On Monday, BC’s Minister of Advanced Education, Innovation and Technology John Yap chose Abbotsford Community Services as the location to announce $2.4 million to support 68 projects across the province in 2012-13, under the Community Adult Literacy Program (CALP). One of the projects is a partnership between the University of the Fraser Valley and Abbotsford Community Services, and a further seven projects have UFV partnering with groups in Agassiz, Chilliwack, Mission and Maple Ridge. Support for UFV’s eight partnership projects totals $264,000.
“Working together, we’re opening doors for thousands of adult learners – helping them upgrade their reading and writing skills so they can pursue higher education and training, advance in their lives and careers, and more fully engage in their communities,” said Minister Yap.
“Programs like these set people along the path of learning, for the joy and successes it brings,” said Mark Evered, UFV president and vice-chancellor. “UFV is here because the Fraser Valley community recognized the need and value of education, and fought for us. We have not forgotten that. UFV is committed to fulfilling the dreams, aspirations and expectations of our community. We are delighted to be here today to recognize the partnerships that are transforming our region. We will continue to need your support to ensure that those for whom we built these programs will continue to have access to one of Canada’s finest universities, right in their own community.”
UFV student Jackie Rillera said, “This program provided an opportunity for me to complete my math and English upgrading while my son attended his own preschool classes provided by the Family Literacy Program. I believe the decision to go back to school and work on my upgrading has helped my own children understand the importance of education. I am now in my third year at the University of the Fraser Valley working towards my bachelor of social work degree.”
“CALP connects people,” said Maria Bos-chan, coordinator of the program at Abbotsford Community Services, as well as UFV department head for English as a Second Language. “Learners receive assistance from tutors to meet their literacy goals, but learners also help tutors understand the challenges adults with low literacy skills face every day. Something I hear over and over again from tutors is how much they have learned from the learners they have been placed with. Many tutors too are humbled by the courage and perseverance they witness in these adults who are working on increasing their skills years, and sometimes decades, after leaving school.”
Following the announcement at Abbotsford Community Services, Minister Yap met with UFV’s administration, and toured the UFV Abbotsford campus greeting students at the Centre for Indo-Canadian Studies, Student Union Society and Fashion Design program.