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Project Read co-ordinator shares her love of reading

janet archer

Janet Archer is the new co-ordinator of Project Read, the adult literacy program in Fort Macleod.

New Project Read co-ordinator Janet Archer remembers a time in her life when she didn’t like to read.
Archer had poor eyesight and found it difficult to read. Then she got her first pair of glasses at the age of 13.
“Once I had them, a whole new world opened up,” Archer said. “I started reading and Iā€ˆhaven’t put a book down since.”
Now Archer wants to help other people discover the joy of reading.
A long-time tutor for the adult literacy program in Fort Macleod, Archer replaces Karen Yoos as the co-ordinator.
“It’s really, really important,” Archer said of the literacy training Project Read provides adults. “There are so many people in our town who could use our services.”
Project Read is the community literacy program offered through the Willow Creek Community Adult Learning Society and funded by Alberta Advanced Education and Technology.
Project Reads trains people to provide one-on-one tutoring to adults who need help with reading, writing, spelling or math, or who are learning English as a second language.
Project Read also co-ordinates the Partnership Approach to Learning (PAL) program in which adults provide one-on-one tutoring to school children who need to improve their reading skills.
Archer brings extensive experience to her new role as Project Read co-ordinator.
Archer for 11 years taught adult literacy as a volunteer in Banff, where she was running a child care agency.
Archer went to the Banff library in search of an opportunity to volunteer with children in school. Instead, she was offered the chance to tutor adults.
She wound up in charge of a class of four Banff Springs Hotel employees all looking to improve their English. Two of her students were Chinese, one was French and one was Spanish.
“It was a complete literacy program, mostly to speak and to understand English, but it got into writing and printing,” Archer said. “With no common language in the class, it was quite a challenge. We did a lot of gesturing, a lot of pointing to pictures.”
Two of her students wanted to learn English so they could get better jobs when they returned to France and Spain, and the others just wanted to be able to function better in the community and on the job.
“I loved every minute of it, especially when you saw that smiling face when they said something the way it was to be said. It was like gold.”
Archer moved 10 years ago to Fort Macleod, where her grandfather A.F. Grady was the town’s second mayor and helped draft the wording of Treaty 7, and where she had a sister living.
Five years ago Archer joined Project Read as an adult literacy tutor.
Every Thursday from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Fort Macleod RCMP Centennial Library, Archer leads a free English as a second language class, working with as many as eight students at one time.
Project Read is recruiting people to serve as tutors for adult students.
“We can put volunteer tutors to work at all levels,” Archer said.
The next round of tutor training is Wednesday, Sept. 26, and another session will be held in November.
“You need to be able to speak and read English, and you have to have lots of patience,” Archer said. “You have to be willing to understand other cultures as well.”
For information about becoming a Project Read tutor, contact Janet Archer at 403-553-4106 or

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