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Program Information

The Peel Literacy Guild's main program is the provision of one-on-one basic literacy instruction to English-speaking adults, 16 years of age and over, who are out of school and have difficulty dealing with print {below level three on the International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS)}. All of the one-on-one tutoring sessions are delivered by volunteer tutors who received training and support from co-ordinating staff. The Guild has an extensive adult literacy library containing materials that have a controlled reading level and adult story content. Computer literacy and numeracy programs are also available

In addition to the one-on-one program, small group classes are delivered by staff and volunteers. These groups are designed to be a bridge to integration into Adult Basic Literacy and Numeracy classes provided by the Peel District School Board and the Ontario Basic Skills at Sheridan College, or to provide service to those in the criminal justice system at the Ontario Correctional Institute.

Because the Guild has over 60 special needs learners each year, who have developmental or physical challenges, the Guild has developed a number of innovative ways of providing service. Examples include:

  1. With the support of the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB), the Guild trained some staff and volunteer tutors in the delivery of Level I Braille.
  2. With the donation of a specialized computer system (SARAW), designed to deliver literacy to non-verbal, physically challenged adults, a number of these learners are now able to get literacy training.
  3. Through a partnership with Community Living Mississauga, the Guild has been able to provide integrated literacy instruction to developmentally challenged adults.
  4. With a new partnership with PAR, a support program for those with mental health issues, the Guild now trains their clients as tutors to deliver literacy training to PAR clients with reading difficulties.

Over the course of the Guild's history, it has been active in the overall development of the literacy field. The Guild has produced a number of learner anthologies, collections of writing done by adult new readers. It has been involved in the development of two computer literacy programs, one dealing with training employees on how to handle hazardous wastes and one on helping adult non-readers access public transit. In 1997, the Guild supporting a project to develop a Goal Setting for Learners curriculum and instructor's guide, in 1999 we field testing a demonstration project and in 2001 we were part of an advisory group writing bulletins to help learners set goals.

An important part of the Guild's activities includes networking with other literacy providers to ensure that there is sufficient service in our region and that learners are able to move to advanced classes with ease. The Guild is a founding member of the Peel/Halton/Dufferin Adult Learning Network and has participated in a number of leadership roles involving other literacy and volunteer umbrella groups, which are listed in the Background section.