MLAs in the Comox Valley and on the Sunshine Coast say funding to expand literacy programs will help build essential skills in their communities.
The province says they invest $3.4 million annually to support the Community Adult Literacy Program. This year, they say it will support 102 adult literacy programs that are delivered by 71 providers in 132 communities.
That is higher than the 97 programs and 128 communities that benefitted last year, according to the province.
The programs are community-base, adult, family, and Indigenous literacy programs that help people gain skills in basic literacy, numeracy, life skills and employment preparation, according to the province.
They add they are delivered by trained volunteers and include one-on-one tutoring and small group classes.
Multiple organizations in the Comox Valley and on the Sunshine Coast are recipients of the funding this year. They include the Community Adult literacy and Learning Adult and Family programs in the qathet Regional District and the Comox Valley Lifelong Learning Centre’s adult and family literacy programs.
NDP MLA for the Sunshine Coast Nicholas Simons says it will help people in the area learn to read, write, do math and digital literacy.
The province adds that 45 per cent of British Columbians between the ages of 16 and 65 may have difficulty understanding newspapers, following instruction manuals and reading health information or other daily tasks.
They add 52 per cent might struggle to calculate interest on a car loan, use graph info and calculate medicine dosage.
“Literacy is more than the ability to read and write, it unlocks the door to new opportunities,” said Simons. “Our government knows the difference education can make. Not only do programs like these help people in their daily lives, they help people reach their goals.”
Courtenay-Comox MLA Ronna-Rae Leonard adds the program funding helps volunteers and creates great learning opportunities in the area.