Literacy matters to me: Gwen’s story

When Gwen came to Canada from China in 1954, she was 22 years old. She was a young mother who needed to support her family.

Gwen worked long hours at a diner in Kitsilano. There was no time to take courses and learn how to read in English.

It wasn’t until the 1990’s, when she was in her sixties, Gwen was able to enroll in a literacy program. She took a free course at her local community centre. Then, she went on to take courses through Vancouver School Board Continuing Education.

Most of Gwen’s reading until now has been limited to children’s books her grandchildren give her. This year, her granddaughter Natasha gave her a copy of The Westcoast Reader.

“Your newspaper has given great value to me,” she says.

She finds most of the stories easy to read. Her favourite articles are those with news from the BC Government.

Now at 88, Gwen says reading The Westcoast Reader has helped build her confidence to discuss current events with her family.

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