Turning the page on adult literacy with increased funding

People will have the opportunity to write the next chapter of their lives with funding for adult learning programs to improve literacy, math and digital skills in 128 communities this fall.

“Community-based literacy programs provide residents of our province with the support they need to succeed and thrive in today’s job market,” said Anne Kang, Minister of Advanced Education and professional training. “I believe that by investing in community-based adult literacy programs and giving people the education and training they need, we are making a difference in supporting the first step in many people’s educational journeys. From creating family budgets to filling out job applications, the skills learned in these programs can make a positive difference in a person’s life.

Province invests $3.4 million annually in community-based adult literacy programs designed to help British Columbians, newcomers, work permit holders and refugee claimants improve their reading skills , in writing, in mathematics and in numeracy. This new annual funding builds on the $2.9 million invested in 2021-2022.

Literacy programs typically include one-on-one tutoring and small group instruction, which support all levels of literacy. These community programs are delivered by trained volunteers and focus on basic literacy, numeracy, life skills and employment readiness, and can be a starting point towards high school completion and/or or further education or training.


Margaret Sutherland, Executive Director, Decoda Literacy Solutions –

“Literacy programs provide adults with the opportunity to learn the skills they need to achieve their goals. Whether they are furthering their education, improving their jobs, becoming more involved in their communities, or better prepared to support their children’s learning, investing in themselves is good for the individual and good for communities.

Chandni Patel, Program Coordinator, Progressive Intercultural Community Services Society –

“The program is of great importance to clients and the local community as it creates space for learning, growth and understanding. Many clients who have taken the program have really enjoyed the lessons, as they have been able to practice all of their essential English skills and progress to employment or further training. »

Antonia Beck, CEO, Burnaby Neighborhood House –

“The continued financial support of the Burnaby Community Adult Literacy Program has been essential in accessing adult literacy support in our city. This has included reading and writing, numeracy, and financial and digital learning. We work closely with our partners at Simon Fraser University, Burnaby School District and Burnaby Public Library to recruit and train tutors who are paired with learners and provide an option for a flexible learning environment and without obstacles. It has made all the difference in the world to help so many people work towards their life and work goals.

Fast facts:

  • An estimated 700,000 people in British Columbia have significant challenges with literacy, numeracy and digital literacy.
  • In 2022-23, annual provincial funding of $3.4 million will support 97 programs delivered by 66 organizations in 128 communities across the province.
  • The Community Adult Literacy Program offers free English lessons to newcomers, work permit holders and asylum seekers to support newcomers to British Columbia and help them succeed.
  • In 2020-21, CALP programs provided services to over 3,200 learners:
    • 20.2% identified as Aboriginal;
    • 72.5% women and 24.5% men;
    • 37.6% employed, 37.6% unemployed and 15.2% retired; and
    • 42.5% had already completed post-secondary education or vocational training.

Learn more:

For more details on the Community Adult Literacy Program (scroll down): https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/education-training/adult-education/adult-upgrading

A backgrounder listing community adult literacy program funding recipients for 2022-2023 is available online: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/Community_Adult_Literacy_Program.pdf

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