NEWS RELEASE. Improving literacy for thousands of adults in B.C.

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1 For Immediate Release 2015AVED Sept. 4, 2015 NEWS RELEASE Improving literacy for thousands of adults in B.C. PARKSVILLE Adult literacy programs in 75 communities throughout the province will receive $2.4 million in to provide more British Columbians with the literacy skills they need to take part in the growing economy. The announcement was made today by Social Development and Social Innovation Minister Michelle Stilwell on behalf of Advanced Education Minister Andrew Wilkinson as she visited with adult literacy learners and tutors, and staff at the Career Centre in Parksville. Provincial funding for community adult literacy programs are distributed to not-for-profit community groups to offer free literacy training that is easily accessible in local places such as schools, Aboriginal friendship centres and community centres. The programs are tailored to suit the needs of any adult with low-literacy ability, and are delivered by trained volunteers offering one-to-one tutoring or small-group classes. Each community organization delivering community adult literacy programs collaborates with a public post-secondary institution in their region. These partnerships encourage the transition of adult learners from literacy programs to post-secondary studies and employment training. For example, the Central Vancouver Island Job Opportunities Building Society, in partnership with Vancouver Island University (VIU), received funding of $40,000 this year to help adults improve their literacy and numeracy skills in the Tutoring Program at the Career Centre in Parksville to further their education and employment prospects. Since 2001, the Province has invested more than $25 million in community adult literacy programs, helping approximately 100,000 adults improve their reading, writing and math skills. Quotes: Parksville-Qualicum MLA, and Social Development and Social Innovation Minister Michelle Stilwell Strong reading, writing and math skills are the starting point for many adults looking to upgrade their education, enter skills training programs and secure a good job. Almost 9,500 adult learners will gain essential skills and confidence through the investment by our government in adult literacy programs. Community adult literacy programs deliver literacy training to adults close to home. I am happy that the residents of Parksville will have the opportunity to share in the benefits through the work of the Central Vancouver Island Job Opportunities Building Society and Vancouver Island University.

2 Cheryl Dill, executive director, Central Vancouver Island Job Opportunities Building Society This provincial adult literacy grant will enable continuation of the Tutoring Program and support over 80 learners and 25 new tutors in To date, more than 1,800 adult learners have improved their literacy levels through this funding and partnership initiative with Vancouver Island University, and many have achieved their employment goals as a result. Shohei Miki, woodworker, artist and adult literacy learner in the Tutoring Program at the Career Centre in Parksville The Tutoring Program is a place not only for having a private tutor and studying language on the computer, but also a place for gaining the lifestyle and culture of Canada through the staff of the program. This is a perfect place to learn English. Jean Maltesen, Vancouver Island University dean, Academic and Career Preparation This government funding will help ensure adult learners have access to important community programs aimed at improving their literacy and numeracy skills. Through our partnerships with community organizations, we ve seen the impact these programs have on adult learners in terms of opening doors to further educational opportunities and career advancement. The funding also supports one of VIU s core values of improving access to education. Learn More: Find more information about community adult literacy programs at: A backgrounder follows. Media Contact: Suntanu Dalal Public Affairs Officer Connect with the Province of B.C. at:

3 For Immediate Release 2015AVED Sept. 4, 2015 BACKGROUNDER Funding supports adult literacy in 75 B.C. communities Community adult literacy programs support adult literacy training in British Columbia. Training is delivered by community groups working in collaboration with public post-secondary institutions in B.C. Projects in 75 communities have received funding this year: 100 Mile House: Thompson Rivers University/Cariboo Chilcotin Partners for Literacy Society Abbotsford: University of the Fraser Valley/Abbotsford Community Services Agassiz-Harrison: University of the Fraser Valley/Agassiz-Harrison Community Services Atlin: Northern Lights College/Atlin Access Centre Bella Coola: North Island College/Bella Coola Valley Learning Society Burnaby: Simon Fraser University/South Burnaby Neighbourhood House Campbell River: North Island College/Campbell River Community Literacy Association Castlegar, Grand Forks, Kaslo, Nakusp, Nelson, Salmo, Slocan Valley, Greater Trail: Selkirk College/Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy Chetwynd: Northern Lights College/Chetwynd Public Library Chilliwack: University of the Fraser Valley/Chilliwack Learning Community Society Chilliwack: University of the Fraser Valley/Chilliwack Community Services Clinton: Thompson Rivers University/High Bar First Nations Courtney: North Island College/Comox Valley Adult Learning Centre Dawson Creek: Northern Lights College/The Literacy Society Dease Lake: Northern Lights College/Dease Lake Reading Centre Duncan: Vancouver Island University/Literacy Now Cowichan Fort Nelson: Northern Lights College/Fort Nelson Community Literacy Society Fort St. James: College of New Caledonia/Fort St. James Public Library Fort St. James: College of New Caledonia/Nak azdli Band Social Development Department Fort St. John: Northern Lights College/Fort St. John Literacy Society Fraser Lake: College of New Caledonia/Fraser Lake Library Golden, Windermere Valley, Creston, Cranbrook, Kimberley, Elk Valley: College of the Rockies/Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy Haida Gwaii: Northwest Community College/Literacy Haida Gwaii Hazelton: Northwest Community College/Learners Opportunity Group Society Hazelton: Northwest Community College/Storytellers Foundation Hope: University of the Fraser Valley/Read Right Society Houston: Northwest Community College/Houston Link to Learning Kamloops: Nicola Valley Institute of Technology/Skeetchestn Indian Band Kamloops: Thompson Rivers University/Twin Rivers Education Centre, School District 73 Kelowna: Okanagan College/Project Literacy Kelowna Society Kitimat: Northwest Community College/Kitimat Community Services Centre

4 Langley: Kwantlen Polytechnic University/Encompass Support Services Society Lillooet: Thompson Rivers University/Lillooet Area Library Association Malahat: Vancouver Island University/Malahat First Nation Maple Ridge: University of the Fraser Valley/Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Community Literacy Committee McBride: College of New Caledonia/Robson Valley Support Society Mission: University of the Fraser Valley/Mission Literacy in Motion Nanaimo: Vancouver Island University/Literacy Central Vancouver Island North Vancouver: Capilano University/North Shore Neighbourhood House North Vancouver: Northwest Community College/North Coast Immigrant and Multicultural Services Society Nuu-chah-nulth: North Island College/Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council Parksville: Vancouver Island University/Central Vancouver Island Jobs Opportunities Building Society The Career Centre Port Alberni: North Island College/Literacy Alberni Society Powell River: Vancouver Island University/Powell River Employment Program Society Prince George: College of New Caledonia/Prince George Native Friendship Centre Quesnel: College of New Caledonia/North Cariboo Aboriginal Family Program Society Revelstoke: Okanagan College/Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy Revelstoke: Okanagan College/Revelstoke Literacy Action Committee Community Group Richmond: Kwantlen Polytechnic University/School District 38 Salt Spring Island: Camosun College/Salt Spring Island Literacy Society Samahquam: Capilano University/Samahquam Band Sechelt: Capilano University/Sechelt Public Library Smithers: Northwest Community College/Smithers Community Services Association Squamish: Capilano University/Communities That Care Squamish Squamish: Capilano University/Squamish Volunteer Centre Society South Okanagan: Okanagan College/Okanagan Regional Library Surrey: Kwantlen Polytechnic University/Progressive Intercultural Community Services Society Surrey/White Rock: Kwantlen Polytechnic University/Read Surrey White Rock Society Terrace: Northwest Community College/Literacy Terrace Society Tumbler Ridge: Northern Lights College/Tumbler Ridge Public Library Valemount: College of New Caledonia/Valemount Learning Centre Valemount: College of New Caledonia/Community Basin Alliance for Literacy Vancouver: Capilano University/Carnegie Community Centre Vancouver: Capilano University/REAL Family Literacy Program Hastings Elementary School Vancouver: Capilano University/Strathcona Community Centre Vancouver: Capilano University/Horsemen s Benevolent and Protective Association of B.C. Vancouver: Vancouver Community College/Association of Neighbourhood Houses of B.C. Vancouver: Vancouver Community College/Atira Women s Resource Society Vancouver: Vancouver Community College/Native Education College Vanderhoof: College of New Caledonia/Vanderhoof Public Library Victoria: Camosun College/Literacy Victoria Whistler: Capilano University/Whistler Public Library

5 Williams Lake: Thompson Rivers University/Cariboo Chilcotin Partners for Literacy Society Media Contact: Suntanu Dalal Public Affairs Officer Connect with the Province of B.C. at:

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