Adult Literacy Programs

Happy learners and volunteers holding author Deb Ellis's book.

Book Club 2018 with author Deb Ellis (3rd from left)

1. One-to-One Tutoring


This program partners adults who want to improve their skills with trained volunteers who meet for one to three hours each week. In creating matches, we consider the needs, schedules and interests of both the learner and the volunteer tutor. The learner’s goals and individualized plan guide the tutoring process. Ongoing staff support and assessment are provided. We rely on the help and support of approximately 100 amazing tutors who also provide encouragement, focus and mentoring. Learners can be involved in tutoring and / or group learning at the same time.

2. Group Learning


Action Read offers a variety of groups that focus on improving reading, writing and numeracy for learners who are at basic and intermediate literacy levels. We offer short-term and ongoing groups. There are 5 – 8 learners are in each group.

Current groups include Book Club, Reading and Writing, Creative Writing (with an Indigenous lens), GED Readiness, Computers and a variety of employability groups such as Cashier Training, Receptionist Training and others. We also respond to learner needs by offering short term groups on a range of topics such as healthy living and nutrition, financial literacy, and other Essential Skills focused themes.

3. Computer Learning


Learners at Action Read are using computers to improve their reading and writing skills in all kinds of ways. They are exploring the web, reading and write e-mails, researching health and employment issues, and practicing their literacy skills. They are using software that accommodates special learning needs.

Computer Groups runs every Monday evening from 6 to 8 pm and Thursday afternoon from 1-4 pm, where our computer facilitator is available to help learners like Patricia, David, Sylvia and Andrew. We are a proctored site for Northstar Digital Literacy Assessments, and we make use of other tools and resources as well.

Patricia is sight impaired. She uses the computers at Action Read to type her life story, using Microsoft Word. She uses ZoomText, which enlarges everything on the screen, making it easier for Patricia to see and use the computer. The flat screen monitors help her see what she’s reading and writing, as well.

David has been coming to the Computer Group to read articles from the local paper. Using Kurzweil, he scans the article he wants to read. He then puts on his headphones, clicks the mouse and listens to the article being read to him from the computer.

Sylvia is coming to the Computer Group to get extra help with her job search. She is working on writing cover letters, using Word Q in Microsoft Word. As she writes, a word prediction drop down box moves alongside her cursor, helping her with her writing and editing.  She is finding fewer mistakes in her writing now and is not as worried when she sends out her resume.

Andrew is interested in going to a horseback riding camp for people with disabilities. The Computer Group facilitator has been helping Andrew learn how to use the web to search for affordable camps that he could go to. As well, with help, Andrew has opened his first e-mail account. Andrew is going to send his first e-mail message to one of the camp directors, asking if the cost of camp could be reduced for him.

3. Computer Learning Program


Learners at Action Read are using computers to improve their reading and writing skills in all kinds of ways. They are exploring the web, reading and write e-mails, researching health and employment issues, and practicing their literacy skills. They are using software that accommodates special learning needs.

Computer Groups runs every Monday evening from 6 to 8 pm and Thursday afternoon from 1-4 pm, where our computer facilitator is available to help learners like Patricia, David, Sylvia and Andrew. We are a proctored site for Northstar Digital Literacy Assessments, and we make use of other tools and resources as well.

Patricia is sight impaired. She uses the computers at Action Read to type her life story, using Microsoft Word. She uses ZoomText, which enlarges everything on the screen, making it easier for Patricia to see and use the computer. The flat screen monitors help her see what she’s reading and writing, as well.

David has been coming to the Computer Group to read articles from the local paper. Using Kurzweil, he scans the article he wants to read. He then puts on his headphones, clicks the mouse and listens to the article being read to him from the computer.

Sylvia is coming to the Computer Group to get extra help with her job search. She is working on writing cover letters, using Word Q in Microsoft Word. As she writes, a word prediction drop down box moves alongside her cursor, helping her with her writing and editing.  She is finding fewer mistakes in her writing now and is not as worried when she sends out her resume.

Andrew is interested in going to a horseback riding camp for people with disabilities. The Computer Group facilitator has been helping Andrew learn how to use the web to search for affordable camps that he could go to. As well, with help, Andrew has opened his first e-mail account. Andrew is going to send his first e-mail message to one of the camp directors, asking if the cost of camp could be reduced for him.

What does “learner-centred” mean?

Learner-centred means that tutor-learner pairs and group members set goals together with the tutor and / or group facilitator and decide what they want to work on. The learners are the focus of what goes on in every tutoring or group session.

Is literacy learning just about reading, writing and numeracy?

Learning at Action Read means working on improving reading, writing, digital literacy, numeracy and other Essential Skills. Being part of our programs can also help with improving other important life skills. These include speaking out, listening to others and time-management. Joining a program is a terrific opportunity to meet new people, work as a team and feel a sense of belonging to a community.

I want to work on my literacy skills, but I’m nervous to get started.

In a group, you work with people with similar goals and challenges. You get support, not just from the facilitator, but your fellow group members as well. During the intake and assessment (your introduction to Action Read), staff see what group would be the best fit for your abilities and needs.

I’d like to volunteer at Action Read. Can I help out in a group?

Absolutely! Group volunteers get a chance to work with a variety of learners, without having to plan a single lesson. Learners benefit by getting more individualized attention and help, when needed.