VICTORIA - Charlton Landon was walking down Yates Street in Victoria one day last summer and suddenly stopped in front of the offices of Literacy Victoria. He went in to check it out. Now he's there every Monday and Wednesday, fulfilling a lifelong dream.
Charlton is part of the Learners' Network at Literacy Victoria, which offers adults help with basic reading, writing, math and computer skills. He's taking a course in fundamental English that's helping him with sentence structure, paragraph making, pronunciation, grammar and speaking skills.
Charlton grew up in Jamaica in the 1950s and '60s in a region of the country where school was over for most kids when they hit the age of 15. He moved to Canada and worked as an automotive mechanic for many years, and is now working in housekeeping at Jubilee Hospital in Victoria. But since childhood, Charlton has dreamed of getting a post-secondary degree in religious studies and becoming an ordained minister. Now in his fifties, he's upgrading his writing and language skills so he can make that dream come true.
The Learners' Network at Literacy Victoria is one of 72 projects receiving funding from the Province's Community Adult Literacy Program (CALP). CALP promotes adult literacy and supports the delivery of adult, family and Aboriginal literacy services to British Columbians across the province. CALP projects are delivered through partnerships between community groups and B.C.'s public post-secondary institutions.
The English course Charlton is taking at Literacy Victoria is taught by an instructor from Camosun College. Charlton also works one-on-one with a volunteer tutor, who helps him with the course material.
For a photograph of Charlton working with his tutor: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bcgovphotos/7030374937/
When Charlton feels he's ready to move on, he plans to take some post-secondary courses at Camosun College, and then advance to a program leading to a degree in religious studies.
March 24 - April 1, 2012 is International Adult Learners' Week in Canada. International Adult Learners' Week (IALW) was officially launched by UNESCO in 2000 and has been celebrated in Canada since 2002. The week celebrates adult learners across the country and the joy of learning throughout life. "I'm Still Learning" is the slogan for this year's IALW in Canada.
Why It Matters:
Over the next decade, more than a million jobs will be available in British Columbia, and three-quarters of them will require some post-secondary training. Community-based literacy projects and other developmental education programs are helping adults all over the province gain confidence and build the learning foundation they need to follow their dreams, pursue advanced education, get jobs, and take their place in the skilled workforce of today and the future. Ensuring British Columbians are trained for the jobs of tomorrow is a key piece of the BC Jobs Plan.
Naomi Yamamoto, Minister of Advanced Education -
"As we celebrate International Adult Learners' Week, I'd like to congratulate adults who have taken the often daunting step to return to the classroom, and wish you every success in your studies. I'd also like to encourage anyone who feels they need to improve their reading and writing skills to contact a local community literacy organization or public post-secondary institution."
"Through our Community Adult Literacy Program, we're working with our partners to ensure there are lifelong learning opportunities for all British Columbians to pursue their dreams and ambitions."
Charlton Landon, adult learner at Literacy Victoria -
"I'm very meticulous when I learn things. I want to be sure I get it before moving on. Most courses you don't get that - you keep up or you fall out. This program gives me the individual time I need to progress at my own pace."
"It's helping me speak the way I want to speak, write the way I want to write and pursue what I really want to pursue. I'm doing the things I wanted to do years ago, and it feels great, man!"
Ruth Derrick, executive director, Literacy Victoria -
"The CALP funding we receive from the Ministry of Advanced Education is absolutely critical to our program delivery at Literacy Victoria. Not only does it enable us to address a multitude of literacy issues facing adult learners across the Greater Victoria region, but also to train the many volunteer tutors who so generously help us. Every day we see examples of how this funding support is making a difference for someone."
- Approximately 8,000 adult learners are expected to benefit from CALP in 2011-12.
- In all, government is providing $2.4 million to CALP for 2011-12.
- Literacy Victoria received $80,000 from CALP for 2011-12.
- Since 2001, government has invested $18.3 million in CALP, helping more than 70,000 adults learn how to read or improve their reading, writing and numeracy skills.
For information on the Community Adult Literacy Program (CALP), including a listing of adult, family and Aboriginal literacy projects around the province: http://www.aved.gov.bc.ca/literacy/calp.htm
To find out about developmental programs offered by the Ministry of Advanced Education through B.C.'s public post-secondary institutions: http://www.aved.gov.bc.ca/adultlearning/welcome.htm
For information on Literacy Victoria: http://www.literacyvictoria.ca/
For information on International Adult Learners Week in Canada: http://www.unesco.ca/en/interdisciplinary/IALW/IALWcanada.aspx
For more information on the BC Jobs Plan: http://www.bcjobsplan.ca/
Ministry of Advanced Education
250 893-5650 (cellular)