Project Literacy volunteer Graham Bell helping Phuong Pham brush up on her English language skills during the organization’s 25th anniversary celebration in 2012.—Capital News file

Project Literacy Kelowna wins Canadian premiers’ award

The Kelowna-based group named this year’s winner of the Council of the Federation Literacy Award.

Project Literacy Kelowna has been recognized with a national award.

British Columbia’s oldest independent literacy organization is being awarded the Council of the Federation Literacy Award today, International Literacy Day, for its work to develop literacy skills and build community ties throughout the Central Okanagan.

The Project Literacy Kelowna Society provides free tutoring in reading, writing, language proficiency, digital literacy, mathematics and financial literacy, with the help of 150 dedicated volunteers. Since the organization opened its doors in 1986, the training it has provided has helped more than 6,000 residents from different national and cultural backgrounds enhance their literacy skills.

“Project Literacy is deeply honoured to be the recipient of the Council of the Federation Literacy Award. Many thanks to executive director Christine McWillis, staff, board and volunteers whose tremendous dedication and talent serve to enrich the lives of others,” said Fern Carr, president and chairwoman of the Project Literacy Kelowna Society board of directors.

The local group, rather than take a one-size-fits-all approach to teaching, staff and volunteers says it takes the time to work with learners’ different needs, learning styles and literacy goals to customize an educational experience that fits the individual.

The Council of the Federation, which includes all 13 provincial and territorial premiers, created the literacy award in 2004.

Each province and territory chooses a group that has made a significant contribution to literacy. Award recipients receive a certificate signed by the premier of their province or territory, a Council of the Federation Literacy Award medallion and $300.

The Province of B.C. supports literacy in partnership with Decoda Literacy Solutions, a provincewide literacy organization that provides resources, training and funds to support community-based literacy and learning projects and programs in over 400 communities throughout British Columbia.

“Literacy skills help British Columbians reach their full potential and lead successful lives,” said B.C. Education minister Rob Fleming.

“The work of community literacy organizations like Project Literacy Kelowna Society is instrumental in improving the quality of life of children and families, youth, adults and seniors in B.C. I want to congratulate the dedicated staff and volunteers at Project Literacy Kelowna Society on earning this well-deserved recognition.”

For more information about Project Literacy Kelowna, go to

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