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International Literacy Day a time to share love of reading

Willow Creek Community Adult Learning Society co-ordinator Kate Glover wants people in Fort Macleod to celebrate International Literacy Day on Sept. 8 by sharing their favourite books. They are also asked to consider becoming a literacy tutor.

Kate Glover wants to know what Fort Macleod and district residents are reading.
Glover wants people to celebrate International Literacy Day on Saturday, Sept. 8 by sharing their favourite books.
“International Literacy Day is observed to raise awareness of and concern for literacy issues around the world,” said Glover, who is co-ordinator of the Willow Creek Community Adult Learning Society.
People are urged to share their favourite books with others in person or on social media.
“Although literacy is the great enabler, one in five Albertans, aged 16 and older, struggles with the ability to understand and use information from texts including news stories and instruction manuals.”
Glover also wants people on International Literacy Day to consider becoming a tutor to help children and adults with literacy.
A tutor training session is planned in October, so people are encouraged to sign up now.
“We always need tutors,” said Glover, explaining there are more people who need help than tutors to support them.
The adult learning society has a new mandate from its funder, Alberta Education, to ease those literacy struggles for people in the region.
After a three-year consultation period, Alberta Education now requires adult learning societies to provide programming specifically to address the literacy and foundational needs.
Glover explained that literacy and foundational learning includes programming in adult literacy, numeracy, English language learning, basic computer skills, and foundational life skills.
The programming can be delivered through a classroom setting, tutoring, on-line or a group setting using the principles of family literacy.
The Willow Creek society was granted three years of funding from the province to deliver those programs.
This year the Willow Creek society is offering pre-general equivalency diploma (GED) preparation via video-conferencing, one-on-one tutoring, both in literacy and English language learning.
The society will also offer foundational literacy and foundational numeracy workshops, financial empowerment, a six-week long “Personal Best” program focusing on life skills such as nutrition, budgeting, fitness, language and family programming, an information session for temporary foreign workers and their employers and some basic digital skills sessions.
Glover said the society will also offer community capacity building such as firearms safety, standard first aid and psychological first aid, and learner support services.
The Willow Creek society also provides family programs through the support of community organizations.
“Literacy is not just about reading and writing,” Glover said. “While reading and writing provide the necessary foundation for learning, literacy is fundamentally about an individual’s capacity to put his or her skills to work in shaping the course of his or her own life.”
Glover said literacy involves “reading the word and the world” in a variety of contexts.
People need literacy skills to obtain and use information effectively; act as informed players; and manage interactions in a variety of contexts whether making decisions about health care, parenting, managing household finances, engaging in the political process or working.
Glover said the highest percentage of learners in southern Alberta and the MD of Willow Creek are primarily English language learners.
Adopted in 1965 by UNESCO, International Literacy Day is observed every year on Sept. 8.
You can contact Kate Glover at 403-553-4106 or at the office in Urban Core on Main Street.

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