by Gloria Welton
PEI Literacy Alliance recently held their annual general meeting, where members learned about the accomplishments of the past year. The team of staff and board members are certainly an example of determination and perseverance, The Little Engine That Could!
The Alliance works to make it easier for adults and children to access literacy services so that they can reach their full potential. They hold fast to the belief that Literacy is a basic right.
“An investment in literacy is an investment in the future of PEI,” says Jinny Greaves, Executive Director. She says research shows improving literacy and essential skills leads to many positive outcomes, including the following:
- More employment options and higher income
- Better health and wellbeing
- Increased community and family engagement
- A stronger economy
Jinny says there is still a lot of work to do, but they are proud of what has been accomplished this past year and their plans for the year ahead.
Accomplishments in 2022
- They supported 5,865 clients with free literacy programs and resources.
- 646 children gained literacy and social-emotional strategies to help them conquer their learning challenges through the Ready Set Learn summer program. The motto is to never give up on yourself.
- The website now features a parent resource page on social emotional learning tools, which builds on their belief that people with strong social-emotional skills are better able to handle everyday challenges.
- 23 future educators gained exposure and experience by taking tutor training and gaining opportunities to work with children.
- 42,676 books were distributed to children on PEI, serving 5,207 families through Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.
- Each November, they deliver the Gift of Reading program in partnership with the PEI Public Library Service and food banks. “Through the Gift of Reading, we have distributed over 12,000 high-quality children’s books to families across PEI in Christmas hampers.”
- 10 adult learners working toward a grade 12 certificate or equivalency (GED) received financial support of either $750 or $1,500 through bursaries and scholarships.
- Thousands of Islanders are better informed about the cost of low literacy and the benefits of increasing literacy skills through regular sharing of information.
- At the annual Celebration of Learning fundraiser in 2022, about 100 people attended and $27,500 was raised. This year’s event celebrating Island learners’ success stories will be held November 23, 2023. All proceeds go to their literacy programs and services.
- New funding was secured for the Essential Employability Skills Project, which helps adults enter the workforce and make career decisions that impact their future. Look for these training opportunities in 2023-24. “We have heard that participants attending this program have developed a sense of belonging and feel their confidence rising.”
“The recipe for success speaks to the determination and foresight of the PEI Literacy Alliance, the people they hire to put these programs on, and the participants and community and industry partners that come onboard to make it all happen,” says Mary Hunter, Director, Skills PEI.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
about PEI Literacy Alliance programs, services, and events, call 902-368-3620.