Learning to live – Kwantlen launches adult literacy programs across the South Fraser Region

Wed, Oct 31, 2012

Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) is partnering with community service agencies to expand an existing community-based literacy initiative in Langley to additional regions of Surrey and Richmond. Literacy is defined as the ability to understand and use printed material in daily activities – at home, in the community and at work. However, 40% of adults in BC do not have the necessary skills to read a newspaper, understand a lease, read a map or fill out a work application form, and 37% of Canadian adults have low literacy skills. A literate person might be able to read and write short and simple statements, but a functionally literate member of society can participate in all the activities required for democratic engagement, economic stability and community development.

Community adult literacy programming (CALP) is funded by the Province of BC to promote and deliver adult literacy services across the province. Non-profit agencies are partnering with KPU experts to deliver programs across the South Fraser Region to ensure adult newcomers to Canada (live-in caregivers, families, refugees and other high-needs clients) can improve their quality of life, earn sufficient income, participate in their children’s education, understand current events, and enjoy leisure and recreational pursuits. Come join a program near you!

Learning Together, Richmond: Tutors from KPU’s The Learning Centre will partner with Richmond Public Library and Literacy Richmond to extend two highly successful programs into regular weekly programming. At the Cambie Library, a family literacy program will be extended to include workplace literacy for attending adults, and expand to a second location at Brighouse Library (all with multilingual child-minding on-site). Live-in caregivers looking forward to new opportunities in Canada can attend a weekly program of adult and workplace literacy to get ready for the broader job market. To get involved, contact Richmond Public Library’s Lee Anne Smith: 604.231.6417, leeanne.smith@yourlibrary.ca.

COOL, Langley: This year, the existing community one-on-one learning (COOL) program run by the Langley Literacy Network will be expanded to serve a broader client base, and volunteer tutors will receive extended training and support. Additionally, the On-Site program will train staff from various community service societies to address client needs at their own locations, including ISHTAR Transition Housing,  Langley Community Services and Stepping Stone Community Services. Contact Langley Outreach Coordinator Christine Spinder to become a tutor or to be tutored: 604.809.5391, christines@aldergrovens.com.

Learn with a Friend, Surrey: Surrey Libraries and the Progressive Intercultural Community Services (PICS) Society will be assisted by KPU faculty/staff and tutors from The Learning Centre to develop an existing pilot project into a broader program. One-on-one instruction will be available in basic literacy and workplace literacy to clients of community service agencies across the region: Invergarry Adult Education Centre, Umoja Operation Compassion Society, Options Community Services Society, DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society and others. Contact PICS’ Program Coordinator Eva Touzard to volunteer as a tutor or get involved as a student: 604.596.7722, eva.touzard@pics.bc.ca.

Kwantlen Polytechnic University has been serving the Metro Vancouver region for 30 years, and has opened doors to success for more than 250,000 people. Four campuses—Richmond, Surrey, Cloverdale and Langley—offer a comprehensive range of sought-after programs, including business, liberal arts and science, design, health, trades and technology, apprenticeships, horticulture, and academic and career advancement. Over 17,500 students annually have a choice from over 200 programs, including bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, diplomas, certificates and citations.


For more information about Adult Basic Education at KPU, contact:
Christine Crowe
Dean, Faculty of Academic and Career Advancement
Tel: 604.599.2949

For more information about KPU, contact:
Joanne Saunders
Director, Marketing and Communications
Tel: 604.599.2243