How We Do It

Our Education Coordinators assess each learner’s literacy skills and goals, and then match them with a suitable tutor. Throughout our 25 years of operation, hundreds of dedicated members of our community have stepped forward to volunteer as tutors to ensure that literacy assistance is available to all adults who require it. They highly empathetic, innovative and learner centered.

The commitment of these men and women provides the foundation of our organization.

Our community of tutors is comprised of university students, teachers, professionals, trades people, and retired persons. Many have ESL training and experience. During recent years we have found that the caliber of our tutors continues to improve steadily – matching increasingly complex learner needs.

For $1000, we can train 12 tutors who donate an average of 128 hours annually. So, for every $1000 invested we provide nearly $40,000 of targeted learning support.

All of our tutors receive training and on-going support to ensure they have the necessary tools to help learners achieve their personal, academic or vocational goals.

We offer a safe, welcoming and cheerful learning centre centrally located in downtown Kelowna that includes seven small but bright tutor-learner study rooms. Many tutor-learner pairs also meet offsite when and where it suits them best.

A tutor-learner match may run for weeks or years, depending on a learner’s goal(s). For example, ten hours of math skills upgrading may be all that is necessary for a learner to prepare for the second year classroom portion of a trade ticket. On the other hand, a learner with only a Grade six education might spend a year or more preparing to take the GED for a Licensed Practical Nursing entrance exam.

Our learners often return twice or even three times for additional literacy assistance. Our commitment to lifelong learning dictates our open door policy, which encourages learners to return as frequently as they need to.

In the past year, 472 community members received learning support from 125 tutors. According to tutor survey we conducted in February 2013, each tutor gives on average 10.7 hours per month of their time to Project Literacy tutoring. Over the course of a year that amounts to 128.4 hours. If one multiplies 128.4 by 125 (our average number of active tutors throughout the year), one discovers that Project Literacy’s community of tutors provided 16,050 hours of support this past year. In November 2008, the Director of BC’s Gaming Commission’s Licensing and Grants Division informed Project Literacy that our tutors are designated as “Skilled Volunteers” and consequently their in-kind labour is valued at $25/hour.

The 16,050 hours of support provided by Project Literacy each year multiplied by $25 equates to a quantifiable community benefit in the form of literacy tutoring equal to $401,250 per year. And, this is only the tip of the iceberg. The bulk of the value created flows from the 472 community members, who for the rest of their lives will be better able to contribute to our economy and our society.