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For Immediate Release
September 8, 2009
Ministry of Advanced Education and Labour Market Development
VICTORIA – Free tutoring programs will help B.C. adults upgrade their education or improve their English and literacy skills this year, announced Moira Stilwell, Minister of Advanced Education and Labour Market Development to mark International Literacy Day Sept. 8.“Literacy continues to be a priority for our government, especially in these uncertain economic times,” said Stilwell. “That’s why we support the Community Adult Literacy Program, so more people across this province can improve their skills, enhance their prospects, and contribute to the growth of British Columbia.”
This year, 67 programs are being funded through the Province’s Community Adult Literacy Program (CALP), delivered through partnerships between community groups and B.C.’s public post-secondary institutions. In addition, Literacy BC will receive support to provide training and resources to assist community program delivery. In all, government is providing $2.4 million.
“Community involvement and partnerships are a major driving force behind making B.C. the best educated, most literate jurisdiction on the continent,” said Margaret MacDiarmid, Minister of Education and Minister Responsible for Literacy. “One in three B.C. adults has difficulty with reading, and working in partnership is essential to addressing challenges that arise from low literacy levels.”
CALP programs receive up to $40,000 each to provide instruction and support to adult learners in everything from basic literacy to high school completion. Most offer one-on-one tutoring by trained volunteers, small group classes and other types of learning tailored to adults, including people living in rural and remote communities, Aboriginal people, young parents and people living in poverty.
This year’s Community Adult Literacy Program is expected to benefit close to 7,000 British Columbians.
Nearly $1 billion has been invested in literacy and literacy-related initiatives since 2001, which includes over $154 million in new literacy initiatives to support preschool aged children, K-12 students, and adult learners.
A backgrounder follows.
Public Affairs Officer
250 213-1649 (cell)
For more information on government services or to subscribe to the Province’s news feeds using RSS, visit the Province’s website at www.gov.bc.ca
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