Project Literacy Victoria finds new life after brief hiatus

Cecelia has always had difficulty with math.

Cecelia has always had difficulty with math.

The Victoria resident, who did not want to give her last name, is dyslexic. When she was younger, she moved around a lot, making it challenging to find consistent help.

She had problems such as adding tax onto grocery bills. Being on a fixed grocery budget, she would end up going to a register with no idea of the dollar amount in her basket.

“It’s difficult for me to see the numbers the right way,” Cecelia said. “It’s been really hard.”

That’s when Cecelia decided to get help.

She had seen signs for Project Literacy Victoria, a program that provides free one-on-one literacy tutoring, and decided to enrol. Shortly after, she was paired with 21-year-old volunteer tutor Austen Whitehead.

Whitehead developed an activity plan to help Cecelia with her math skills. They started with math problems and worked their way up to multiplying the 12 per cent sales tax to prices, as well as long division.

Over the last four months, Cecelia’s skills have improved dramatically.

“I feel more confident now,” she said adding she received 28.5 out of 29 on a recent math test.

Kathleen Troger, executive director with Project Literacy Victoria, said she’s seen a visual difference in Cecelia as well.

“She’s just blossomed in front of my eyes. When I first paired her up with Austen she was very nervous and uncomfortable and didn’t have a lot of eye contact,” she said. “Whereas now, she looks me in the eye. She’s beaming.”

Cecelia and Whitehead are one of 50 tutor-learner pairs at Project Literacy Victoria.

The program has been operating in the city for the past 28 years, helping adults with literacy such as reading, writing, comprehension, numeracy, and provides support for computer-literacy related goals as well. They also assist residents with getting driver’s licences or B.C. Medical.

However, last fall the program was forced to close its doors for six months due to funding cuts, despite public outcry from tutors and people who benefit from the program.

This year, the program was one of 89 non-profit organizations on Vancouver Island that were awarded a record-breaking $1.7 million in community grants from the Victoria Foundation.

The $20,000 grant for Project Literacy is a significant chunk of the program’s $80,000 to $100,000 operating budget, allowing them to continue to offer programs again.

Troger said they’ll work on rebuilding the program, including bringing on additional staff.

“It really is going to help us focus on increasing the number of tutor-learning pairings we have and ensuring the quality of our programming is as high as it possibly can be,” she said, noting they also received $50,000 in funding from the Ministry of Advanced Education. “This service is a real fundamental in this community.”

Carol Hall, director of community initiatives and grants with the foundation, said this year’s grant recipients address at least one of 12 vital sign issue areas, including learning, arts, environment and homelessness.

“Literacy is really central in helping people realize their potential. It’s a cornerstone to community well-being in many ways,” Hall said. “We’re really pleased to see such a diversity of projects going out in this year’s community grants.”

 

 

Just Posted

The blind lead the blind at the Pacific Training Centre

Centre specializes in teaching visually impaired people everyday skills to live an independent life

Fewer Greater Victoria residents collecting EI benefits

The number of local EI recipients dropped by 5.5 per cent from January 2018 to January 2019

Sidney woman hosts charity shabby-chic furniture sale

Upcycled and refurbed furniture sells to benefit the Alzheimer’s Society of BC and Crohn’sColitis Canada

Student Voice: Reynolds ReyBots qualify for Texas-sized Robot championship

ReyBots robot met premier, ‘dodged’ the competition

Victoria Fire Department advises cigarette safety after two fires started in one week

Two separate fires caused by cigarette butts were avoidable

Protective human chain forms around Victoria mosque for Friday prayer

Islanders stand arm-in-arm to show support in aftermath of New Zealand shootings

Wildlife activists slam B.C. business, clubs for ‘wolf-whacking’ contests

Chilcotin Guns, Creston Valley Rod and Gun Club and West Kootenay Outdoorsmen Club under fire

‘Families torn apart:’ Truck driver in fatal Broncos crash gets 8-year sentence

Judge Inez Cardinal told court in Melfort, Sask., that Sidhu’s remorse and guilty plea were mitigating factors

Jr. B Cougars advance to both league finals and provincials

Victoria beats Nanaimo 4-3 in Game 6 Friday night to win series

Vancouver Island motorists attempted CPR on victim in fatal Highway 4 crash

Collision took place west of Whiskey Creek; man in his 70s died

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of March 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: When do you think the next major earthquake will hit Vancouver Island?

According to seismologists, Vancouver Island is overdue for a magnitude 7 earthquake.… Continue reading

WestJet sticking with Boeing 737 Max once planes certified to fly

WestJet had expected to add two more of the planes this year to increase its fleet to 13

B.C. driver caught going 207 km/h on motorcycle along Okanagan Highway

A motorcyclist was caught by Kelowna RCMP going 207 km/h on Highway 97C

Most Read