What We Are Working On
All of us are on the literacy continuum. Our focus is on those who are at the lower end of the scale, the most vulnerable. We work with children, adults and families to help them improve their literacy skills.
Each summer, more than 1100 children from across PEI are referred to our Ready Set Learn Program because they struggle in school. We limit the number of student referrals schools can make to our program. We only have the capacity to tutor up to 800 grades k-6 students. Resource teachers have told us they would refer many more students if they could. The need is great and our children are tomorrow’s leaders. They need strong skills to reach their potential and to make PEI a great place to live.
The literacy bar is always rising. 100 years ago, if you could sign your name you were considered literate. Thirty years ago, a grade 9 education was considered adequate. The level of skills we need continues to rise.
Today, 46% of working-aged Islanders do not have the literacy skills required to work and thrive in a knowledge-based, digital society.
Ready Set Learn!
- 11,500+ children have been helped by our free program since 1998
- 400+ Post-secondary students have been employed by the program (24 annually)
- 96% of children maintained or improved their reading skills
- Recently expanded to include literacy camps on school PD days
Free Books for Kids
22,000+ books have been given to children in need across PEI (since 2010)
PEI Volunteers for Literacy
- 26 volunteer tutors have worked with 38 adult learners
- Our learners collectively have spent more than 500 hours practicing their reading and writing skills
- 93% of learners gained confidence in their skills
Adult Learner Program
$141,750 has been awarded to adult learners who are working towards their GED (since 2002)
We know that our Ready Set Learn! program has been successful. Each year we do an extensive evaluation with parents, children, tutors, and teachers. Last year 97% of our 743 participants maintained or improved their skills over the summer. Children can lose skills over the summer because they are not practicing them. These children are less prepared for school in the fall. For children who struggle in school, this program can really make a difference.
We have many success stories from adults who received tutoring with us or who have received a bursary or scholarship from us. Many have reached their educational goals. For some, this meant getting a GED so they could find other work. For others, this meant going to finish a degree at university or college. No matter the story, these learners have overcome difficult times and barriers. They have also shown that, with a little help, they can reach their potential and go on to build a career. They also become more likely to show their children the value of an education. Thus, breaking the low-literacy inter-generational cycle. Read about Kim’s adult learning journey.
Long-Term Desired Outcome
Ultimately, we aim to create a culture of literacy and learning, where all Islanders have the opportunity to reach their potential and contribute to our society.
There are large international surveys that look at literacy levels in 27 Countries. In 2015, the survey showed that 46% of Islanders struggle with foundational skills such as reading, document use and numeracy. This number is shockingly high, but it is an improvement. A similar survey done in 2003 put PEI’s low-literacy rates at 48%. While progress is slow, we are optimistic.
Our hope is that when the next survey happens (likely in 10 years), that PEI will have more citizens who are better equipped to fully participate in society and improve their lives.