For 27 years, PEI Literacy Alliance has been helping Islanders of all ages improve their literacy skills.
Through services, programs, and bursaries, many adults have received help with their literacy needs. Since 1998, 11,000 children have gone through their program called Ready Set Learn.
The Literacy Alliance has been given a huge boost from provincial government funding for the next two years. “Our work is not done,” says past Chairperson Ron Macdonald. “About 45 percent of Islanders still struggle with reading, writing, document use, and numeracy.”
Previous Education, Early Learning and Culture Minister Doug Currie says literacy and learning are essential to success in today’s economy and society. “The Alliance has been a literacy leader in our province for many years.”
“We will also work with our federal partners to find a longer-term solution that includes permanent core funding and susta
inability for the PEI Literacy Alliance,” says Minister of Workforce and Advanced Learning, Sonny Gallant.
“This announcement clearly shows our government’s commitment to building a culture of literacy and learning on PEI,” says Jinny Greaves, Executive Director of the PEI Literacy Alliance.
“We are grateful for this support, and we very much look forward to furthering our partnership.”
The Alliance has awarded $140,000 to adult learners since 2002. One aspect of the bursary program is for students working toward a grade 12 certificate or grade 12 equivalency (GED).
Kyla Thomson’s story
I am the recipient of the Peter Gzowski and Harry MacLauchlan Memorial Scholarship provided through the Alliance. I live in Belfast with my husband Brian, who is an Electrician, and our three children, Callum, 10, Gavin who is 7, and Evie who is 4.
After having a beautiful stillborn baby boy before completing our family with a baby girl, I decided nursing would be a good career fit for me. This was an option I had never considered as a young adult.
I stayed at home for a few years, and then it came time for the next step. Financially and mentally, I needed to return to work. I wanted the work to be meaningful, fulfilling, and something I could be proud of.
With some soul searching and with the encouragement of my husband, I took the plunge. In 2015, I returned to school by enrolling in the Adult Education program at Holland College to obtain four science credits and to upgrade my English.
On New Year’s Eve of that same year, our eldest son was diagnosed with leukemia. I needed to set aside my studies while we fought this battle.
We are so happy to say that Callum completed his treatments on August in 2016 and is currently thriving and cancer free.
I returned to school, and our life has settled back into our new normal, with blood work, follow-up appointments, and a constant fear in the pit of our stomach of the cancer returning.
This past spring, I was thrilled to learn that I was accepted into the Licensed Practical Nursing program at Holland College. I am now a few weeks into the program, and I know I am in the right place. I am proud of what our family has been able to accomplish. We have been able to draw strength from our adversity, and I am proud to show my children that it is never too late to pursue a dream.
I am so incredibly grateful for the financial assistance this scholarship has provided us as I pursue my dream of becoming a nurse.
For more information about the many supports available through the PEI Literacy Alliance, call 902-368-3620. Visit www.pei.literacy.ca.