WHAT DOES THE COMMUNITY PLANNING PROCESS DO?
- Helps communities to increase and maintain the literacy skills of individual community members
- Assists communities to pool and build financial and human resources to address local literacy challenges
- Identifies a network of community leaders across the province who can support communities in their literacy work
- Provides a provincial overview of emerging issues, trends and potential solutions.
HOW DOES THE PROCESS WORK?
The Community Literacy Planning Guide outlines the community planning process. The process involves community members working in collaboration to:
- Create a vision
- Develop a community profile
- Develop a community literacy inventory
- Set goals
- Make an action plan
- Design an evaluation process for the plan
- Conduct ongoing implementation and evaluation of the plan.
The process begins with community members coming together to talk about literacy. Community literacy task groups form. These groups create plans, hire Literacy Outreach Coordinators, and continue to meet, plan, and implement their vision for literacy in their communities. Funding for the initial community literacy planning process was available from 2004 through 2010. That funding is at an end, but the process continues in communities across British Columbia. Decoda provides funding for implementation and literacy outreach coordination as it is available.
WHAT ARE COMMUNITY LITERACY TASK GROUPS?
Literacy is more than just reading and writing. It’s about having the skills essential for living a good life and supporting one’s self and family. A wide range of community support agencies assist individuals to acquire these skills, including:
- Colleges and Universities
- Social Service Agencies
- Early Learning Practitioners & Family Resource Programs
- Health Providers
- Faith Organizations
- Police, RCMP, and Justice
- Employment agencies
- And others.
The community literacy planning process seeks to bring together representatives from these and other groups to talk about literacy, share knowledge and resources, and work together to achieve a shared vision for the community. Each community literacy task group addresses the following questions:
- Where are the literacy gaps and opportunities in our community?
- What can we contribute to a possible solution?
- What is the best thing that we can do for people in our community?
Essentially, task groups are about solving problems in the community – figuring out what they are, thinking about how they can be addressed, and talking and working together to identify solutions. Each year, each task group reviews and updates the literacy plan for the community or neighbourhood that it represents.
CAN I GET INVOLVED WITH MY LOCAL TASK GROUP?
WHAT DO LITERACY OUTREACH COORDINATORS DO?
To accomplish the work set out in community literacy plans, communities/task groups have identified the need for coordination. In response, Literacy Outreach Coordinators have been hired by task groups to:
- Develop connections,
- Mobilize resources,
- Support community services,
- Build relationships and
- Build community resilience.
WHAT IS A DISTRICT LITERACY PLAN?
District Literacy Plans are submitted through Boards of Education each year on behalf of the task groups and communities within the geographic boundary of each school district in BC. A District Literacy Plan is a working document for task groups. The plans also provide a snapshot in time about what is occurring at the community level. They state the broad literacy goals for all age groups and describe how partners are working together to meet those goals. District Literacy Plans provide a roadmap for communities as they consider past, present, and future work around their literacy goals. Collectively, District Literacy Plans provide government with a provincial overview of literacy work that has benefitted or resulted from the collaborative work of community literacy task groups.
HOW DO I FIND MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE COMMUNITY LITERACY PLANNING PROCESS IN MY COMMUNITY?
Contact Decoda Literacy Solutions at firstname.lastname@example.org or 604-681-4199.