Maple Ridge literacy program needs volunteers

Funding from the province has dropped by about $6,000 this year.

The adult literacy group in Maple Ridge is still struggling for funding, and needs volunteer tutors to continue doing its work.

Elaine Yamamoto, the literacy outreach facilitator for the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Community Literacy Committee, said funding from the province has dropped by about $6,000 this year, which is significant in a budget of approximately $30,000, from various funding sources.

The non-profit group has to stretch its funding, and Yamamoto said it is looking for volunteers who will commit to one-on-one tutoring for adult learners in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows. Much of the funding is used to train volunteers.

The range of need varies from client to client.

“Adult literacy can be whatever the adult wants,” Yamamoto said. “They may want to be able to write emails to their grandchildren, be able to read recipes, or get support for a course they are taking.”

According to the Canadian Literacy and Learning Network, 42 per cent of Canadian adults between the ages of 16 and 65 have low literacy skills. And it can hold them back. Of the people who test lowest for literacy, only 20 per cent are employed.

“There is still a stigma attached to coming forward with low adult literacy,” said Yamamoto.

“They can start where they need to start, whether it’s learning ABCs, or secondary accreditation.”

She said much of the demand comes from the ESL community.

Volunteers with the literacy committee are trained, and are asked to make a one-year commitment. The opportunity to volunteer is open to anyone, provided they have a good grasp of English reading and writing skills themselves.

Yamamoto said the committee provides significant services to the cities it serves. It runs ESL groups and book clubs. The Learning Room at the Ceed Centre offers drop-in literacy services on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings. There, people can get help filling in forms, filling out their taxes or other literacy-related support

The committee is in a state of change, as it deals with demands for funding. The group also had its co-chairs resign this year, and has a new chair in Lynn Easton – a writer and editor with a passion for adult literacy, said Yamamoto.

The provincial government recently announced a grant of $8,427 “to provide residents of Maple Ridge with the literacy skills they need to participate in B.C.’s growing economy.”

That is a portion of the $30,000 in funding the group has.

“Community adult literacy programs deliver training close to home,” said Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows MLA Doug Bing. “Our government wants to make sure all British Columbians have the skills they need to find rewarding careers.”

The grant comes from $2.4 million government has invested in community adult literacy programs in 75 B.C. communities in 2015-16.

• Anyone interested in volunteering can contact Yamamoto at 604-721-3738, or email facilitator@communityliteracy.ca.

For more information about community adult literacy programs, visit: http://www.aved.gov.bc.ca/literacy/welcome.htm.

 

Just Posted

Weavers and spinners to kick off holiday shopping

The Whonnock Weavers and Spinners’ 38th annual exhibit and sale takes place Nov. 25

Strong support for Pitt Meadows transportation projects

Overpass/underpass projects get majority support

Police aim to prevent retaliation after Hells Angel found dead in Maple Ridge

IHIT confirms Chad Wilson, 43, was the victim of a ‘targeted’ homicide

Ridge Meadows Hospital parking is still pay, but streets free

Surrey has removed meters on streets, asking Fraser Health for free parking at the hospital

Letter: ‘Wait times solution not what you think’

Canada’s health care policies haven’t changed since 1984.

UPDATE: IHIT confirms identity of Hells Angels homicide victim

Chad John Wilson was one of four men arrested in Spain in 2013 on allegations of smuggling cocaine.

Former NHL player and coach Dan Maloney dies at 68

Maloney coached the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets

Ex-MSU president charged with lying to police about Nassar

Lou Anna Simon was charged Tuesday with lying to police during an investigation

Otter makes a snack out of koi fish in Vancouver Chinese garden

Staff say the otter has eaten at least five fish

Police looking into two more incidents at private Toronto all-boys’ school

Police and the school have said two of the prior incidents involved an alleged sexual assault

B.C. lumber mills struggle with shortage of logs, price slump

Signs of recovery after U.S. market swings, industry executive says

25% of Canadians still won’t say they use pot, survey says

Statistics Canada poll says Canadians on average were 18.9 years old when they first tried pot.

Canucks’ 50/50 jackpot expected to surpass $1 million

The guaranteed prize for one lucky winner will be $500,000 minimum when Vancouver hosts LA Nov 27

The latest advent calendar trend: Holiday cannabis

A Canadian company is giving people from coast to coast a new way to celebrate the Christmas countdown.

Most Read