Adult, family and Indigenous-focused programs designed to help people gain skills in reading, writing, math and digital literacy are being offered in 128 communities throughout British Columbia this fall.
“The everyday impact of building literacy on our communities will be felt for generations. Literacy and numeracy programs help people fill out application forms, understand health information, help kids with their homework, establish household budgets, and read and understand labels,” said Anne Kang, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training. “It goes beyond that, too. For many adult learners, literacy programs are an important first step in an educational journey to post-secondary studies as they work toward career and life goals for themselves and their families.”
Community-based Indigenous, adult and family literacy programs are provided for free and delivered by community organizations, Indigenous-led organizations and public post-secondary institutions. Literacy programming typically includes one-on-one tutoring and small-group instruction, which support all levels of literacy. In 2020, many programs shifted to online service delivery in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Province is investing $2.9 million in the Community Adult Literacy Program, which includes a one-time top-up investment for 2021-22. This support will fund 97 programs, delivered by 66 organizations in 128 communities throughout the province.
“It is never too late to develop literacy skills, and the skills gained can change lives in so many ways. Adult literacy programs are an investment in an individual that impacts whole communities,” said Margaret Sutherland, executive director, Decoda Literacy Solutions, the only provincewide literacy organization in British Columbia to provide service and support to more than 400 communities.
- An estimated 700,000 people in British Columbia have significant challenges with literacy, numeracy and digital literacy.
- In 2019-20, CALP programs provided services to more than 4,900 learners:
- 21.5% identified as Indigenous;
- 68.3% female and 30.8% male;
- 38.9% employed, 36.6% unemployed and 13.1% retired; and
- 43.4% had previously completed some post-secondary education or training.
- The difference between adult literacy and Adult Basic Education programs is that community literacy programs are offered by trained volunteers in informal settings, such as the local library. These programs focus on basic literacy, numeracy, life skills and employment preparation and can be a starting point towards high school completion or achieving academic credentials.
For details on the Community Adult Literacy Program (scroll to bottom): https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/education-training/adult-education/adult-upgrading