Monday September 6, 2010

Community News


Giving A Hoot

CLCS calls for volunteer tutors




he Chilliwack Learning Community Society (CLCS) is looking for OWLs. Not barn, horned or snowy owls - human ones. OWL stands for Outreach Worker for Literacy; human OWLs are a key component in making Chilliwack a more literate community.


OWLs (also known as Literacy Tutors) are volunteers in a unique literacy outreach program. They receive free training by the University of the Fraser Valley and then are matched with an adult learner in the community. Learners come with all different kinds of backgrounds - some are new immigrants, some are people who didn't complete their grade 12, some are families wishing to improve their literacy skills, some are adults returning to school to complete academic goals. Learners and OWLs work together in one-on-one pairs, in small groups, or in classrooms. Sometimes OWLs are integrated into community programs and become available to assist people on an "as needed" basis.           Michael Berger and Debbie Denault.

Debbie Denault, the Community Literacy Coordinator for the CLCS, matches learners with OWLs, and OWLs with programs. The matching process takes into consideration the preferences, skills and availability of learners and OWLs, as well as the needs of the organization. Denault stated "In order to become an OWL, tutors are given a free training program which includes information about how adults learn to read and write, how we learn to learn, how to help people set and meet their learning goals, what volunteers need to know about volunteering, and more. We look for OWLs of all ages and backgrounds - our youngest is just out of high school and our oldest ones are retirees."

Michael Berger, Workplace Essential Skills Coordinator for the CLCS, said "Having a trained pool of literacy tutors is important to Chilliwack community members. We are looking to match new tutors with employees of local businesses that can use the extra boost in the workplace."

This year's training begins with an on-line self-study course followed by a training day on Saturday September 18th at the UFV Chilliwack Yale Road campus.

Registration closes on Saturday September 11. For more information about becoming a literacy tutor or to register for the training, or for more information, call Debbie Denault at 604-792-0025 x2434 Option 2 or Michael Berger at Option 1 or you can contact them via e-mail here or here. You can also find out more information on the website:


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