-secondary institutions.