The most successful programs recognize the financial challenges and economic realities of their learners. Programs that offer financial supports such as transportation and/or childcare assistance, refreshments or a meal, an allowance, allow learners to attend programs more consistently. While no literacy wishes to believe their learners primary motivation for learning is the receipt of an allowance, programs must offer such basic supports to make learning a more feasible option. Every literacy program attendee must be given opportunities to learn that which will enhance their personal and professional growth, no matter where they come from, why theyre here, or where they aim to go.
Some Positive Responses For Current Native Literacy Programs
Learners who attended the two focus groups were asked to identify some positive things about the literacy programs they were attending. Responses were jotted down in point form to encourage the flow of discussion. They are presented here in the same manner, without specifying program, unless the speaker indicated. Literacy practitioners and program assistants and teachers were also present at the meeting.
How Holistic are Current Native Literacy Programs?
Learners and practitioners were asked whether literacy services in Toronto [are] serving whole person needs of the learner. In other words, is learning approached including the spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical aspects of health and wellness? (For example, do they address issues other than just the mental aspects of literacy, such as child care, physical health, etc.) Fifty-eight per cent of learners -14 out of 24- said yes, and only 20 per cent of practitioners -two out of 10- agreed that the learners whole-person needs were being met. These two workers further explained their answer by saying: NWRC attempts to address [physical, mental, emotional, spiritual] - mainstream programs wouldnt attempt it, and Hopefully, it provides from a culturally sensitive [perspective] and four-directions/natures are included and integrated. Six out of 10 practitioners explained their negative response:
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