More grants for literacy programs for Houston

The provincial government and Coast Mountain College have confirmed two more grants for literacy programs for Houston Link to Learning.

The local social services agency is getting a combined $47,336 for a family literacy program and an adult literacy program.

And this is on top of several grants received earlier this year, relieving the agency of worries it might not have enough money to fully continue its programs.

Although this new money originates with the provincial government it is sent first to the college which then sends it onward to Houston Link to Learning.

“There are models out there where a 10 per cent administrative fee is charged, but we don’t do that,” said college communications director Sarah Zimmerman.

The college will also offer community group assistance in writing grant applications, she said.

Houston Link to Learning has combined literacy education with food programs, including its community garden.

“People don’t often see the connection between garden and literacy, but there’s a lot of learning that happens in that garden,” said Houston Link to Learning executive director Marian Ells earlier this year of various workshops run at the garden.

“It’s a strategy to getting people talking to each other and passing knowledge on.”

Grants also received this year will help finance improvements to its kitchen, providing a larger space in which to prepare foods.

In all, Coast Mountain College is funneling $268,454 from the province for literacy programs from Haida Gwaii to Houston, part of $2.4 million for 69 agencies in the 2019-2020 fiscal year.

“Community-based literacy programs are connecting British Columbians with one-on-tutoring, small learning groups and tailored literacy programs to give them basic literacy skills such as reading, writing, math and computer skills,” a provincial press release stated.

(With files from Flavio Nienow)

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