Literacy Alberni is a not-for-profit literacy provider serving the Port Alberni community and the west coast of Vancouver Island. In a town of unusually low literacy, we strive to elevate the literacy levels of the people in our community by providing adult and family literacy programming. We also engage in several innovative social enterprises and we’re the area’s immigrant settlement and welcoming centre, opening our doors to all newcomers and non-English speakers.

If you cannot find an answer to your question, please feel free to contact us directly.

Q. Who is eligible to come to Literacy Alberni?

A. Literacy Alberni’s mandate encompasses those who are 18 years old and over. All of our programs are no-cost to the adult learners.

Q. What is the difference between Klitsa Tutoring and Literacy Alberni?

A. Literacy Alberni’s clients are 18 years old and over and are tutored by volunteers from the community. Klitsa tutoring is one of Literacy Alberni’s social enterprises and a fee-for-service program that hires BCTF-certified teachers.

Q. What levels of reading do you teach?

A. The National Adult Literacy Survey of 1993 defined literacy as: “Using printed and written information to function in society, to achieve one’s goals, and to develop one’s knowledge and potential.” This definition does not tie literacy to one standard ability or grade level, but recognizes that literacy is related to the needs of each individual.

For this reason, Literacy Alberni does not simply teach general reading and writing courses. Instead, we strive to help our clients achieve functional literacy, meaning acquiring the reading and writing skills needed to meet their own personal goals.

For example, some clients will want help studying for their high school equivalency (previously known as the GED), while others may want to be able to pass a driver’s license exam or be able to read a bedtime story to their children.

Q. Do you help students learning English as a Second Language (ESL/ELL)?

A. Yes, we have an ESL/ELL program. Our English as a Second Language program helps immigrants to Canada improve their written and spoken English. Our tutors will work with the learners either one-to-one or in a small conversational group.

Our tutors deliver their lessons in a “settlement based model” to help our learners to find out more about their new home country.

All sessions are free and are scheduled at the convenience of the learners and their tutor.

Q. Where do Literacy Alberni students come from?

A. Most of our students are referred to us by someone to whom they have confided. This includes a counselor at social service agency, church member, friend, or relative. Most of our students have wanted help for a while, but didn’t know where to turn.

Q. Do I need teaching experience to be a tutor?

A. No! Tutors need not have previous tutoring or teaching experience. Literacy Alberni Society provides training, and our office staff and volunteers are available to answer questions and address concerns.

Q. How much time will be required to be a tutor?

A. Our tutors are required to make a one year commitment-that is the amount of time our students must commit to, and we want them to work with the same tutor for the entire year. As a tutor, you will meet with a student twice weekly for approximately 1-1.5 hours each session. You will plan and guide the lessons. With preparation time and travel time included, you can expect to be giving 1-2 hours a week of your time.