B.C. is investing $2.9 million into its community adult literacy program (CALP), which includes a one time top-up investment for this year and next. It 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 of Decoda Literacy Solutions, the only province-wide literacy organization in B.C. to provide service and support to over 400 communities.
Adult, family and Indigenous-focused programs designed to help people gain skills in reading, writing, math and digital literacy will be offered throughout the province 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. “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.”
The programs are provided for free and delivered by community organizations, Indigenous-led organizations and public post-secondary institutions, the province said.
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 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the province, an estimated 700,000 people in B.C have significant challenges with literacy, numeracy and digital literacy. In 2019-20, CALP programs provided services to more than 4,900 learners.