“Adult literacy is the ability to understand and use printed information in daily activities at home, at work and in the community – to achieve one’s goals, and to develop one’s knowledge and potential.”
Literacy and essential skills development is not something that only occurs during school. Throughout our lives, it’s vital that we learn new skills, improve our knowledge, and increase our literacy – especially in today’s increasingly complex world where technology is moving at an unprecedented speed. Everyone must learn, all the time, simply to keep up with the pace of change – especially adults and seniors. Although the majority of British Columbians have adequate literacy skills, too many simply do not.
What are Adult Literacy Programs?
Adult literacy programs help people improve their reading, writing, math, oral communication, digital technology and learning skills. Adult literacy practitioners develop learning plans based on the goals and learning needs of each individual; instruction is often integrated into the life requirements of that person. For example:
If a learner needs a driver’s license, literacy improvement is specifically integrated into learning; in this instance, how to pass the driver’s exam.
These programs provide small group sessions or use trained volunteer tutors so people can get individualized help. Programs are offered by community literacy organizations, colleges and school districts. Literacy instruction may also be embedded in other services, such as community kitchens or employment skills programs.
“After two years of working with the volunteer literacy practitioner at my local community literacy organization, I was accepted into a welding program that changed my life.” – Steven, Port Alberni, B.C.
What does Decoda do to support adult literacy?
At Decoda, we’re working with literacy professionals and other leaders in community literacy to create change and build cultures of community-based literacy and life-long learning.
Resources and Training:
We provide resources and professional development opportunities for literacy professionals to support them in their work. We train literacy practitioners in assessment, instructional strategies, facilitation and program operation. We also offer access to library materials, and we have developed a credentialing program for adult literacy practitioners and literacy outreach coordinators, as well as credentials and courses for adult learners.
Funding and Awareness:
We work with donors and our partners in business and government to fund community-based adult literacy programs across the province. We also raise awareness about the importance of adult literacy through our community engagement campaign, called Literacy is Life.