Reach a Reader: Partner Assisted Learning offers one-on-one and group learning support

Have you ever thought about what literacy means within your life? Literacy continues to develop rapidly through our changing world.

Janette Moller

Special to the Tribune/Weekend Advisor

Have you ever thought about what literacy means within your life? Literacy continues to develop rapidly through our changing world. My understanding of literacy has to do with having the skills and knowledge to create, detect, analyze and comprehend and use a variety of written, visual, and oral techniques. Literacy is far more than reading and writing, it also involves critical thinking where it tests someone’s understanding of the knowledge they are acquiring.  To be literate is to have the ability to understand what you read and write, and the skills to communicate and engage with others.

A key component of B.C.’s literacy plan is support for community-based literacy plans. For the past 17 years Partner Assisted Learning  (PAL) part of Cariboo Chilcotin Partners for Literacy and in partnership with Thompson Rivers University (TRU),  School District No. 27 (SD27) and the Cariboo Friendship Society (CFS), contribute to PAL’s success through in-kind space, access to equipment and technology and delivery collaboration.  PAL has offices in the TRU campus, as well as a shared space in the downtown core.  (Across from RE/MAX).

PAL continues to provide a successful learning program to adult learners ages 19 to seniors.  We provide long and short-term one-on-one and group learner support enabling learners to pursue and achieve their education, employment and personal goals. Adults with low literacy are among the most marginalized and vulnerable in our population. Many learners face multiple barriers to learning as a result of poverty, health issues, trauma, alcohol and isolation to name a few.

Volunteers are trained to assist with adults who want to improve their reading, writing, computer, and math skills.  We tutor emerging readers and writers; provide support for adults in training programs, and everything in between. The PAL program provides a valuable informal learning environment and is focused on adult learner needs. One who is literate has the confidence to go through life’s experiences, initiating opportunities at work, at home and in the community.

It is essential we improve our literacy skills; and you could find the help by contacting the PAL Program.

Volunteering is the act of giving of your time and services; if you think you could join us in this wonderful effort please give me a call.

Janette is the PAL co-ordinator and the operations manager for Cariboo Chilcotin Partners for Literacy and can be reached at janette@caribooliteracy.com or you can call her at 250-392-7833.