Successful Learner – Tutor Matches
Literacy support improves lives
Two years ago, Adam was homeless. He had spent the last 20 years as an alcoholic, going from minimum wage job to job with only a Grade 10 level education.
As he began to get help with his addiction, councillors at Freedom’s Door pointed him to Project Literacy Central Okanagan Society. As a child, Adam did well in school and 20 years later, he had a goal to finish high school and begin college. Adam felt respected by the staff at Project Literacy, describing his first time walking in as “warm, welcoming and uplifting.” Project Literacy’s educators helped Adam to set a goal – to take his LPI and get accepted into the Electronics Engineering program at Okanagan College.
“Part of my journey was rediscovering my born talent – a gift for working with electronics”
He came to Project Literacy on a regular basis, completing practice essays and comprehension tests. One of the most memorable moments of his literacy journey was writing an impressive essay off the top of his head. He says that he’ll never forget the educators “running to the other offices and showing it off to people.” Having his talents and abilities celebrated was a new experience for him.
Adam was able to complete his LPI with a fantastic level 5 score. He has been accepted to Okanagan College and will be starting the Electronics Engineering program in the fall. Adam says that Project Literacy made him feel like “the sky’s the limit” and through that encouragement and support, he’s been able to reach his goals and begin a new chapter in his life.
A free literacy based program is necessary for individuals to build their confidence
When Zhenya moved to Canada two years ago, she spoke only Russian. She was intimidated by going into public where people might ask her questions in English. Zhenya’s low English literacy left her to spend most of her days alone in her apartment, feeling isolated and alone.
Zhenya had a goal to pursue her Permanent Residency and to increase her confidence in speaking English. When she first visited Project Literacy, her husband spoke on her behalf. Through working with her tutor, Bev, she made progress on her English skills, influencing her confidence in day to day life.
Zhenya is especially grateful to Project Literacy because she found it difficult to find any other services in Kelowna that would help her to improve her skills.
“I hadn’t studied English anywhere and only Project Literacy agreed to help me”
Her tutor, Bev, acknowledges that when they first started working together, “Zhenya really had trouble expressing herself.” Coming to Project Literacy gave her a place to be immersed in the language as her friends all spoke Russian and she had previously “had no opportunities to practice English.”
Zhenya is now looking for work in a clothing store and regularly volunteers with Project Literacy. Bev feels that “it’s been a positive few months for her,” with great achievements and many new goals that she is determined to reach.