Adult Literacy Programming
Victoria Literacy Connection's support is entirely learner focused and does its best to adapt to the learner's individual learning needs. The Adult Literacy Coordinator meets with the adult learner to understand the goal, assesses the learning level in a non-intrusive manner and makes a plan together with the learner.
Through interaction with our learners, our service provider partners and the community, VLC tries to keep in touch with new emerging needs and develops necessary programming accordingly. We are presently developing a Financial Literacy program for adults, incorporating workshops and 1:1 mentoring.
COVID-19 Response - Two New Online Programs
It is certainly a challenge not to be able to have our volunteers and learners meet face-to-face, as there is so much that can be learned through such an interaction. As this was no longer possible, we have been busy exploring alternative methods in order to continue VLC's literacy support. Transitioning over to online platforms can be beneficial for many, but some of our adult learners do not have access to online tools, which is certainly challenging. However, VLC is up to the challenge and is busy working on methods to address learning and communications needs.
1. Online 1:1 Adult Literacy Tutoring Program
As our traditional face-to-face programming was paused due to self-isolation, VLC has encouraged its dedicated literacy volunteers to continue their literacy support through online means. We are exploring innovative means to connect all of our learners with our tutors.
2. Online English Conversation Groups
Our group sessions, which normally took place at the VLC office on View Street, were put on hold during the pandemic. Online group sessions started in June 2020 and have continued with great success.
3. Online Adult Basic Computer Literacy Program
The goal of this program is to reduce isolation through increasing knowledge of electronic devices, learning how to navigate the internet, to fill in online forms and media literacy to reduce elder abuse and dark rabbit holes. Sessions will take place online either in small groups 2-6 learners or 1:1. We aim to launch the program February 2021. We are looking for learners and volunteer tutors.
The 1:1 Adult Literacy Tutoring Program
Our Adult Literacy Tutoring Program is one of our core programs where adults 18 years of age and older can get help with basic reading, writing, math, and computer literacy for free.
Adults struggling with literacy skills can seek us out independently or may be referred to us from other organizations. We work to accommodate any adult with a learning need and a desire to address that need. A trained professional assesses a learner’s skills and requirements. Following this evaluation, learners are paired with an appropriate volunteer tutor. The learner and tutor agree on specific learning goals and a plan of action including meeting times and locations. These sessions are usually weekly, in a public venue and always one-on-one. The learner’s progress is monitored and evaluated by the tutor and by our Adult Coordinator to ensure goals are being met and progress is achieved.
Our goal is to help adults who struggle with literacy to become more confident and skilled and thus able to function more effectively in today’s world. Some examples of literacy goals identified by our learners are as follows: to understand street signs, to read a newspaper, to be able to help a child with homework, to pass the written part of a driving test, to attain a high school diploma or practical certificate or to pass post-secondary college courses. The levels of our learners vary greatly, and we try our best to adapt to their individual learning needs by finding the appropriate volunteer tutors to help them reach their aspirations.
For more information about this program please contact our office. We are always on the lookout for volunteers who are willing to commit a few hours a week to this worthwhile activity.
English as a Second Language Group Sessions
After consulting with local immigrant support services, VLC has identified a gap where some immigrants who are no longer new to our country are still struggling with their English. In January 2018, we started a collaboration with SJ Willis Secondary High School to support their learners who needed some extra support with English to arrive at the appropriate level to start their school courses.
Our trained volunteer tutors facilitate free conversational group sessions outside of the school setting to improve upon individual English levels as well as to provide some life skills to function better in Canadian society. Once the level is raised, the learners are very welcome to be included in our traditional one-on-one volunteer tutoring program, as mentioned above.
We welcome communities and individuals to contact us to discuss arranging similar English conversational groups.
If you are someone who has experience with supporting ELL learners and would like to volunteer, we would also love to hear from you!
The Vancouver Island Correctional Centre Program
VLC operates a special program focused on adult literacy at the Vancouver Island Correctional Centre on Wilkinson Road, where inmates work toward high school equivalency or develop educational related skills. Volunteers, under the direction of a professional teacher employed by the Cowichan School District, help inmates with formal classroom work related to high school graduation or other personal education programs. Some tutors work one-on-one with inmates who require additional tutoring, while others support in a classroom setting.