A community-based literacy project is one in which members of a community share responsibility for providing basic education to local adults. In an urban setting, the project might serve a relatively small, densely populated area with high numbers of adults who are functionally illiterate.
The setting for the project reflects its close connection with other community services. It might be located in space provided by a settlement house, a local library, a church, an information post, or a community centre. The best physical location for the project is an open, accessible space with a welcoming, informal atmosphere and easy access to other community services.
Direction for the project comes through a volunteer board of directors, drawn from the local area. The provision of tutoring is also primarily through volunteers, trained by an experienced staff to work in both one-to-one and group settings, depending on the requirements of the learner.
Learner participation in the project is also voluntary; adult learners may have heard about the program through a social service agency, but they are expected to make personal, initial contact with the project's staff, and tend to be highly motivated to learn.
The involvement of adult learners and volunteers extends beyond the tutoring sessions. Both learners and tutors are encouraged to be active in all aspects of the project, whether it be helping with tasks around the office or reading centre, helping set up a resource collection, organizing educational events, or sitting on the board of directors or one of its committees.
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