Ten Key Facts about Ontario’s Community Literacy Agencies
Those of us who learn, work, and volunteer in Ontario’s community-based literacy agencies know all about the importance of what we do. But some of us may not realize the size and scope of our sector and the value of our collective work. Community Literacy of Ontario (CLO) is pleased to share statistics on the critically important, highly effective, creative, dynamic, and learner-centred, world of community-based literacy! While community-based literacy agencies are as diverse as the communities we serve, we all share one thing in common: a passion for providing quality, learnercentred literacy instruction that meets the needs of learners and our communities.
We are very proud to be an important part of Ontario’s Literacy and Basics Skills (LBS) Program.
FACT 1: We are a key part of literacy delivery in Ontario!
There are just over 200 literacy delivery agencies and almost 300 delivery sites in Ontario. Literacy is delivered by community-based and Laubach agencies, colleges, and school board programs. All sectors bring unique and valuable strengths to literacy delivery. There are also four delivery streams: Anglophone, Deaf, Native and Francophone. Literacy agencies from all sectors and streams link to refer students to the appropriate literacy program and to share information and resources.
FACT 2: We are many!
The Information Management System (IMS) shows that in 2005/06, there were 140 community-based delivery agencies and 24 additional satellites, equating to community-based delivery at 164 sites throughout this province! Of these sites, 110 are Anglophone delivery agencies. FACT 3: We are located in communities large and small You can find community-based literacy agencies in diverse areas of our province. CLO’s 2003 program survey found that 38% of agencies were rural; 29% served mixed rural/urban areas; 19% served small urban areas and 14% served large urban centres. Further, agencies are located in all regions of the province: 27% were located in central Ontario; 19% in the east; 21% in the northeast; 11% in the northwest; and 22% in the southwest.
FACT 4: We focus on learners with lower literacy levels
While agencies serve adult learners at all literacy levels, the majority of our learners (59%) are at levels 1 and 2. The IMS data from 2007/08 shows that 29% of learners served by community literacy agencies were at Literacy and Basic Skills (LBS) level 1; 30% were at LBS level 2; 23% were at LBS level 3; and the remaining 18% were at LBS level 4 or higher.
FACT 5: We offer both 1-1 and small group programming CLO’s 2005 program survey showed that 92% of Ontario’s community literacy agencies offer both small group and 1-1 programming. Adult learners were exactly divided between the two models, with 50% participating in 1-1 and 50% participating in small group learning. Both staff and volunteers are involved in delivering instruction to adult learners, depending upon the needs of the learners.
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