What is the purpose of Literacy Victoria?
Literacy Victoria (LV) helps adult learners improve their reading, writing, math, computer, and other essential skills. All of our learner services are free of charge. Having low literacy skills truly affects almost every aspect of a person's life, and LV serves some of the most marginalized members of our society. Many of our clients include those lacking sufficient skills to enjoy life fully and/or function effectively in the economy through full or part-time employment. LV does not act as an 'English as a Second Language' service, nor does it serve the needs of those under 18 years of age.
As visitors, we give thanks to the Coast Salish people for allowing us to live and work within their traditional territories.
How do LV programs work?
LV clients meet with tutors, usually one-to-one, and are supported in achieving stronger literacy and essential skills. Clients and tutors meet at a mutually agreed upon time in a public setting. Many decide to meet at the LV centre on Yates Street, generally once or twice a week. The centre has a computer lab and library of useful materials at graded levels of difficulty.
Our tutors also travel to various other community partner sites as part of our Outreach Program. These sites include the Sandy Merriman House, the Victoria Native Friendship Centre, Our Place, the Cool Aid Society, Aids Vancouver Island, the James Bay Community Project, and the Wilkinson Road Correctional Centre (VIRCC). There is also a Bookmobile, which delivers upward of 6,000 free books annually to these sites.
How many people are involved in LV’s programs?
There are currently approximately 175 volunteers, who tutor 85 people in the Learners’ Network Program, and over 200 more via our Outreach Program.
Who pays for this service?
All programs are free to the clients. The cost of running LV is supported by grants from The Ministry of Advanced Education, the Victoria Foundation, the United Way, the Times Colonist Raise-a-Reader program, the BC Gaming Directorate, and fundraising by LV itself, among others. The largest fundraising effort is an annual Spring gala at the Belfry Theatre. The gala is named in honour of Peter Gzowski, who was an ardent supporter of adult literacy in Canada.
Are there similar agencies in Victoria?
Literacy Victoria is unique in the Greater Victoria area. It is the only organization committed to providing free learning services to adults, supported by a large group of dedicated volunteer tutors that LV recruits, trains, and supports.