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Posted: April 8, 2021

Community Adult Literacy Funding applications open

More support is coming for community-based, Indigenous, adult and family literacy programs that help British Columbians gain valuable skills in reading, writing, math and digital literacy.

Community Adult Literacy Program (CALP) services are provided by community-based organizations in partnership with public post-secondary institutions or by public post-secondary institutions.

Applications for 2021-23 CALP funding are being accepted until April 16, 2021.

To learn more about what programs are eligible for funding and application details.

All organizations must apply for CALP funding in partnership with a public post-secondary institution. Funding will be disbursed to successful applicants through the public post-secondary institution partner in June.

CALP will fund program delivery under the following literacy streams:

* Indigenous Literacy: funding preference is given to programs delivered by organizations controlled by Indigenous communities.

* Adult Literacy: adult literacy programs help individuals improve their reading, writing, math, oral communication, digital technology and learning skills.

* Family Literacy: family literacy focuses on parents, grandparents and other family members to improve the reading and writing skills of the whole family. These programs help parents to support their children’s learning and literacy development, and/or may directly help parents to improve their own literacy and numeracy skills. CALP funding supports the needs of adult learners participating in family literacy programs.

A one-time top up of $500,000 for the CALP will be distributed through post-secondary institutions, for a total investment of $2.9 million in 2020-21.

Community-based Indigenous, adult and family literacy programs are provided free of charge and usually accessed through schools, Indigenous friendship centres and community centres. Literacy programming typically includes one-on-one tutoring and small-group instruction that supports all levels of literacy. In 2020, many programs shifted to online service delivery in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

An estimated 700,000 people in British Columbia have significant challenges with literacy.

In 2019-20, CALP programs provided services to more than 4,900 learners:

* 21.5% identified as Indigenous;

* 68.3% female and 30.8% male;

* 38.9% employed, 36.6% unemployed and 13.1% retired;

* 43.4% had previously completed some post-secondary education or training.

The difference between adult literacy and adult basic education programs is community literacy programs are non-credit and are offered in informal settings, such as the local library. These programs focus on basic literacy, numeracy, life skills and employment preparation.

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