In addition to promoting the acquisition of reading and writing skills, the
goal of a community literacy project is to develop the skills of all learners
-- volunteer tutors and students -- to enable them to understand one another
and the area where they live. Thus, community literacy is part of the process
of community development.
I. ORGANIZING A COMMUNITY LITERACY
The following steps show how a community literacy project might be set up in
an area where none yet exists:
1. The Working
Group: A group of community workers, concerned residents and
local community leaders begin to meet to discuss the need they see for adult
basic education in the area. They bring to the group a variety of skills and
knowledge of the area. By analysing available census or other data, or by
conducting their own needs analysis, they begin to develop a picture of the
community and its requirements. As the project grows, this picture of community
will continue to develop and clarify.
2. Outreach: The original
working group fans out into the community to engage the support of church
leaders, school principals, local teachers, school-community relations workers,
politicians, school trustees, librarians, community workers, local businesses
and all others with access to community information and resources. These
initial contacts will educate the community about the issue of illiteracy and
give the working group a 'reading' of the area's special needs and interests.
These contacts will also give an indication of the resources available in the
community for supporting the program, and will help determine its shape.