More than $30,000 has been earmarked by the province to support adult literacy in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows.
The B.C. government has committed $34,702 to the Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Katzie Community Literacy Committee for the Community Adult Literacy Program, Lifelong Learning for Adults.
Program coordinator, Janice Williams, was thankful to receive the funding for the Lifelong Learning Adult Literacy Program. Williams will be using part of the funding to recruit and train volunteers from the community to match with adult learners looking to improve their reading and writing skills.
“Navigating our current society without basic reading and writing skills is incredibly challenging. The ability to interpret letters and words on a sheet of paper is not an indicator of intelligence, but a particular skill that can be developed with practice. The Lifelong Learning Program matches compassionate, enthusiastic tutors with adult learners in a safe learning environment,” explained Elaine Yamamoto, literacy outreach coordinator with the literacy committee.
The challenge, said Williams is to reach the adults who struggle with day-to-day reading, writing, and digital requirements.
“They are our invisible citizens who are kept from reaching their full potential,” she noted.
The funding is part of $3.4 million that is given annually by the government to support Community Adult Literacy Programs across the province.
Money will also go to support an English Language Literacy group for members of the community who are here as temporary foreign workers – and an online reading group for intermediate learners who want the opportunity to read and discuss stories with other adults.
“Literacy is an important skill that many of us take for granted,” said Lisa Beare, MLA for Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows.
“Everyone should have the opportunity to learn skills that help with everyday tasks, like applying for jobs or schooling and filling out forms online or at the doctors office, for example. This funding helps make sure that adults across the province who may experience challenges with literacy have access to programs that will make navigating the world we live in easier,” added Bob D’Eith, MLA for Maple Ridge-Mission
The Lifelong Learning Program is always looking for adult learners who would like to be matched with a trained volunteer who will honour the learner’s life knowledge while helping to build new reading and writing skills.
Anyone interested in learning more about the program can reach Janice Williams in September at firstname.lastname@example.org or 778-951-7045.
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