Tutors help adults to learn to read and write
Everyone talks about the new economy, with many new technology jobs, but can British Columbians meet the challenge?
National statistics show that only 20 percent of Canadians have the high literacy levels to learn the skills necessary to do these new jobs. 48 percent of Canadians have some level of difficulty with literacy or numeracy skills. British Columbia has one of the highest literacy levels in Canada, but we still have problems. Two areas demand immediate attention:
We should also be paying attention to middle-class suburban areas, which are often under-served by social services. In Surrey, near Vancouver, there are many new Asian immigrants. Asian families may have a successful breadwinner, but a spouse or parents may have little or no reading and writing skills. What happens to them if the partner or parents are forced by circumstance to join the work force? How can we help them to become fully functioning citizens, with the ability to read the news, read important documents and interact with the wider community?
There are many British Columbian adults who have only a lower grade school level of literacy. They're the ones who will be left behind. Who is there to help them catch up?
As tutors we can make a visible impact on someone's life. As members of an organization dedicated to raising the literacy levels in British Columbia, we can do even more.
News release for International Literacy Day, September 8
Adult literacy addressed by new BC organization
Youngsters across BC are heading back to school for another year
At the same time many adults who missed the opportunity of finishing school, or whose literacy has declined over the years, are working one-on-one with volunteers using the Laubach method of tutoring.
Laubach Literacy tutoring has taught millions of people worldwide to read, write and do basic math. The system was devised by sociologist and missionary Dr. Frank Laubach in the 1930s.
Laubach Literacy of British Columbia (LL of BC), formed last spring in Kamloops, joins Councils of Laubach tutors across the province. One of the organization's roles is to provide information about adult literacy to British Columbians.