(Keili Bartlett / The Northern View)

Coast Mountain College partners on literacy

Smithers and Hazeltons get provincial funding through college for local programs.

Adult literacy programs in the northwest region of the province are giving people the reading, writing, math and computer skills needed to understand household budgets, join in community activities and help their children with their homework.

“Too many people are struggling with daily living tasks because of limited literacy and numeracy skills,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. “Literacy matters because it impacts all areas of our lives. Investing in community-based adult literacy programs gives people the skills and confidence to thrive – and even form the first step on the pathway to higher education or skills training.”

The Province is providing $299,180 this year to Coast Mountain College (CMTN) to support 13 programs by dispersing funds to 11 community adult literacy program partners in the region.

“The college is linked to several community-based literacy providers so that adult learners can improve their literacy, numeracy or computer skills in a community setting, such as the local public library,” said Ken Burt, CMTN president. “Many of us take literacy skills for granted, but for many people it can be an obstacle to improving their success whether at home, the workplace or in the community.”

Available literacy programs include one-on-one tutoring and small group training for adult learners, often delivered by volunteers. Smaller, community-based literacy programs are well situated to meet the educational needs of adult learners.

A total of $2.4 million for 101 community adult literacy programs will help adult learners in 75 communities in 2018-19.

The government’s support of community-based literacy programs is part of its commitment to connect British Columbians with the education and training they need to succeed. On Aug. 8, 2017, the Province also made adult upgrading and English language learning programs in B.C. tuition-free.

Quick Facts:

According to the Province,

* More than 700,000 adults in B.C. have significant challenges with literacy;

* 45 per cent of adults in B.C. have some difficulty with daily living tasks due to limited literacy skills. Literacy challenges can include difficulty understanding newspapers, reading health information and following instruction manuals.

* 52 per cent of adults in B.C. have difficulty accomplishing some daily living tasks due to limited numeracy skills. Numeracy challenges can include difficulty calculating interest on a car loan, using information on a graph or calculating medicine dosage.

The 13 programs include the following in the area:

* Community Learning Services – Smithers Community Services Association: $24,564

* Literacy on Wheels in Hazelton: $16,759

* K’yuuksxw, Waking Up to Change / Storytellers’ Foundation in Hazelton: $30,000

* Gitanyow Education Initiatives by Gitanyow Huwilp Society: $24,800

* Cultural Learning Centre CALP by North Coast Immigrant and Multicultural Services Society in Prince Rupert: $24,800

* Community Reader and Writers Program by the Literacy Terrace Society: $28,767

* Gitxaala Nation CALP by Gitxaala Education Society: $17,425

* Community Family Literacy Program by the Houston Link to Learning Society: $21,431

* Community Adult Literacy Program by the Houston Link to Learning Society: $24,770

* Kitimat Adult Literacy Program: $24,800

* Cultural Learning Connections Indigenous by Change Makers Education Society in Prince Rupert: $15,532

* Cultural Learning Connections Adult by Change Makers Education Society in Prince Rupert: $15,532

* Lifelong Learning on Haida Gwaii / Literacy Haida Gwaii: $30,000

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