Vernon Launches Literacy Now Program

Table of Contents


The Literacy Now Communities program assists BC communities to develop action plans to meet their local literacy needs. Debbie Schiller, coordinator for the Literacy Now Task Group in the Vernon area, wrote about challenges facing literacy providers in her region. The following is excerpted from her letter:

In March, 2005, a small group of "Initiators" from the communities of Vernon, Coldstream, Lumby and Cherryville met to consider launching a Literacy Now initiative. We recognized that literacy programs and services in our region were mostly disconnected and focused in the larger Vernon community, with few or no services available in the outlying smaller communities. It made sense for us to work as a small region, so we created the VCLC Literacy Now Task Group.

Our task group worked hard to gather information from all literacy service providers and a diverse group of regional partners to fully reflect the hopes and dreams of each community.

In July 2006, we proudly delivered our Regional Literacy Plan to 2010 Legacies Now. Planning funds from 2010 Legacies Now allowed us to hire a researcher and two coordinators. The response we received from our communities was very positive. Partner meetings were well attended and individuals provided thoughtful feedback to our requests for information.

The VCLC Regional Literacy Plan focused on issues rather than creating new programs. Goals include increasing awareness of local literacy issues, programs and services; improving access to and communication between programs and services; addressing funding and other supports; and establishing a Literacy Centre for the region.

Literacy Now Communities guides communities through a planning process to identify and address local literacy needs. The program focuses on building partnerships, networking and sharing best practices within BC's communities and regions. Literacy Now Communities is supported by the Province of British Columbia.