Literacy leaders

Alma Newman talks about her experiences as a tutor (Peter Lozinski/Daily Herald).

They all came from different backgrounds.

Some were retired teachers. Others, fitness instructors or government employees. Still others, social workers. But they had one thing in common. They all answered the call.

A dozen Prince Albert residents were seated around tables in the middle of the Multicultural Council office Friday and Saturday.

They gathered to learn how they could help. They gathered to learn to teach Canadians, old and new, how to improve their grasp of the English language.

Friday and Saturday was training day for the 12 volunteers, all new recruits for the Prince Albert Literacy Network’s Tutor Learner Connections program.

The program has been around for several years, and seeks to pair volunteer tutors with learners looking to improve their English reading, writing or speaking skills for one hour of one-on-one tutoring time per week.

The program was started by Kim Orynik and LaVera Schiele about five or six years ago.

Now, it boasts about 90 tutors working in the community.

They started the program because there was nothing available for English learners. That gap still exists today. Even with the tutors they have, and the 12 new trainees brought in over the weekend, there are still learners waiting for the one-on-one match the service aims for.

“There is a gap in Prince Albert for people needing to improve their English, for functional literacy in the community,” Orynik said.

For more on this strory, please see the April 5 print or e-edition of the Daily Herald.