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Turning the page on adult literacy with increased funding

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 4:22 PDT, Mon July 25, 2022

People will have an opportunity to write the next chapter of their lives with funding for adult learning programs to improve literacy, math, and digital skills in 128 communities this fall.

Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s Literacy Richmond program is one of the funding recipients. It will use the funds to further its Learning Together and Literacy for Life programs. 

"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 province is investing $3.4 million annually for Community Adult Literacy Programs designed to help British Columbians, newcomers, work permit holders, and refugee claimants improve their reading, writing, math, and digital skills. This new annual funding builds on the $2.9 million invested in 2021-22.

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.

An estimated 700,000 people in British Columbia have significant challenges with literacy, numeracy, and digital literacy. In 2022-23, the $3.4-million annual provincial funding will support 97 programs delivered by 66 organizations in 128 communities throughout the province.

The Community Adult Literacy Program provides free English classes for newcomers, work permit holders, and refugee claimants to support people new to B.C. and help set them up for success.

In 2020-21, CALP programs provided services to more than 3,200 learners:
• 20.2 per cent identified as Indigenous

• 72.5 per cent female and 24.5 per cent male

• 37.6 per cent employed, 37.6 per cent unemployed and 15.2 per cent retired

• 42.5 per cent had previously completed some post-secondary education or skills training

For details on the Community Adult Literacy Program (scroll to bottom), click here.

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