Today, it will be with a heavy heart that I say goodbye to the students of Journeys Adult Education Center. After decades of service to Winnipeg's inner-city communities, the school is closing its doors, due to poor funding.
The school has enriched my life in ways I could not have predicted, and my time there will live on in my heart forever.
A few literacy facts:
- Number of Manitobans enrolled in the province’s provincially funded adult literacy programs in 2006: 2,700
- In 2008 there were only 46 adult literacy programs and 10 family literacy programs funded by the provincial government, but there were more than 30 communities whose literacy levels were below level 3 (grade 12) and had no programs.
Amount budgeted by the provincial government for family and adult literacy programs (2007): just under $2.2 million.
- Length of time it would take the government to recoup the expense of literacy upgrading an individual (in terms of improved wages, decreased support payments and general productivity) 4 months. (T. Scott Murray, Data Angel Policy Research, 2008)
Literacy is the basis for the well-being of individuals, families, and the whole province. The ability to read, write and perform basic math has an impact well beyond those skills. Low literacy is, on the surface, an invisible handicap. Its effects, however, are not. Investing in literacy makes economic, social and political sense/cents.
To Journeys' alumni...