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Karen Yoos back in role of Project Read co-ordinator

Karen Yoos returns as Project Read co-ordinator after a one-year absence.

Fort Macleod Project Read went back to the future to find a new co-ordinator.
Karen Yoos returned to the job last week after an absence of about one year.
“I really do like it,” Yoos said of being in charge of literacy programs in Fort Macleod. “The people, the volunteers and the students, are such nice people.”
Yoos was the part-time Project Read co-ordinator from December 2007 to the fall of 2010, when she left to take a full-time job at The Fort — Museum of the North West Mounted Police.
When her replacement, Trish Hoskin, resigned to take on a new job as an editor, Yoos decided to return to Project Read.
The need for literacy training continues to be strong in Fort Macleod and across Canada.
“All the people I work with know it’s an important job,” Yoos said. “It needs to be done.”
Four out of 10 Canadians aged 16 to 65 years — about nine million people — struggle with low literacy according to ABC Life Literacy.
Studies indicate that of Canadians with low literacy, 15 per cent have serious problems dealing with any printed materials and 27 per cent can only deal with simple reading tasks.
In Fort Macleod, Project Read provides one-on-one tutoring for adults.
Project Read, which is funded by Alberta Advanced Education, also provides English as a second language instruction for adults.
The Partnership Approach to Learning (PAL) program is also co-ordinated by Project Read.
Adult volunteers provide one-on-one tutoring for Grade 2 and Grade 3 students at W.A. Day school.
“There are a lot of kids who seem to need development in that area,” Yoos said. “Hopefully it helps them develop an interest in reading.”
Project Read tutors listen as the children read aloud books they have chosen, helping the students with difficult words.
Project Read also co-ordinates the Books for Babies program in co-operation with public health nurses.
“It’s a bag full of all kinds of goodies and we give it to brand-new moms,” Yoos said.
Public health nurses deliver to mothers of every newborn in the area a bag containing items such as a library membership, books they can read to their children, and small toys.
“It’s so moms will read to their babies and start building their literacy skills,” Yoos said.
Project Read also co-ordinates family literacy programs, such as pajama parties at the library and urging restaurants to serve alphabet soup on International Literacy Day.
Immediate priorities for Yoos include setting up the PAL program at W.A. Day school and getting Project Read’s new office set up.
Project Read was formerly located in Fort Macleod Health Centre, but last week moved to the Lethbridge College satellite campus.
Yoos shares an office with Kate Glover, co-ordinator of Willow Creek Community Adult Learning Society, which oversees Project Read.
The Project Read office is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday and Friday.
More volunteers are needed to provide tutoring, and anyone interested should contact Karen Yoos at 403-553-4086.
“There is a real need for literacy tutoring,” Yoos said. “The people I work with feel the same way, that it is very valuable.”