The Province is investing in local community-based programs to help adult learners break the barriers they face in building their futures.
Literacy skills, such as strong reading, writing and computer skills, are being taught and are giving people in the central Interior the ability to build relationships with others, read for enjoyment, budget or apply for a job.
“Literacy is the gift that keeps on giving because it empowers people and society as a whole,” said Advanced Education, Skills and Training Minister Melanie Mark. “Investing in these community-based literacy programs is an investment in people’s lives. People can change their lives for the better and lift themselves up as a result of greater literacy skills.”
The programs include one-on-one tutoring or small group training for adult learners. This helps ensure their education is tailored to their individual educational needs. The programs are provided in a variety of locations that are easily accessible for adult learners, including public school libraries, community centres and public libraries.
“Our government is working to provide services that support the success of British Columbians where and when they need them,” said Education Minister Rob Fleming. “These literacy programs are provided in familiar and easily accessed settings where they feel welcome and can be comfortable improving their literacy skills.”
The community-based programs are delivered in partnership with Thompson Rivers University. Literacy providers and post-secondary institutions collaborate to support improved learner outcomes and encourage the transition from community programs to post-secondary studies.
“Thompson Rivers University is proud to partner with community literacy providers because these programs have such a positive impact on adult learners in our region,” said Alan Shaver, president of Thompson Rivers University. “After finishing their classes, learners have the confidence, skills and ability to access services that support the health of their families and possibly find their way to our campus to begin a new post-secondary journey.”
The community-based adult literacy programs in Barriere, Lillooet, Clearwater, Kamloops, 100 Mile House and Williams Lake are being supported by almost $220,000 in funding in 2017-18. This funding is part of a total investment of $2.4 million in 2017-18 to support the basic literacy of adult learners in every part of the province.
The government’s support of community-based literacy programs is part of its commitment to connect British Columbians with the education and training they need to thrive. On Aug. 8, 2017, the Province also made Adult Basic Education and English Language Learning programs in B.C. tuition free.
A backgrounder follows.