An investment in adult literacy programs in the Prince George and surrounding area will support the reading, writing, math and computer skills people need to apply for new jobs, join in community activities and help their children with homework.
“Opening the doors to literacy programs in the local community breaks down barriers,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. “Being able to read and write inspires confidence allowing people to build a better life for themselves, their families and their communities.”
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.
“We know that for some Prince George residents, one of the barriers to education is access,” said Education Minister Rob Fleming. “That is why these literacy programs are provided within the community and at locations that are welcome and familiar for adult learners.”
Fifteen community-based programs in the area are being delivered in partnership with the College for New Caledonia. Literacy providers and post-secondary institutions collaborate to support improved learner outcomes and encourage the transition from community programs to post-secondary studies.
“There are British Columbians out there facing obstacles left, right and centre, because they do not have the basic literacy skills that they need to write an email, or fill out a housing application,” said Henry Reiser, president of the College of New Caledonia. “Community-based programs give Northern B.C. residents the ability to learn vital skills in an environment that is close to home and familiar.”
Funding for the 15 programs delivering in partnership with the college 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 and succeed. On Aug. 8, 2017, the Province also made Adult Basic Education and English Language Learning programs in B.C. tuition-free.
A backgrounder follows.