Adult literacy program sees shift in clientele

Clearwater and area Partner Assisted Learning program (PAL) is seeing a shift from middle-aged men to younger, adult female

The Clearwater and area Partner Assisted Learning program (PAL) is seeing a shift from middle-aged men to younger, adult females.

Kerry Milner-CairnsThat’s according to a report to the board of School District 73 from Kerry Milner-Cairns, literacy outreach coordinator for the Little Fort to Blue River area.

The shift is in line with a trend being seen at Clearwater Employment Services as more young mothers start looking for work, Milner-Cairns said.

“I am finding that at least half of these learners are not at a high enough learning level yet to study for the GED exam or to pass the Dogwood courses,” she wrote. “Tutors are going back a few grades and start working at that level first.”

The coordinator noted there has been an increase in English as a second language learners in the PAL program.

PAL is a free, confidential adult tutoring program in which trained volunteer tutors work with learners on any goals they have identified

Milner-Cairns reported that an application for a Skills Link program has been submitted. This program provides funding for employers and organizations to assist youth facing employment barriers.

Changes in the community during the previous year included Canfor-Vavenby going back to work last September. Presently there are two production shifts in both the sawmill and planer, plus graveyard and weekend maintenance shifts and the operation employs about 150 people. Despite being shut down for two years, about 75 per cent of the previous employees returned to work at the mill.

The Clearwater and area literacy program is offered through Yellowhead Community Services.

 

Milner-Cairns’ report was one of several made to the school board by literacy coordinators throughout the region.