DAWSON CREEK – A local adult literacy program, called Community Adult Literacy Program Dawson Creek, has received $22,000 from the provincial government to help learners improve their reading and writing skills.

Community Adult Literacy Program Dawson Creek, a collaboration between Northern Lights College and the Dawson Creek Literacy Society, is being supported through the Community Adult Literacy Program (CALP), an initiative that distributes funding to not-for-profit community groups to offer free literacy training that is easily accessible in local schools, native friendship and community centers.

“The Dawson Creek Literacy Society has been operating the Community Adult Literacy Program for over 15 years,” Dawson Creek Literacy Society executive director Jennifer Neis said. “The goal of the program is to provide opportunities for clients to increase their job readiness and skills development or academic upgrading to enter trades programs or post- secondary education. More than 100 people accessed our services in 2013 and we anticipate a higher demand for service in the future.”

“Enhancing literacy is critical to improving the quality of people’s lives,” Peace River South MLA Mike Bernier said. “This program helps adults who want to improve their literacy levels for personal, employment or educational reasons and is a positive and practical investment in our community.”

Each community organization that delivers a CALP project, such as the Heart of Learning program, partners with a public post-secondary institution in their region. These partnerships encourage the transition of adult learners from literacy programs to post-secondary studies and employment training.

Projects are tailored to suit the needs of young parents, Aboriginal learners, and other adults in the community, and are delivered by trained volunteers offering one-to-one tutoring or small group classes.

This year approximately $2.4 million is being distributed towards 83 CALP projects in 90 communities throughout B.C. It is expected 9,000 adult learners will be helped through the projects.

Since 2001, the Provincial government has invested more than $25 million in CALP, helping more than 93,000 adults improve their reading and writing skills.