Angelika Sellick is the interim coordinator for the Partner Assisted Learning (PAL) and Fostering Literacy of the Cariboo-Chilcotin Partners for Literacy (CCPL). (Submitted photo)

Learning through COVID-19: Two Williams Lake women change gears and keep learning together

Cariboo Chilcotin Partners for Literacy

Submitted by Angelika Sellick

Cariboo Chilcotin Partners for Literacy

For years, Brenda and Sandi have been meeting weekly to practice writing, spelling, creative writing, and more recently, math.

The two women first met through the Partner Assisted Learning (PAL) program offered by the Cariboo-Chilcotin Partners for Literacy in Williams Lake. Sandi was a PAL volunteer who enjoyed helping others work towards their learning goals, while Brenda was eager to find someone to help her with writing.

With COVID-19 and the need to social distance, Sandi and Brenda had to quickly change how they work together and they decided to continue by phone. Sandi and Brenda now spend 30 minutes several times each week on a call with one another, mostly focusing on math.

This new way of meeting has not only kept the two in touch, but it has also deepened their learning experience. Sandi was surprised by how quickly she adapted to the situation, and she’s now feeling motivated to get up-to-date with computers. Sandi hopes Brenda will be her tutor, especially since Brenda has been participating in a computer-tech class offered by PAL.

Read More: English conversation circles offered at Cariboo Chilcotin Partners for Literacy

As for Brenda, listening for numbers and writing down questions during the phone calls helps her remember how to solve the problem. “When I was in school, I got a low grade in math which made feel upset because I thought I couldn’t do math. But now I am proud of my accomplishments.”

To anyone who wants to start learning something new, but doesn’t know how, Brenda gives this advice. “I didn’t know how to start either. I just put my mind to it. Learning is a good experience for people to do. If you learn more, you’ll feel great.”

PAL is a free program for adults in Williams Lake. If you’re interested in working with a volunteer tutor on reading, writing, speaking, math, or language skills, call 250-392-7833 or e-mail

Angelika Sellick is the interim coordinator for the Partner Assisted Learning (PAL) and Fostering Literacy of the Cariboo-Chilcotin Partners for Literacy (CCPL).

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