Ten Key Facts about Ontario’s Community Literacy Agencies
FACT 6: We serve learners with diverse goals
IMS statistics from 2007/08 tell us that learners in Ontario’s community literacy agencies have the following goals: further training and education (40%); employment (39%) and independence (21%).
FACT 7: Volunteers are involved
CLO’s 2007 program survey found that the average community-based literacy agency in Ontario has 65 volunteers! Volunteers are involved in community literacy agencies in a variety of tasks including: tutoring, board governance, fundraising and administration. Volunteers help paid staff to deliver personalized programming to learners and also link us more closely with our communities.
FACT 8: We actively market literacy
Community-based literacy agencies are actively involved in our communities, and we play a key role in marketing literacy to diverse community stakeholders (service clubs, employers, social service organizations, community partners, etc.). For example, in our 2003 program survey, CLO found that 90% of community literacy agencies offer community presentations, 87% attend community fairs and special events, 84% write articles in local newspapers and 77% organize promotional events such as open houses, scrabble tournaments, etc.
FACT 9: We have strong community linkages and support
Community-based literacy agencies are integrally involved in their communities. In addition to the marketing and volunteer activities mentioned above, agencies also develop strong community linkages through partnership and fundraising activities. CLO’s 2003 survey revealed that community literacy agencies are involved in a variety of innovative partnerships. Ninety percent partnered with local community agencies, 77% with Ontario Works; 68% with local referral agencies; 50% with local service clubs; and 45% with local employers. While community-based literacy agencies receive core funding from MTCU, most also receive some financial support from local sources. CLO’s 2003 survey confirmed that agencies received funding from the following sources: the local community (63%); local businesses (44%), and the United Way (31%).
FACT 10: We are community-based!
Ontario’s community-based literacy agencies are not-for-profit organizations that are governed by a board of directors. Local governance links agencies closely to the community and allows us to quickly respond to community needs. Community-based literacy agencies meet the needs of adult learners in quality, supportive environments. Agencies use methods, curriculum, materials, and program models that respond to the needs of individual students. Also key to community-based literacy instruction is a flexible and participatory approach. Learner needs are considered at every step. Self-confidence is recognized as being integral to student success and agencies value all student goals equally. Community-based literacy agencies are proud to be an important part of delivering literacy instruction to adult learners in Ontario!
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