The Central Okanagan Society Project is helping new Canadians through literacy – Okanagan Pipa News

The Central Okanagan Society Project is helping new Canadians through literacy – Okanagan

A Central Okanagan society is in one of its busiest years yet. The group is helping a number of refugees who have recently relocated to the Okanagan learn a new language.

The Project Literacy Society has been a staple in Central Okanagan for more than 35 years. On Wednesday afternoon, the group hosted a fundraiser, as Literacy Month kicks off across British Columbia.

“We have three main program areas, the largest being helping adult learners with English language skills,” said Project Literacy Chairperson Charlene Covington.

“We work hard to really understand what the learner needs and to match them with a tutor who can help them meet their needs to the best of our ability.”

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Hosting Project Literacy Annual Rise-a-Reader Fundraiser in Central Okanagan

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The society also serves schools throughout the region, helping students maintain literacy skills both in the classroom and at home.

“It is part of our Rise-a-Reader, it is supported by the provincial government. Whatever funds we raise in September, the government really helps lift them up in support of literacy,” said Paul Zurbier, executive director of Project Literacy.

Since the start of the war in Ukraine, Project Literacy has seen a huge increase in the number of learners as Central Okanagan becomes a new home for many refugees.

“We support between about 100 and 120 learners on a monthly basis,” Zurbier said.

“We have around 140 volunteers. Ukrainian immigrants are our largest ethnic group right now, so they’ve gone from zero to 38 in four or five months.”

Read more:

Central Okanagan schools welcome influx of Ukrainian students

The society says they are scrambling to find enough volunteers for all the lessons they offer, with about 30 people on their waiting list right now.

“We all do one-on-one learning, so for each new learner… we need a new volunteer to work with them. We want to bring in more volunteers, put them through the orientation process and We are in the process of matching them with the learners,” Covington said.

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If you are interested in volunteering for the society, more details are available on their website.

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