We live in a world filled with fires and floods, public health emergencies, and economic insecurity. It can feel scary at times, I know. I'm back home now, but, for a few weeks this summer, I was evacuated from my home in Yellowknife because of wildfires. It was a time of great uncertainty. But during this instability, I knew that when I returned to work, I would be helping to make life more secure for people. You can do that, too, through the gift of literacy.
My name is Keith, and I'd like to tell you about some of the wonderful people I work with as an Instructor Coordinator for United for Literacy.
Yellowknife is an incredible place to live. It has a young population; the average age is 35! About half of the people are from Indigenous groups, and there is a rich and diverse newcomer population, including people from Korea, Bangladesh, Mexico, Uganda, and the Philippines—to name just a few.
There is a wide range of learning and language needs, both here and across Canada. Many newcomers are interested in passing the Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) and Canadian Citizenship exams. In the past year, two learners have passed the language qualifications and three are preparing for the test. Along with teaching the facts needed to pass the test, we also encourage civic engagement:
People who have lived their whole lives here, but who have faced barriers to learning, need support, too, including skills upgrading and having one-to-one support on their learning journey.
I bet you know how good it feels for someone to encourage and support you when times are tough. People who struggle with reading comprehension may ask for support in
These tasks are part of our learners' daily lives. Knowing that I can help things like these seem less intimidating and encourage people to feel more confident and secure makes me feel good. You can share this spirit of inclusion and encouragement by donating to United for Literacy today.
This summer during the wildfires, we saw how urgently people require strong literacy skills. Imagine knowing that you are in danger, but not having the reading skills to find the information on how to get to safety. When day-to-day activities cause worry, finding shelter, transportation, and healthcare during an emergency may seem insurmountable.
United for Literacy staff, volunteers, and partners are there to meet people where they are and create safe and welcoming conditions for learning.
All our programming is provided at no cost to families, thanks to the support of donors like you.
You can take pride in knowing you can bring some peace of mind and stability by helping to build healthier, safer, and stronger communities. I'm confident that if the learners we work with daily had a chance, they would thank you personally.