Adult literacy funding supports 9,000 B.C. residents

$2.4 million to support adult literacy training programs in 90 communities

The Province is providing $2.4 million to support adult literacy training programs in 90 communities throughout British Columbia this year.

“This funding will ensure more than 9,000 adult learners throughout the province will get the help they need to improve their reading, writing and math skills,” said Advanced Education Minister Amrik Virk. “We’re investing in adult literacy to help British Columbians gain the skills they need to further their education and training and improve their job prospects.”

Funding for the Community Adult Literacy Program (CALP) is distributed to not-for-profit community groups to offer free literacy training that is easily accessible in local schools, native friendship and community centres.

The program is tailored to suit the needs of Aboriginal learners, young parents, and other adults in the community, and is delivered by trained volunteers offering one-to-one tutoring or small group classes.

“The CALP program is essential to providing learners with a first step towards reaching their goals and pursuing other educational opportunities,” said Kerry Milner Cairns, manager of the Yellowhead Community Services Society. “CALP programs support learners by providing a safe, comfortable, learner focused environment. It’s a unique program where adults learn what is relevant to them, and can receive supports to remove barriers to their learning. Success in the CALP program provides the confidence to improve one’s life through more advanced learning, creating improved employment opportunities, and notable gains in quality of family life, social engagement and community participation.”

“As the literacy Outreach Coordinator for Barriere and area I am most appreciative of the CALP program and how it provides help for adults who wish to increase their education, learn new skills, and enhance employment opportunities,”says Literacy Outreach Coordinator for Barriere and Area, Jill Hayward.  “CALP is an integral part of learning in our community.”

“The Literacy Association has helped me reach my educational goals by giving me the support of tutors. I think tutors are very important to the success of the students,” said Svetlana Harpe, adult learner at the Campbell River Community Literacy Association. “Their encouragement and support has given me more confidence. Because of their generosity, my life has changed for the better in many ways.”

Each community organization delivering CALP collaborates with a public post-secondary institution in their region. These partnerships encourage the transition of adult learners from literacy programs to post-secondary studies and employment training.

“The CALP providers in the North Island College region have been instrumental in supporting learners in furthering their educational goals toward a high school diploma or accessing post-secondary education,” said Tony Bellavia, dean of instruction at North Island College. “They have been invaluable in removing the fear that some learners associate with higher education and fostering a climate that encourages learners to pursue post-secondary education.”

Since 2001, the Government of B.C. has invested more than $25 million in CALP, helping more than 93,000 adults improve their reading and writing skills.

Learn more about the Community Adult Literacy Program: http://www.aved.gov.bc.ca/literacy/welcome.htm or call your local CALP provider.  In Barriere contact Barriere and Area Literacy Outreach by calling Literacy Outreach Coordinator Jill Hayward at 250-319-8023 or email: jill.h@yellowheadcs.ca.