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Free literacy services continue

Study programs help students with challenging but removable barriers

Powell River’s new Learning Centre is abuzz with activity and celebrating another year of funding for two programs.

Community Adult Literacy and Learning (CALL) and the English Second Language Settlement Assistance Program (ESLSAP) are both located at the centre, established in partnership with Powell River Literacy Council.

“We’ve had an incredible year at the centre and look forward to the opportunities another year of funding will create for our learners,” said Kelli Henderson, coordinator of ESLSAP. “More learners are coming each month and we’re finding ways to meet their needs.” In addition to English language tutoring and conversation classes for adult immigrants, ESLSAP offers community integration support and specialized ESL study programs such as preparation for the Canadian citizenship exam, online Food Safe course, and BC Driver’s knowledge test.

CALL provides one-on-one tutoring for adults in need of help with basic reading, writing, math and computers. “Sometimes people just need a little help to take the next step,” said Deb Calderon, coordinator of CALL. “That’s where our volunteer tutors come in. When a learner works one-on-one with their own tutor, they can make good progress, and best of all, the service is free.”

All tutoring and group classes offered at the centre are free. “We’re pleased to see some of the participants coming in to use the computers and learning materials for self-study,” said Calderon. “One of the important goals for both programs is to provide interested learners with a bridge to Vancouver Island University’s adult basic education program, toward post-secondary study and career training.”

Tutor training for CALL will be held in the new year in collaboration with VIU. For more information about these programs or to register as a tutor or learner, readers can contact Henderson at 604.485.2004 or, or Calderon at 604.413.1021 or Everyone is welcome to drop by the centre located at 4727 Marine Avenue (top floor above the Bank of Montreal).

CALL is funded by the ministry of advanced education, and ESLSAP is funded by the federal government and BC’s ministry of jobs, tourism and innovation, immigrant integration branch. The programs are administered locally by Powell River Employment Program (PREP) Society.