The provincial Community Adult Literacy Program (CALP) funding of $52,424 was renewed for two Fort Nelson literacy programs, which work to help adults and families improve reading and writing skills.
The funding is split, with the Sikanni Adult Learning Centre receiving $30,709, while the Fort Nelson Family Literacy Drop-In Centre is receiving $21,715.
Seanah Blair, executive director of the Fort Nelson Community Literacy Society, which oversees both programs, estimated that 40 to 50 individuals go through the adult literacy program every year.
“Some of them are drop-in. They may need help filling out a form, or using a computer,” said Blair.
“Some of them are consistent learners, coming in once a week for help – whatever it is, whether it’s basic reading or writing or if it’s help with a university course, or anything in between.”
She said that around 20 to 25 families get assistance from the other program per year, which helps students with homework or others who are falling behind in their classes.
The Society also puts on advanced workshops, Blair said, that reach closer to 600 or 700 people in the community over the course of the year. One recent workshop taught the finer points of canning.
“It’s a fun event, but you’re embedding measurements and math and parents working with kids together, health literacy [as well as] nutrition information,” said Blair. “We call them ‘learning-embedded events.’ A lot of them seem like fun, easy things, but they have an underlying purpose to them.”
These are two of the three core programs that the Society runs. The third is English as a Second Language.
Although they rely on CALP for funding each year, Blair said that it only accounts for approximately one-eighth of their yearly budget, with the rest of the money coming from community, local businesses and grants.