Adult literacy program still lending a hand

Adult literacy program still lending a hand

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The Read Write Now program offers free classes run by volunteers for adults wanting to improve their literacy skills.

More than 40,000 West Australians have been assisted with adult literacy skills by a program celebrating its 40th anniversary.

The Read Write Now program began in 1977 with a handful of volunteer adult literacy tutors and has since become a statewide program with 640 volunteer tutors.

About 46 per cent of adult Australians have problems with literacy each day.

Current volunteers meet every week with adult students to work on improving reading and writing skills.

Some of the adults were studying and needed support to complete their courses while others were employed and looking to secure promotions.

Read Write Now coordinator of operations Robyn Knight said students had reported substantial changes to their lives.

“We will have people who have always done manual work and have an accident,” she said.

“They’re still of working age but don’t have the necessary literacy skills to apply for jobs.

“The skills they can gain from our program will help them get back into the workforce and into meaningful work.”

Ms Knight said the program regularly saw parents who struggled to help children with schoolwork or struggled to get involved in school activities because of their poor literacy skills.

She said there were a range of reasons adults had poor literacy skills including having been forced to miss out on education because of illness or travel.

She said a lot of participants were people who had as children mucked around at school often went into the workforce afterward without basic literacy.

The free program helped about 1000 students a year ranging from TAFE students to grandparents wanting to read with their grandchildren.

The program has helped residents in Armadale and Gosnells since its earliest days.

Most people participated in the program for six to 12 months and the one-on-one sessions were generally 90 minutes and held in local libraries.

Students must be more than 18-years, permanent residents and have good spoken English.

Call 1800 018 802 for more information.