Funding boost to local literacy programs will help people get the skills they need, say Southern Interior NDP MLAs

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SOUTHERN INTERIOR – NDP MLAs Brittny Anderson, Katrine Conroy and Roly Russell say funding boost to community-based Indigenous, adult and family literacy programs will help people gain skills in reading, writing, math and digital literacy.

“Reading had a huge impact on my life, and so I know how incredibly enriching it can be in people’s lives; it opens up educational and career opportunities, explores new vocabularies, and lets us learn whatever we might be inclined to,” said MLA Roly Russell. “This kind of programming brings us all closer to the fair opportunities that everyone in B.C. deserves, whatever urban or rural niche they might live in!”

“Developing literacy skills starts at an incredibly young age, and we want to see every child have the opportunity to read with their families and develop that love for books that so many of us share,” said MLA Katrine Conroy. “Supports for parents and families who may not have had that opportunity is a great way to make the sky the limit for our next generation.”

“Reading is one of the best ways to explore new worlds or learn more about our own, and no one should be left out of those experiences,” said MLA Brittny Anderson. “Adult literacy programs help bridge that gap, and I’m so glad to see continued support for these community organizations opening up opportunities and adventures for people across the Kootenays.”

The Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy will provide the West Kootenay/Boundary Adult Tutoring and Community Outreach Program and the West Kootenay/Boundary Community and Family Literacy Programs in the Boundary, Castlegar, Kaslo, Nakusp, Nelson, Salmon, Slocan Valley and Trail. Okanagan College will operate the South Okanagan Community Adult Literacy Program in Oliver, Osoyoos, and Okanagan Falls.

The New Democrat government is investing $2.9 million in the Community Adult Literacy Program which includes a one-time investment for 2021-22. This support will fund 97 programs, delivered by 66 organizations in 128 communities throughout the province.

Community based Indigenous, adult and family literacy programs are provided free of charge and delivered by community organizations, Indigenous-led organizations, and public-post secondary institutions. Literacy programming typically includes one-on-one tutoring and small-group instruction which supports all levels of literacy. In 2020, many programs shifted to online service delivery in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Learn more: Adult literacy programs receive funding boost