“When he (Dalton) was not in the Noisy Kids Reading Club, he had trouble with reading. We have noticed a drastic improvement with him reading through full paragraphs. We have noticed him being able to follow directions better and he’s improving his spelling. Dalton has attention difficulties and we feel this program is helping him with this as well”
Robbie Bowen, Dalton’s father
Some Programs You May Not Know About Yet
You probably know about our flagship programs, Noisy Kids Reading Club and Adult Tutoring, since tey are quite visible. Here are three additional programs that get less attention but have significant impact.
For years, we have been working with the Mustard Seed Street Church to help their adult members improve their literacy abilities. Now we have initiated a program for their child and youth members as well. The need for this program was identified by parents who sought support for their children’s advancement in school. We assess the children’s individual needs and pair them with qualified volunteers to support the children with their school work and general literacy development. Studies have shown that there are crucial benchmarks for children’s literacy that are indicators of future success. In particular, reading at grade level at the end of grade 4 and high school graduation are the most often cited benchmarks. It is our goal to assist as many children as possible to reach these goals to give them the opportunity for fulfilling work, social and family lives.
This program is managed by our youth co-ordinator, Wendy Payne, who assesses the children and matches them with a tutor. We are currently looking for high school level math tutors for this program.
Conversations with New Canadians:
Since language and literacy skills are essential for functioning in a new society, and female new Canadians sometimes do not have as many reasons to get out as the men in their family, we have started conversation groups with new Canadians. A group of new Canadians, mostly female, is paired with a trained conversation facilitator to help develop language and literacy skills. Discussing Victoria, Canadian society, and the participants’ experiences provides more than enough material for interesting discussions that help the group members relax and feel more comfortable with their new language and neighbours.
This program is managed by our adult coordinator, Mary Ann Snowdon, who meets with learners, finds and trains our volunteer facilitators.
Finding a job after incarceration is challenging; finding a job after incarceration without high school graduation is even more challenging. At the Vancouver Island Regional Correctional Centre (aka Wilkinson Road prison) inmates can work towards high school credits, graduation, or just improving their literacy skills within a school program. This school program has one teacher, and sometimes up to 15 students at a time on individualized programs needing his attention. VLC provides volunteers to work with inmates in the classroom, do some administrative tasks, and work one on one with inmates in their units to help them manage the materials.
This program is managed by our adult coordinator, Mary Ann Snowdon, who interviews and prepares volunteers, finds materials, and works with the teacher on making productive volunteer-inmate matches.
Shaw Community Video
Click on the icons for two videos made by Shaw Community TV about us.
Support the 2018 TC Book Drive
Times Colonist Annual Book Drive and Sale supports many literacy programs throughout Greater Victoria, including the VLC. An army of cheerful volunteers shows up every year to unload, sort and sell books. To volunteer contact Bruce Cousins at firstname.lastname@example.org or just show up. Say hello if you spot a VLC staff or Board member; they will be wearing name tags and lime green aprons. Everything happens at the Curling Club on Quadra Street.
The Times Colonist Literacy Fund supports us
We were thrilled to receive a $25,000 donation, from the proceeds of last year’s TC Book Drive, for our literacy programming in 2018. We are grateful for the past and ongoing support of the Times Colonist team, who has been championing literacy in Greater Victoria for years. Thanks for your hard work, TC!
Here we see Times Colonist Editor and now Publisher, Dave Obee, and Victoria Literacy Connection Executive Director, Christine Bossi
We Love Our Volunteers
If you are or have been a volunteer with the Victoria Literacy Connection or either of their founding organizations – Literacy Victoria or the Victoria READ Society – you will be receiving an invitation to meet with fellow VLC volunteers and staff shortly.
Help us continue this work by making a financial contribution. Please consider using the monthly donation option to donate a regular amount every month. Your contribution to stable funding will allow consistent program delivery.
Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook!
Best wishes from the Victoria Literacy Connection Team