Fostering Literacy helps children, inspires youth

Fostering Literacy programs in North Vancouver Island communities support school-age children who struggle with reading and provide a paid work experience for teens. Children practice and grow their reading skills with a trained tutor in a one-on-one setting, with the emphasis on making reading fun.

“We’re so grateful to be able to offer the Fostering Literacy program at four schools,” said Leslie Dyck, executive director at the Mount Waddington Family Literacy Society. “We see the direct impact it has on the young readers’ skills and confidence, and it has also inspired teen tutors and helped form their post-secondary aspirations.”

Two former Fostering Literacy tutors are now following career paths that support others and improve people’s quality of life.

Payge’s story

Payge Gagne was a Fostering Literacy reading tutor at Gwa’sala-’Nakwaxda’xw Nation School.

“I was really happy to be a part of the Fostering Literacy program,” said Payge. “The first time I read with one Grade 2 student she was quite shy. She barely read one page. But by the end of the program, she was actually excited to read, and she read almost the whole book to me!”

Today, Payge is working as an Education Assistant at the school.

“Tutoring really helped solidify that I wanted to work in a classroom environment,” said Payge. “I highly recommend being a tutor. It’s fun and gives you the opportunity to build relationships with the kids.”

Nina’s story

Nina Reid was a Fostering Literacy reading tutor at Eagle View Elementary School.

“Every day that I tutored, it was interesting and fulfilling working with the children,” she said. “I was delighted to see the children warming up to me through the school year, sharing their life events with me, and reading with more confidence and fluency.”

Amidst pandemic protocols and restrictions, after working with students for just a few months, Nina said, “Some of them can smoothly read a level above their original one. One of the children who I’ve tutored mentioned that she is ahead of her reading level in class and is moving to a level beyond her current grade. I was excited to hear that and to see her literacy skills improving when reading with her.”

Now Nina is a first-year psychology student at University of British Columbia.

“The program gave me inspiration to pursue a career where I can support others to enhance their quality of life,” she said. “The children taught me the importance of patience and progress.”

Support struggling young readers

Fostering Literacy supports more than 375 children in 23 British Columbia communities by providing one-to-one sessions with trained tutors.

Fostering Literacy programs are supported by RBC Future Launch, private foundations and individual donors like you.

Your donation of $30, $60, $100 … or more will help pay for play-based activities and books, tutor training, and training for parents to support their child’s reading at home.

Make your gift to the Decoda Literacy Foundation

About us

Decoda Literacy Solutions is BC’s provincial literacy organization. We support community-based literacy programs and initiatives in over 400 communities across BC by providing resources, training and funds.

Our work supports children and families, youth, adults, Indigenous and immigrant communities to help build strong individuals, strong families and strong communities.

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