Vancouver, BC — April 2 to 9, 2011, is International Adult Learners’ Week.
UNESCO started this annual event in 2000 as a way to celebrate adult learners and lifelong learning. Here in British Columbia, Literacy BC is celebrating the achievements of Community Adult Literacy Programs, which offer a unique adult learning service to thousands of British Columbians each year.
Across B.C., there are 67 Community Adult Literacy Programs (CALPS). These programs are funded by the Ministry of Advanced Education. CALP programs are community-based programs that offer learner-centred programs in a non-institutional context. CALPs offer services ranging from small-group ESL classes, to sitting down one-on-one to help a senior fill out the forms for the guaranteed income supplement. Because they are small and community-based, CALPs can be very flexible in offering adult learners the kind of personalized assistance they need.
CALPs serve approximately 1,800 core learners each year in B.C., and an additional 1,450 drop-in learners who access help for a specific need, such as filling out a job application or understanding a rental agreement. Approximately 1,600 British Columbians volunteer with literacy programs.
“Community literacy programs are a vital element in community development,” says Literacy BC executive director Judy Cavanagh. “Increasing literacy improves individual health, job prospects and well-being. Communities benefit from a more productive work force, low crime rates and increased civic engagement. No other investment improves society across as many measures as an investment in literacy. CALPs are a vital element of adult learning in this province.”
Literacy BC offers support to CALPs, including professional development opportunities and an extensive resource library. For learners, Literacy BC offers the BC Literacy Directory, an online database of various literacy programs across British Columbia. The BC Literacy Directory is available at www.literacybc.ca/directory. The BC Literacy Directory is also a great place for people who are interested in volunteering in literacy to find an organization to volunteer with.
About International Adult Literacy Week: International Adult Learners’ Week (IALW) was launched by UNESCO on September 8, 2000. The week celebrates adult learners across the country and the joy of learning throughout life. For more information, visit: http://www.unesco.ca/en/activity/education/AdultLearners.aspx
About Literacy BC: Literacy BC, a provincial not-for-profit organization, has been promoting and supporting literacy and lifelong learning in British Columbia since 1990 by: supporting adult learners and their families; promoting innovation in practice; raising public awareness; building capacity; and partnering in policy development. To learn more about Literacy BC, visit http://www.literacybc.ca.
For more information:
Melinda Johnston, Communications Manager, Literacy BC: email@example.com 604-684-0624, ext. 107