Literacy tutors are wanted to work with adults who need assistance with their literacy skills.

Literacy tutors are wanted to work with adults who need assistance with their literacy skills.

Literacy tutors needed

Bridging to Literacy is looking for people willing to train as tutors to help adults with limited literacy skills.

It is estimated that due in part to limited literacy skills, some 45 per cent of British Columbians aged 16 to 65 have difficulty in accomplishing some daily living tasks, such as filling out a form, comparison shopping, or understanding instructions.

Bridging to Literacy offers help to people who are having trouble filling out a form, using a computer, or reading a document, by offering assistance once a week at the Ashcroft library and once a month at the Cache Creek library.

“Everything is confidential, and there is no judging,” says literacy outreach coordinator Jessica Clement. She is at the Ashcroft library every Tuesday from 10:15 a.m. until 12:15 p.m., and at the Cache Creek library on the first Saturday of the month (beginning March 4) from 10 a.m. until noon.

“People can come in and say they just need help with one thing. Or they can just come in and say hi. If all they do is introduce themselves that first time, that’s fine. Just come into the library and take that first step.”

Bridging to Literacy is also hoping to find adults in the community who are interested in learning how to tutor other adults to assist them with their literacy skills, and is offering PALS (Partner Assisted Learning) training on January 28. The day-long session is free and includes lunch, as well as all materials, and takes place at the Sun Country office in Ashcroft from 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.

“It’s about teaching adults how to teach other adults,” says Clement, adding that no special qualifications are necessary on the part of volunteers. Once trained, volunteers partner with other adults in the community who need help, on either a one-time or ongoing basis. All the sessions are done one-on-one, with both parties deciding where and when it is most convenient to meet.

Clement says that once the training is over, she will be advertising the program to let people who need assistance know about it. When it comes time to partner a tutor with a student, she will sit down with both parties so they can decide as a team what the best approach is in deciding on the number and frequency of sessions.

For more information about becoming a PALS volunteer, or about the service, call Clement at (250) 457-7128.