Frontier College is Canada’s original literacy organization. Founded in 1899 by a small group of university students, Frontier College began by sending student volunteers to the frontiers of Canada: logging camps, mining towns and rail gangs. They laboured alongside workers during the day and taught in the evenings and on weekends.
Today, we work with Canadians who have little or no access to other educational opportunities or who need extra learning support to reach their goals. Our volunteers serve on Canada’s “new frontiers” — inner‐city schools and streets, public housing sites, farms, prisons and reserves.
Low literacy skills are directly linked to poverty, poor health and high unemployment. Literacy is more than just the ability to read and write. It’s the ability to understand the printed word and to put it to use. It’s about strengthening culture, achieving goals, gaining knowledge and recognizing potential. It’s about succeeding in today’s world.
Forty‐two percent of adult Canadians have trouble with everyday tasks that involve reading. That’s millions of Canadians who are not reaching their potential.
Literacy is an essential skill in today’s world. At Frontier College, we believe it’s a fundamental right. Frontier College provides access to this right by reaching out to people across Canada, responding to their learning needs and encouraging lifelong learning. We achieve our mission for literacy through volunteer mobilization, youth leadership development and community capacity building.
Our philosophy of learning and teaching is guided by the following principles: