The Province is investing $3.4 million annually for Community Adult Literacy Programs (CALP) across 128 communities in British Columbia. The programs will help British Columbians, newcomers, work permit holders and refugee claimants improve their reading, writing, math and digital skills.
Literacy programming typically includes one-on-one tutoring and small-group instruction, which support all levels of literacy. These community-based programs are offered by trained volunteers and focus on basic literacy, numeracy, life skills and employment preparation, and can be a starting point toward high school completion and/or further education or training.
“Community-based literacy programs provide people living in our province with the support they need to succeed and thrive in today’s workforce,” said Anne Kang, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training.
“I believe that by investing in community adult literacy programs and connecting people with the education and training they need, we are making a difference in supporting the first step in many people’s educational journeys. From creating household budgets to completing job applications, the skills gained in these programs can make a positive difference in a person’s life.”
The $3.4-million annual funding will support 97 programs delivered by 66 organizations throughout the province for 2022-23. The Nicola Valley Institute of Technology has applied on behalf of four said programs.
“Literacy is very important for anyone who wants to be a part of the economy and society,” said John Chenoweth Vice President for Academics, NVIT.
The post secondary institute applied on behalf of Lillooet Library Association, Lillooet Tribal Council, Skeetchestn Indian Band, and Literacy Merritt and Nicola Valley Society.
“We had four submissions, three of which applied for maximum amounts, while Literacy Merritt didn’t as they only needed $25,250,” said Chenoweth.
“We receive the funding and then we turn around and send the full amount to each these organizations.”
An estimated 700,000 people in British Columbia have significant challenges with literacy, numeracy and digital literacy. Chenoweth said that CALP, which also serves senior citizens, are very crucial for the betterment of the community.
“I loved a quote I read that said, ‘when you can help seniors read their grandchild a story, we win’. For a lot of seniors who are illiterate, just having that ability, can create such a hugely positive emotional impact,” he explained.
“Anything that we can do to help people keep their integrity is a huge win for the community. That’s really important to us and we will always continue to support these types of initiatives.”
This new annual funding builds on the $2.9 million invested in 2021-22. For more information on Literacy Merritt’s Family Literacy program, please visit their website at www.literacymerritt.com