learning for life

STRATEGY
Oct 6, 2008

Report of the Mayor’s Task Force on Literacy and Early Childhood Development

table of contents
Message From Mayor and council 7

InTRoDuCTIon AnD BACkGRounD
Literacy On the Agenda Early childhood On the Agenda Mayor’s task Force On Literacy And Early childhood Development community Literacy Planning School District Literacy Plan Measuring Achievement And Progress

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10 13 14 15 18 19

RECoMMEnDATIonS
Recommendations - Overview General Recommendations Early Learning Learning - Middle Years And teens Adult And Workplace Learning Social Engagement: community And Interpersonal Learning Personal Development And Lifelong Learning

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24 26 27 33 40 46 50

AppEnDICES
Appendix A | Mayor’s task Force on Literacy and Early childhood – Members Appendix c | Selected Resources Appendix D | Institutions and Agencies Providing Learning Services in Surrey Appendix E | Learning Services table Appendix F | Facilities Map Appendix G | Personal Learning commitment

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56 58 59 62 67 68

Appendix B | Presentations to the Mayor’s task Force on Literacy and Early childhood 57

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message from the mayor
Literacy is, without a doubt, one of the most significant indicators of an individual’s overall wellbeing and capacity to succeed. What is true for individuals becomes particularly true for an entire community when we consider the impact of efforts to increase literacy in the city of Surrey. In this report, I am pleased to see a clear set of recommendations that we can initiate to improve the literacy of every citizen of Surrey. the taskforce has worked diligently to establish a clear picture of where we currently are and where we need to be in the years to come to truly establish a community of ‘lifelong literacy’. As one of the fastest growing cities in canada and the home of the largest school district in British columbia, there is a real demand for increased literacy services and learning initiatives that will contribute to the enhanced health and wellness of Surrey residents. Sincerely,

Dianne L. Watts, Mayor

this is just the beginning of what has been an incredible journey to discover the strength and scope of literacy in Surrey. We have identified the key sectors that will contribute to enhanced learning and I am confident that this will act as a spark to heighten awareness of efforts to develop life-long learning in Surrey. Councillor Judy Higginbotham, Chair of the Mayor’s Taskforce on Literacy and Early Childhood

We can build upon the very strong foundation that has been established in Surrey to establish ourselves as a model community for those interested in the interface between literacy initiatives and lifelong learning opportunities. Councillor Mary Martin, Member of the Mayor’s Taskforce on Literacy and Early Childhood

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introduction and background
Surrey’s new logo includes the words “the future lives here”. Our city’s future depends on our citizens – literacy and early childhood are keys to student success, enhancing economic productivity, reducing crime and engaging Surrey residents. citizens who are learning throughout their lives will make this city a great place to spend the future.
Literacy is the ability to understand and employ printed information in daily activities, at home, at work and in the community – to achieve one’s goals and to develop one’s knowledge and potential. In our complex and ever-changing world, it is more than the ability to read basic information. Learning begins at birth and continues throughout a person’s life. Research has shown that there is a correlation between early development and a person’s ability to learn effectively and to develop strong social abilities and connections. Strong literacy skills have been linked to employment and income levels, excellent or very good health, and a high level of community involvement and engagement. Low levels of literacy impact a person’s ability to improve their quality of life and influence their ability to stimulate their own children’s skills. Early childhood is the most critical time in a person’s life. the brain begins to develop before birth and the early years experience strongly influences the brain’s continued development after birth. Parents and caregivers have an enormous impact on their children’s development in early childhood – many determinants are set even before children enter school and begin the formal pathway of learning. Learning continues in the school system between kindergarten and Grade 12 and for many people carries on through post-secondary institutions, often with a focus on learning a skill that will enable them to find employment. Essential skills learned by the time one leaves high school provide the basis for learning specific skills related to one’s chosen occupation. Adult learning focuses on job skills, skills that allow one to function effectively in society and ensure one’s health and security, and skills that allow a person to develop their creativity. the ability to use computers is critical to success in today’s society – literacy skills are core to using technology effectively at school, at work or in one’s personal life. In a 2005 Surrey Art Gallery report titled “Anticipating the Net Generation”, it was noted that people born after 1977 were the first to grow up with computers and digital media as major elements in their lives. Young people today use computers to learn, to work, to play, to create and to communicate. the youth surveyed for the report were almost all using computers daily - the expectation that they are dealing with a “digital world” will go with them as they move along the age continuum into adulthood. Social networking has become a common means of connecting with others and is influencing how libraries are looking at future services. technology is part of the literacy landscape now and for the future – the Internet is becoming a key part of the learning infrastructure, particularly for people living in remote communities. citizens who are involved in lifelong learning, whether it is related to work or personal interests, are often also involved in their community. Achieving one’s potential as a citizen means becoming involved in Surrey’s community life, from participating in clubs and volunteer opportunities to being aware of civic issues and participating in them, attending meetings that provide information on city plans and projects, asking questions, voicing opinions and voting in elections. Participation in arts and cultural activities helps people enhance their own creativity and contributes to personal development.

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literacy on the agenda
Literacy issues are on the agenda for all levels of government, from the United Nations to the city of Surrey. GLoBALLY
“the United Nations Literacy Decade (2003-2012) aims to extend the use of literacy to those who do not currently have access to it. Over 861 million adults are in that position, and over 113 million children are not in school and therefore not gaining access to literacy either. the Decade will focus on the needs of adults with the goal that people everywhere should be able to use literacy to communicate within their own community, in the wider society and beyond. Literacy efforts have so far failed to reach the poorest and most marginalised groups of people – the Decade will particularly address such populations, under the banner of Literacy for all: voice for all, learning for all… Literacy is a human right. Basic education, within which literacy is the key learning tool, was recognised as a human right over 50 years ago, in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” (From the Unesco web site http://portal.
unesco.org - accessed 06/06/08)

Its recently revised mission is “to enable Rotarians to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through the improvement of health, the support of education, and the alleviation of poverty”. One area of focus for the Foundation’s funding will be “basic education and literacy”, an area that is supported by more than 1.2 million Rotarians world-wide.

nATIonALLY
Literacy issues have been studied and discussed at the federal level for many years. A 2003 report to the Standing committee on Human Resources Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities was titled Raising Adult Literacy Skills. It based its recommendations on the International Adult Literacy Skills (IALS) survey from 1994 and pointed out the benefits of strengthening partnerships between the federal and provincial/territorial governments to improve literacy and numeracy skills across the country. Later in 2003, Statistics canada released the latest IALS survey results for canada in a report called Building on our competencies. this report showed that, although canada is considered a literate country, the level of literacy had not improved overall since the 1994 survey. there continued to be regional differences and the results showed an impact from increased numbers of immigrants whose first language was neither English nor French. Literacy levels were linked to citizens’ success in the labour market, to health outcomes and to community engagement.

the Minister of State for Human Resource Development appointed a Ministerial Advisory committee on Literacy and Essential Skills in November 2005 to offer advice on the development of a national strategy. the report from the committee suggested that the Federal Government take a leadership role in developing a “Pan-canadian Literacy Strategy” and presented a vision that began: “All canadians have the right to develop the literacy and essential skills they need in order to participate fully in our social, cultural, economic and political life”.

pRovInCIALLY
the provincial governments recently began to collaborate to address literacy issues. the council of Ministers of Education canada sponsored the first Pan-canadian Interactive Literacy Forum in April of 2008. the two and a half day event connected over 3000 learners, literacy practitioners, and policy makers from sea to sea with presentations, local discussion and inspiration from canadians representing business, research, entertainment, government and the media. British columbia’s government has placed a high value on literacy - literacy is one of the legacies from the 2010 Olympics (under the 2010 Legacies Now banner). the Ministry of Education has provided school districts with Literacy Innovation Grants to support initiatives in improving literacy.

Many global non-governmental organizations are also concerned with literacy issues. One example is Rotary International, whose Foundation funds projects around the world and in our community.

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School Districts have a new mandate to be responsible for literacy for all ages and to develop District Literacy Plans in collaboration with their communities. the responsibility for public libraries lies with the Ministry of Education and literacy is a prime focus in the provincial strategic plan for public libraries. the Government’s vision and action plan to make B.c. the most literate jurisdiction in North America can be seen in the initiative called ReadNowBc. the goals set by ReadNow include:

» Increasing the number of children
entering school ready to succeed; school who read successfully;

» Increasing the number of children in » Increasing the number of adults with » Increasing the number of Aboriginal
people who read successfully. through $1.6 million in funding from the Ministry of Advanced Education and the support of Literacy Bc, Regional Literacy coordinators are being placed in the 16 college regions across British columbia to enhance co-ordination and delivery of adult literacy programs. Beginning in the fall of 2008, there will be a Regional Literacy Liaison Officer attached to Kwantlen Polytechnic University. the reading and literacy skills needed to function in everyday life and succeed in the workplace; and

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their role is to liaise with school districts in the region and with community organizations, both public and private sector, and to develop or enhance literacy networks, provide strategic direction, build capacity in service providers and raise community awareness of literacy and literacy services in their regions. the Government also made Adult Basic Education programs free for adults who want to complete their Dogwood certificate – they can take courses at public high schools, public post-secondary institutions, or on-line through LearnNowBc (www.LearnNowBc.ca).

LoCALLY
Several recent city reports have included literacy initiatives as positive contributors to success: • crime Reduction Strategy – the Prevent and Deter crime strand supports local initiatives related to early childhood development and literacy programs. • Action Plan for the Social Well-Being of Surrey Residents – priority issues include: creation of a child and youth-friendly city; providing programs for children and youth, some in partnership with Surrey School District; providing ethno and culturally appropriate services, opportunities and programming to foster inclusiveness; encouraging citizen engagement with social issues and social planning activity. • Sustainability charter – the Social Sustainability Pillar includes a section on literacy programs for all ages.

Surrey Public Library’s strategic plan for 2008 – 2010, connecting People, includes literacy as a key priority for the Library in this planning cycle. Goals encompass reading, language learning for new canadians, a focus on the middle and teen years, cultural understanding, computer literacy, social engagement and lifelong learning. Surrey School District has an ongoing goal to improve literacy levels from Kindergarten to Grade 12. the School District outlines this goal, the objectives, targets and results annually in the District Achievement contract. the School District has implemented a variety of initiatives through the Ministry of Education’s Literacy Innovation Grants to provide additional support to students for acquiring literacy skills. Literacy and early childhood issues also relate to work being done by particular city committees, including the Social Planning committee, the Multicultural Advisory committee, the Mayor’s task Force on Health care, and the Mayor’s task Force on 2010. collaboration among these varied city efforts will serve to strengthen the work that is being done to make Surrey’s new vision a reality.

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early childhood on the agenda
GLoBALLY
the global community understands the importance of children to the world and our youngest citizens have been the focus of international organizations many times over the years. A few examples: in 1959, the Declaration of the Rights of the child; in 1979, Unesco’s International Year of the child; in 1983, the convention on the Rights of the child; and in 2008/2009, Rotary International President D.K. Lee’s theme is “Make Dreams Real”, focused on bringing health and hope to the world’s children and reducing child mortality.

pRovInCIALLY
the Bc Government responded to the expiration of the Early Learning and child care agreement and associated loss of federal funding by significantly reducing funding to child care programs including the child care Operating Funding Program that helps offset operating costs for licensed family and centre-based programs. these cutbacks followed the 2002 provincial funding reductions to child care programs. the February 2008 throne Speech stated that a new Early childhood Learning Agency would be established. It is currently assessing the feasibility and costs of full school day kindergarten for five-year-olds. It will also undertake a feasibility study of providing parents with the choice of full day kindergarten for four-year-olds by 2010, and for three-year-olds by 2012. that report will be completed and released within the year.

nATIonALLY
In October 2004, the Government of canada committed to putting the foundations in place for a national system of Early Learning and child care (ELcc) for children under six, supported by a national budget of $5 billion over a fiveyear period. In May 2006, the new Federal Government eliminated the ELcc and introduced the Universal child care Plan that includes the Universal child care Benefit. this Benefit provides financial assistance directly to parents (a taxable allowance of $100 a month for every child under six).

LoCALLY
In January 2007, Surrey city council passed a resolution (RES.R07-450): “to support efforts by the Mayor, council and key city staff to lobby the Provincial and Federal Governments for reinstatement of funding for child care services”. the motion recognized child care services as an integral part of the larger continuum of early childhood development services supporting the health, well-being, learning potential and care of young children.

three priority issues in the Plan for the Social Well-Being of Surrey Residents relate to early childhood development. In the section on “culturally Appropriate Early childhood Education/Development Programs” the report noted that a key gap was the lack of awareness of existing child care and early childhood development programs by many residents, especially new immigrant families, and a specific gap in childhood development programs for families with seasonal workers. the element that focused on “Accessible Quality Licensed child care, Pre-school Programs and Family Resource Programming” also included an identified gap related to the shortfall in senior government funding for affordable and accessible child care, early childhood development and education services as well as a need for extended hours, ethno-specific and English as a Second Language child care programs and services. the Plan also recommended that the city champion issues related to child poverty and its impact on child and adult development.

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mayor’s task force on literacy and early childhood development
In December 2006, Mayor Dianne Watts appointed councillor Judy Higginbotham to chair the Mayor’s task Force on Literacy and Early childhood Development.
“Low levels of literacy adversely affect a person’s ability to effectively function in today’s society”, said Mayor Watts in the news release. the task Force was to identify key concerns and advise the Mayor and council on how the city could address this issue. the task Force began meeting in early 2007 and agreed on the following goals: task Force members shared information on the programs and services that each of their organizations provided and shared the issues and concerns that each was facing in providing services to a growing and increasingly diverse community. they heard presentations from a range of guests that included Literacy Now and Literacy Bc, the Human Early Learning Partnership, Surrey White Rock Make children First, representatives from the R.c.M.P., the School District and Fraser Health. Discussions and presentations focused on issues and topics as varied as crime prevention and youth, literacy planning, helping learners connect with programs and services, the Early Development Indicator and school readiness research, daycare in Surrey, special needs of refugee children and parents, programs to help students complete high school and the perinatal programs at Fraser Health. the chair of the task Force and one member also participated in the Pan-canadian Interactive Literacy Forum in April.

» to learn about the range of local services and » to help create a “child and Youth
Friendly city”.

understand the issues related to learning and early childhood in Surrey.

» to work with community groups to identify » to report to city council on the various

gaps in literacy services and find ways to address them and to take a leadership role in the creation of a community Learning Plan. “literacies” that make Surrey a healthy community, to identify the issues, services, and gaps in service. on how the city of Surrey can contribute to improving lifelong learning in Surrey.

» to make recommendations to city council

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community literacy planning
Although improving literacy skills is a personal effort, communities can play an important role. Learners use different services for different learning needs and community agencies need to work together to ensure that there is a spectrum of services available.
Educational institutions, libraries, city facilities and a variety of not-for-profit agencies as well as commercial enterprises colour the literacy landscape in Surrey and provide the range of opportunities that residents require as they learn throughout their lives. In September 2007, the Mayor’s task Force initiated a community Literacy Planning process for Surrey/White Rock. A successful launch meeting was held with people representing several educational institutions and community agencies involved in literacy services. those present agreed to proceed with a community Literacy Plan. A Steering committee was formed with representatives from the Surrey Board of trade, canadian Federation of University Women, cUPE 402, DIVERSEcity community Resources Society, Kla How Eya, Kwantlen University college, Literacy Bc, Options, the city of Surrey, the Surrey Public Library, Surrey School District, Surrey Youth Leadership council, Surrey Youth Resource centre and White Rock. the committee developed a “community Vision for Literacy and Essential Skills in Surrey and White Rock”. A funding application was sent to Literacy Now and a grant of $40,000 was received in February 2008. Part of the grant allowed the committee to contract for a literacy planning coordinator to complete an inventory of agencies and programs in the community. A $5,000 grant from the city enabled the committee to contract with a summer student to shorten the research phase of the planning process. Research consisted of identifying and contacting institutions and agencies in the city that were offering programs and services related to literacy, essential skills, or English as a second language. two online surveys were also carried out, one aimed at literacy providers and one at learners. the coordinator also facilitated a community stakeholder meeting in the late summer to discuss the findings of the inventory, to identify overlapping services and gaps in service, and to collaborate on ideas for the action plan. A draft of the plan will be shared with stakeholders - the feedback and input from these stakeholders will be used to complete the plan and submit it to Literacy Now before the end of the year.

kEY RESuLTS AnD ISSuES
Surrey/White Rock is the largest community plan that has been funded by Literacy Now and the complexity and diversity of literacy services in this area became obvious as the asset inventory and surveys were analyzed. Information in the appendices to this report provides evidence of the wide range of providers and locations throughout Surrey. Services range from early learning through seniors’ programs, and include programs and services that meet the needs of Surrey’s diverse population. Several service providers are focused on helping people make transitions into new learning situations, in particular those who did not graduate from high school or who need to upgrade essential skills in order to participate in further learning. there are also agencies that help people learn life skills so that they are able to move away from addictive or criminal behaviour or who are returning to society after a period of incarceration. these programs benefit from the ability to partner with the formal learning institutions and with other service providers.

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Almost half of Surrey’s population has a language other than English as its mother tongue, with 28% of residents speaking a language other than English or French at home. Over 6% of respondents to the last census indicated that they lived in a different country within the last 5 years. the key service providers for new canadians help their clients with a full range of life skills programs and referral to other agencies. Some provide English language training and all provide translation services. charles coffey, formerly with the Royal Bank of canada and one of the speakers at the Pan-canadian Interactive Literacy Forum, said that learning English had to come first before people could work on improving literacy levels. Surrey has become the main destination for refugees in the Lower Mainland, due in part to the availability of housing and community support for refugees. Many of these new canadians are struggling to cope with the huge changes in their lives and literacy issues are a low priority while they learn to live in a very different environment.

the large number of Surrey residents who are learning English can be frustrated by the lack of service in other languages, despite the best efforts of local institutions and agencies to hire staff with language skills and to provide help with translation. Few agencies are able to provide translators to accompany people to appointments or help them to register for various services telephone services, most of which are accessed via automated “receptionists”, are confusing for people whose first language is not English - few telephone services have other language options. One of the recurring comments from service providers was that they were not aware of other services and programs and that they wanted some means of finding out and becoming better connected with other service providers. Employment resource centres have difficulty knowing how and where to refer clients who need to improve literacy skills.

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Some concerns were also voiced about barriers to collaboration among service providers, e.g. competition for funds, confidentiality. these key concerns are beginning to be addressed through:

» community stakeholder meetings; » contributing the asset inventory information

(agencies/programs/services) to the Bc Literacy Directory, an online database aimed at learners and hosted by Literacy Bc (www. literacy.bc.ca) – it is hoped that the literacy providers will keep this information updated.

Work has been underway for some years to institute a 211 service for the province – such services are running in toronto, calgary and a few other canadian cities to provide a free and confidential information and referral service for community, social, health and government services. Library staff members have been participating in these efforts. the partners include Information Services Vancouver, the United Way of the Lower Mainland and the Government of B.c. Another key issue is the need for more service locations or improved transit so that learners can more readily access services in Surrey. this echoes a need identified in the Plan for the Social Well-being of Surrey Residents, one for which the city continues to advocate. A related issue is the timing of programs – many people are working and cannot easily attend daytime programs. Mothers with small children at home may need child care in order to participate in programs. there is also an issue around services for adults with multiple barriers, e.g. low income, developmental disabilities, learning disabilities, behavioural or social competency issues.

the barriers become insurmountable when coupled with bad memories of formal learning. there is a need for more trained professionals as well as more services targeted at these adults. Last but not least, the issue of funding was mentioned repeatedly. Government at the senior levels is doing more program funding on a grants basis than through providing ongoing funding for services. this is true for the major institutions that receive provincial funding as well as for the not-for-profit agencies that depend on government funds. the not-for-profit agencies face the additional challenge of having to deal with multiple funding sources. considerable staff resources are dedicated to the application processes with no guarantee that funds will be forthcoming to continue programs that prove to be successful for learners.

Learners are also unaware of learning services available in the city. Adult learners with low literacy skills continue to perceive a stigma around their lack of ability to read well. A respondent to one of the surveys said: “Removing the stigma is very difficult but more awareness of the issue as a whole would benefit everyone.” the Bc Literacy Directory was developed as an information tool for learners and was designed to be user-friendly for people with low literacy skills. It is important that this resource include the full range of programs. But this cannot be the only means of making learners aware of what is available to them – the non-print media is one of the most effective awareness vehicles because people with low literacy skills are not as likely to be regular readers of print media.

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school district literacy plan
As the community Literacy Plan process was beginning the Ministry of Education notified all Boards of Education that they had to prepare District Literacy Plans for submission to the Ministry by July 15, 2008.
the District Literacy Plan is a statement of commitment by a school district to work collaboratively with community partners to improve literacy for all in their community. Opportunities to work together can make current programs stronger and lead to a more effective use of resources, as well as creating connections and linkages to enable the community to offer a full and seamless array of services. Literacy is an important goal and focus in the Surrey School District for all students from Kindergarten to Grade 12. the District has implemented many important and effective initiatives to support schools and teachers in meeting the needs of all learners. Surrey School District provides courses and programs, and supports a variety of new and exciting ways to explore the many alternative and different pathways for students to complete their education. Surrey School District staff members are part of the Mayor’s task Force and the community Literacy Plan Steering committee – committee members communicate regularly and provide input and feedback into each other’s work to ensure that the result of the collaboration is reflected in the reports. this collaboration supports and reinforces literacy planning efforts while focusing on the issues that are most relevant to particular constituencies.

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measuring achievement and progress
In February 2008 the Office of the Auditor General of B.c. released a report titled Literacy: creating the conditions for Reading and Writing Success.
It noted that B.c. compares well with other jurisdictions but it needed to do more to reach the goal of becoming the most literate jurisdiction in North America by 2015. It made six recommendations related to coordination and marketing of literacy services, the need for adequate planning data and information, and the need for improved monitoring and performance reporting. It recommended that the Ministry of Education ensure that monitoring and reporting at all levels – provincial, ministry and community – be aligned with evidence-based, qualitative and quantitative performance measures. It indicated that efforts would continue through 2008/09 to articulate standards and develop an assessment tool. Measurement of various aspects related to learning is being done by Statistics canada, the canadian council on Learning and the Human Early Learning Partnership at U.B.c. Some data is available for Surrey, while other data is only collected at the provincial and national level. the key survey and reporting instruments that are ongoing (at various intervals) include: Mapping Early child Development: Surrey (School District No.36). Human Early Learning Partnership, University of British columbia. (http://ecdportal.help.ubc.ca/unit/sd36.htm) this research project provides information on school readiness by school and has been conducted in 2003/4 and in 2006. It is anticipated that this research will continue and results will be available in future years. It measures child development in five areas: the survey was done in 1994 and again in 2003 – it is anticipated that it will not be repeated until early in the next decade. the measurements are used in other reports such as the composite Learning Index. Measures include:

» Physical health and well-being » Social competence » Emotional maturity » Language and cognitive development
(includes literacy skills) knowledge

» Prose literacy » Document literacy » Numeracy » Problem solving
there are five levels of literacy and Level 3 is generally needed to cope with everyday life and work – it denotes a skills level normally attained by people who complete high school.

» communication skills and general
Building on our competencies: canadian Results of the International Adult Literacy and Skills Survey: 2003. Statistics canada (published 2005). (http://www.nald.ca/fulltext/booc/cover.htm) this survey provides results at the provincial and national level but provides the standard measure of adult literacy levels.

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composite Learning Index: 2008. canadian council on Learning. (www.ccl-cca.ca/ccl/ reports/cli) this began in 2006 and is being done annually – it uses a “basket” of measures, many from existing Statistics canada surveys, to measure lifelong learning. Using an interactive database on the web site, it is possible to generate measures for Surrey, although some of them are at the provincial level. the cLI divides learning into four pillars:

Surrey School District and the Ministry of Education track high school completion rates. the Vancouver Foundation’s “Vital Signs for Metro Vancouver” report also provides a variety of indicators that may be useful measures of progress. these measures will help Surrey to assess if efforts to improve learning are having a positive effect over the next several years – results will take time to become obvious. Research into best practices is another area that would help the community to measure the success of programs and to learn from others. A good example is the work being done by the council for Early child Development – examples of best practices from around the world are included in its Early Years Study 2: Putting Science Into Action. the other element involved in measurement is the assessment of literacy skills, the first step in identifying the services needed by learners. this is particularly true for new canadians who need language as well as literacy skills assessment. Assessment is also critical for people with barriers who are often more comfortable dealing with a community agency than with large learning or health institutions.

» Learning to Know – essentials skills and
critical thinking

» Learning to Do – applied skills, tied to
occupational success concern for others

» Learning to Live together – respect and » Learning to Be – creativity, personal
development, and health (physical, social, spiritual)

In addition to the research and reports that focus specifically on literacy and early development, there is a range of indicators measured by Statistics canada in the census. A community profile is available for Surrey and information related to languages, income and education can be benchmarked to 2006 and 2001: http:// www12.statcan.ca/english/census06/data/ profiles/community/Index.cfm?Lang=E

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recommendations

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recommendations - overview
Learning happens throughout one’s whole life as we build knowledge and skills from cradle to grave.
Literacy development begins even before we are born, continues with pre-reading preparation, then formal learning through the school system, followed by post-secondary education and training opportunities. Adult learning takes place in the workplace and through self-initiated development activities. Learning does not stop with retirement as older adults continue to take classes and learn new skills throughout their retired life. People face challenges and society brings a variety of impacts that influence our ability to learn: health, environment, upbringing, education, economics, immigration and government policy. the recommendations in this report take into account some of these challenges and impacts – issues facing Surrey residents at each stage of their development. the report’s recommendations are built around five themes: Aboriginal learners, new canadians and people with disabilities face particular challenges. New canadians must learn English before they can move on to learning related to school, higher education or the workplace. this becomes more challenging for those who cannot read in their first language. Survey data from the community Literacy Plan process indicate that this group is seen as the first priority for learning services. Some of the issues for new canadians who are learning English include: making effective use of government and social service agencies that do not have staff members who speak their language; automated telephone answering services that are only in English and have complex menus; finding out about the services that are available to them (no single referral point exists). People with disabilities and particularly those with multiple barriers need support in dealing with these challenges before they can begin to work on improving literacy skills. It is also understood that Aboriginal learners wish to learn about their own history and culture in addition to learning the skills necessary to succeed in today’s society.

» Early Learning » the Middle and teen Years » Adult and Workplace Learning » community and Interpersonal Learning » Personal Development and Lifelong Learning
General recommendations are included at the end of this overview section. Under each theme there is background on the challenges and impacts, information on what is being done by the city of Surrey and recommendations that suggest ways in which the city can enhance its own services or support programs that address gaps in service. Areas in which the city may choose to advocate with other levels of government or service providers to enhance early childhood and literacy services for Surrey residents are also suggested.

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a complex landscape
One of the overall challenges in improving literacy levels in Surrey is that no level of government is solely responsible or accountable.
the city provides programs that focus on learning for all ages through Surrey Public Library and the Parks, Recreation and culture Department. these programs encourage parents to make early learning a priority, provide children with reading opportunities and encouragement, teach basic computer literacy skills, provide opportunities for new canadians to learn and practice English skills, and provide a range of programs for adults to continue learning throughout life. the B.c. Ministry of Education has a mandate for literacy across all ages and is supporting early learning programs, the traditional Kindergarten – Grade 12 programs and adult upgrading programs offered by school districts. the Ministry of Advanced Education funds essential skills programs for adults as well as a range of postsecondary education from trades through postdoctoral programs. Early development issues are focused primarily in the Ministry for children and Family Development. the federal government, through Human Resources and Social Development canada has an Office of Literacy and Essential Skills, a National Literacy Secretariat and student funding from its Learning and Post-Secondary Education program. there are also programs through canadian Heritage, Health canada, Indian and Northern Affairs canada, and citizenship and Immigration canada. A variety of benefits are available through the canada Revenue Agency, from the child tax Benefit to a Lifelong Learning Plan that allows adults to withdraw tax-free money from their registered savings plan to pursue training or education. Given the fact that services are provided by many government departments as well as a range of different community service agencies and educational institutions, it is no wonder that learners are unaware of the services and programs available to them in Surrey. One of the positive results from the community Literacy Plan is that this Directory is being enhanced by the addition of programs and services provided by Surrey agencies. It is important for both local agencies and learners that this information is kept up to date - the Directory has been set up to facilitate easy updating by literacy providers. Other means of making people aware of local programs also need to be explored and exploited. Local radio stations that broadcast in Punjabi are very popular and an effective means of getting information to people in the Indo-canadian community. the major institutions need to consider pro-active outreach programs to get the word out into the community, e.g. through service clubs and by outreach to agencies serving people facing barriers. the challenge for these institutions may be finding resources to do the outreach. the implementation of a Bc 211 telephone and online service that would provide “one-stop shopping” for a range of government and social services including literacy services would greatly assist learners in locating opportunities.

BC LITERACY DIRECToRY AnD pRoMoTInG AwAREnESS
Literacy Bc developed an online Literacy Directory (http://www2.literacy.bc.ca/) with the intention of providing learners with “one stop shopping” for learning services and a user-friendly interface. It includes some of the programs and services available in Surrey but is not yet complete.

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general recommendations:
Facilitate a round table on literacy that the city collaborate with the Regional Literacy Liaison Officer based at Kwantlen Polytechnic University to facilitate a round table discussion among the various providers of learning services in Surrey, and encourage the various providers to work together to find ways to share information, collaborate on programs, and promote local services to agencies that identify people needing learning services, e.g. employment centres. Establish baseline measures for the City. that city staff establish key baseline measures for the city of Surrey using the composite Learning Index and the Early Development Indicator results for Surrey and working in collaboration with the Surrey School District; focus would be on school readiness, high school graduation and post-secondary participation, along with social engagement and lifelong learning indicators for adults. Work being done by the Ministry of Education to develop standards and an assessment tool should be monitored and taken into account when available. Report progress to Council annually. that staff prepare an annual progress report for city council on the recommendations contained in Learning for Life Strategy, including relevant measures, beginning in 2010-2011 to allow sufficient time for results to become evident and measures to become available. Advocate with senior levels of government for core program funding for literacy providers. that the city advocate with the senior levels of government in support of the need for ongoing core program funding for literacy providers in Surrey. Support efforts to institute BC 211 service. that the city support efforts to institute a 211 information and referral phone and web site service in B.c. and advocate for a service that provides information in the major languages of B.c. residents. Literacy providers update BC Literacy Directory and increase publicity about programs and services. that literacy providers be encouraged to monitor and regularly update their information in the Bc Literacy Directory (www.literacy.bc.ca) and explore partnerships with local media to increase awareness of programs and services.

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early learning
RESEARCh
current canadian research has shown that success in life depends on development before birth and in the early years of life. the council for Early child Development has produced two well-funded and researched studies: the Early Years Study produced in 1999 based its research on neuroscience and explained how early brain development impacts learning, behaviour and success later in life; a follow-up study, Early Years Study 2 – Putting Science into Action came out in 2007 with examples of best practices in the area of early childhood in canada and around the world and a call for improvements to public policy to bring our early child care system to the same level as the public-funded education system. the research also indicates that early childhood programs must be sustained and universally available to be the most effective. the return on investment in early childhood development programs can be as high as 8:1. Savings also occur farther along the continuum if this investment is made, in the form of reduced costs for special education and grade repetition. UBc’s Human Early Learning Partnership (HELP) has been using the Early Development Instrument (EDI) to map early child development and school readiness in neighbourhoods across the province. It assesses group outcomes with respect to health, learning and behaviour. two sets of data have been completed for Surrey, the baseline data as a result of surveys done in 2003/4 and a follow-up study completed in 2006. Kindergarten teachers complete the survey based on several months of observation. It assesses five domains: HELP is initiating a series of research projects in these Surrey neighbourhoods to explore individual, family and community attributes that may explain the positive results, i.e. how families and communities support the healthy development of children in challenging environments.

» Physical health and well-being » Social competence » Emotional maturity » Language and cognitive development » communication skills and general
knowledge children are deemed to be vulnerable if they score in the lowest 10% of the range of scores in each of the development domains. Surrey School District was divided into 48 neighbourhoods and children were mapped according to where they lived. Income and EDI scores are highly correlated, with low-income neighbourhoods tending to have low EDI results and high-income neighbourhoods having high EDI scores. However, some neighbourhoods do not follow this pattern - they are being called “off diagonal neighbourhoods”. Surrey has a few such neighbourhoods, and in all cases they are doing better than expected (lowincome neighbourhoods where youngsters are scoring higher than expected on the EDI).

LoCAL InITIATIvES RELATED To EARLY LEARnInG
the B.c. government expanded the mandate of Boards of Education to include early learning services and added funding to early learning programs (Strong Start) that provide free parent/ child play drop-in programs at selected school sites for parents and caregivers who are at home with their children. the Ministry of Education is currently exploring the feasibility of instituting Full-Day Kindergarten across the Province – public consultation is part of the process. Because Surrey is the largest school district in the province, it would be a good location for a trial project if the Ministry decides to implement expanded kindergarten learning. Surrey/White Rock Make children First is a community partnership focused on health, wellbeing and learning of children during their first six years of life – it aims to create caring, healthy, safe, vibrant communities for young children and their families and to develop the necessary supports and services.

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It includes Provincial and city representatives, Surrey School District, and numerous not-forprofit service providers that deliver programs to families with young children. Funding is provided by the Ministry of children and Family Development, with funds available through the Early childhood Development Agreement with the Government of canada. In June 2004, Make children First identified child care as a key priority in an early childhood plan called Valuing Our children: taking First Steps together. In January 2006, the group approved a child care Strategy. this Strategy identified the principles of a comprehensive system of early childhood development, learning and care as: high quality; universal; flexible; accessible; integrated; sustainable and accountable. It also outlined the requirements of a comprehensive system of early learning and care as communitybased resources and governance for planning, facility development, operational support, and training opportunities. considerable progress has been made towards creating this system of care:

» cultural outreach to connect immigrant, » Strengthened/expanded early childhood » Projects of common interest developed

refugee and aboriginal families to existing services. services provided by the city, School District, Ministry of child and Family Development and the United Way. to meet needs and support cross-sectoral training.

Much work remains to be done and the coalition is working on a new strategic plan that takes into account the changing context for early childhood development at the federal and provincial levels in particular. the city is a participant in the coalition and will be part of the planning process. Another local “table” related to early childhood development is the Early childhood Partners council led by Fraser Health. this initiative is unique among the British columbia health regions. It includes: Ministry of children and Family Development, Success By 6 (United Way), Public Health Agency of canada, Fraser Region Interim Aboriginal Authority, and Surrey School District. the council has a variety of priorities revolving around the overall health of children from birth to age 6 and the city could benefit from participation. In 2006, it produced a document titled Making a commitment to Early childhood Development: the Fraser Region Strategic Framework that includes both the framework for working together and initial joint priorities. these include: developmental screening; early childhood/maternal mental health; Early childhood Development hub models; communications/public awareness plan; accessibility issues.

the “First Steps Early childhood Development Refugee Settlement Program”, a model developed through Make children First collaboration, has received funding from the B.c. Ministry of Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Multiculturalism for a pilot project in Surrey to provide an intensive Early childhood Development program to help young refugee children from birth to five years of age. the project will help to minimize the impact of the trauma faced by these young children on their growth and development and facilitate their successful transition into canadian Early childhood programs and kindergarten.

» Strengthened network of neighbourhood
based family resource programs.

» Mobile child-minding service for parents
attending programs and family support activities.

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ChALLEnGES AnD IMpACTS

» Surrey women give birth to almost 5,000

» child care funding in B.c. has fluctuated

babies a year and this number is expected to increase to over 6,000 by 2020. development – the stimulation that they provide through touch and voice helps early brain development and this affects learning and social interactions later in life. their ability to provide the early stimulation that is so critical to later learning.

» Primary caregivers are critical to their child’s

over the past few years - early childhood programs in the province tend to be shortterm or of a drop-in nature because of the uncertainty of continuing funding. have decreased over the past few years, leaving people on lower incomes without the resources to ensure that their children are able to participate in quality early childhood programs. its GDP on early childhood services of the Organization for Economic co-operation and Development (OEcD) countries: 0.25% compared with the U.S. (0.5%) and Denmark (2%). are not ready to learn, based on the 2006 Educational Development Indicator (EDI) results.

» Social assistance eligibility and benefits

» Literacy levels of infant care providers impact » Research has shown that good quality child

» canada spends the lowest proportion of

care contributes to positive development for pre-school-age children, especially for vulnerable children: quality child care relates to staff qualifications and experience and the staff to child ratios. learning and play-based learning can improve children’s skills and school readiness.

» 25% of children entering Grade 1 in Surrey » Language skills at school entry are a strong

» Daycare programs that include language » Surrey has a serious shortage of good quality,
affordable licensed child care services.

predictor of school success; 12% of children entering school in Surrey had language and communication skills in the lowest 10% of students in the 2006 EDI results.

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CITY/SChooL DISTRICT pRoGRAMS AnD SuppoRT
the city of Surrey supports early childhood development in several ways. A policy aimed at making Surrey a “child and youth friendly city” is in development. the city is a partner in community-based initiatives that promote early childhood health and well-being including Success by Six and the Surrey/White Rock Make children First partnership. the city has made a substantial financial commitment to the “First Steps” pilot project to help refugee children - $25,000 for each of three years beginning in the spring of 2008. Surrey Public Library provides a range of programs and resources to assist parents to develop children’s pre-reading skills: books, cD’s of songs and rhymes, useful web sites; programs to teach parents the skills to work with their children; and the Books for Babies program that is funded by the province and carried out in partnership with the School District and Fraser Health.

Storytimes at the Library and in the community provide parents with ideas for good stories to read with their children. “Storytimes to Help Learn English” provide translations in Punjabi or Mandarin for parents/caregivers with an English language storytime experience for the children. the Library also coordinates the storytelling tent at the Surrey children’s Festival, providing a free venue that features both Library staff tellers and local professionals. Surrey Public Library is also reaching out to provide early literacy stimulation to children through storytimes at Umoja. child care providers can participate in sessions at the Library that explain how to tell stories to young children - they can borrow themed storytime kits that provide the stories, puppets and other materials to make stories come alive and engage children in the experience. “Surrey Reads” is an annual family literacy awareness event co-sponsored by the Guildford Shopping centre that brings together a variety of literacy providers in a fun, family-oriented ‘fair’.

Parks, Recreation and culture coordinates two major celebrations related to early childhood. Surrey children’s Festival occurs at the end of May each year and draws thousands of children and parents/caregivers to an active program of entertainment and activities for children of all ages. the Early Years Festival in April brings together parents/caregivers and children with a variety of agencies that provide programs and support for families and young children. Parks, Recreation and culture runs a full range of recreational programs for parents and children to experience together and programs that allow preschool children to play together and learn important social skills. they use certified early childhood educators to offer programs at community centres and schools. Programs of more than 2 hours duration are licensed. Parks, Recreation and culture is also collaborating with Surrey School District to develop play-based early learning programs in the schools. Parks, Recreation and culture and Surrey Public Library staff members participate in the community School Partnership that targets selected inner-city schools located in Newton, Whalley and Guildford. Early learning and literacy programs are the focus.

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Surrey School District provides many early literacy programs including:

» Strong Start centres in two elementary

schools with plans for eight more underway – free drop-in early learning programs that help children prepare for kindergarten. that provide information on preparing children for kindergarten. parents and children.

» Ready, Set, Learn – open houses for parents » Welcome to Kindergarten – orientation for » Family literacy programs such as SPARKS
(Supporting Parents Actively Reading With Kids), FLAME (a program for families with limited English), and PALS (Parents as Literacy Supporters) are being expanded to many new sites. I-PALS (Immigrant Parents as Literacy Supporters) continues to be piloted by schools in the School District. In addition an Aboriginal PALS program is being planned for the 2008/09 school year.

the District completed its first District Literacy Plan in July 2008 and will be reporting to the B.c. Ministry of Education annually. this Plan reports on the collaborative work being done on community initiatives and acknowledges the importance of building partnerships and relationships in the community. the School District also outlines specific goals, objectives and results in literacy annually in the District Achievement contract submitted to the Ministry of Education.

» Welcome centre for New canadians » Preschools at low or no cost within
elementary schools

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recommendations
Explore membership in Early Childhood Partners Council. that the city explore becoming a member of the Early childhood Partners council. Participate in Make Children First strategic planning process and bring forward recommendations from “Learning for Life Strategy” as appropriate. that city staff from Parks, Recreation and culture, Planning and Development, and Surrey Public Library participate in the strategic planning process for Surrey/White Rock Make children First and bring forward relevant recommendations from the “Learning for Life Strategy”. Advocate with Health Promotions Branch for checklist for prospective mothers. that the city advocate with the provincial Health Promotions Branch for the production and distribution of a checklist for prospective mothers to provide information that will help them give their child the best start possible, and that this be available in languages of the major population groups as well as in English. Advocate for reinstatement of funding for child care services. that the city advocate with the Provincial and Federal Governments for reinstatement of funding for child care services. Support Strong Start expansion. that the city support the expansion of Strong Start centres in Surrey School District. Advocate for Surrey as pilot for Full-Day Kindergarten. that if the Province introduces a new Full-Day Kindergarten program, the city partner with the Surrey School District to explore the feasibility of advocating with the Ministry of Education to use Surrey as a pilot site. Increase programming to build community capacity in early learning for parents and child care providers. that Surrey Public Library provide more programs that build community capacity to help children succeed in school: programs for parents and child care providers to develop pre-reading skills for preschool children; English storytimes for children with translation for parents/caregivers to help children develop language skills; storytimes for fathers/male caregivers and children, to enhance bonding and early development. Expand Library and Parks, Recreation and Culture early literacy, family literacy and parenting programs. that Surrey Public Library expand early and family literacy programs so they are available to children across the city; that Parks, Recreation and culture expand programs and opportunities that support early and family literacy through continued collaborative partnerships including the First Steps project and community care Licensing of community Leisure Services preschool programs; that Parks, Recreation and culture and the Library enhance information and awareness programs on parenting, including programs that help new canadians learn about the importance of play in childhood development.

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City of Surrey learning for life STRATEGY

learning - middle years and teens
Formal learning between the ages of 6 and 19 takes place mostly within the schools and focuses on the Ministry of Education prescribed curriculum.
Students in their late teens may participate in post-secondary education, although it is difficult for Surrey residents to attend postsecondary institutions close to home. Surrey’s rapid population growth is having the same impact on educational access as it is having on health care access. the advent of Simon Fraser University’s Surrey campus has helped the situation somewhat. the new trades campus of Kwantlen Polytechnic University in cloverdale has greatly improved the facilities but it did not bring a significant increase in the number of funded students. this situation could be improved if Kwantlen was funded to provide space for more students – current funding is 60% of the provincial average for the number of seats available per thousand residents in the region. Education in the arts has been shown to have a positive impact on all aspects of literacy: reading and writing skills, cognitive development, verbal skills, social relationships, story comprehension, creative thinking and communication. An American researcher, Karen Hamblen states that “children are powerfully affected by storytelling, music, dance and the visual arts. they often construct their understanding of the world around musical games, imaginative dramas, and drawing.”

» In 2006/07, 74% of students graduating from
Surrey School District went on to postsecondary education, including upgrading, apprenticeships, college and university. District were enrolled in apprenticeship programs. have more difficulty maintaining their learning as they adjust to new teachers, facilities, peers and school culture.

» In 2006/07, 393 students in Surrey School » Students who move from school to school » According to a study prepared by the B.c.

ChALLEnGES AnD IMpACTS

» People with the lowest level of literacy have
often not completed high school.

» 22% of Surrey residents have not completed
high school; 37% of young people aged 15 –24 have not completed high school, according to the 2006 census.

Representative for children and Youth and the Office of the Provincial Health Officer, only 21% of children in care in B.c. graduate from high school, and few of these graduates have the courses or grade point averages required to directly enter post-secondary institutions. literacy programming if it is included in other programs of interest to them. 1,000 residents in Surrey and area, compared with 22.8 at University college of the Fraser Valley and 20.7 seats at the colleges in Vancouver (UBc and SFU are not included in these figures).

» teens are more likely to participate in

» In 2006/07, 83.4% of students registered in

Surrey School District graduated, an increase from previous years. District graduated, an increase from 38% the previous year.

» Kwantlen’s funding provides 10 seats per

» 47% of aboriginal students in Surrey School

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city programs and support
Parks, Recreation and culture has an Out of School care program with afterschool programs offered in each town centre using certified program leaders.
Programming is accessible to reduce barriers to participation. the Department also provides a wide range of recreational programs for children and teens. there are many opportunities for children and teens to engage in creative activities around art, music, dance and drama. Surrey Public Library and Surrey School District partner to encourage every student to have a public library card, by providing information for parents and teachers and incentives for students. the Library has made the “middle years” from ages 6 to 12 a focus for its strategic plan – to add to programs such as book clubs and computer camps for this age group. Programs for teens include the long-running Young Adult Writers Awards that encourages children from 12 to 18 to write short stories, poetry or comics during the summer and submit them for judging and the chance to become a published writer. A new librarian position will focus on connecting with teens to enhance services and explore social networking technology as a means of connecting them to reading and each other. the Library provides a range of homework help including: chat reference to answer information questions; online databases accessible 24 hours a day and an online tutor service.

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City of Surrey learning for life STRATEGY

school district programs
READInG
the District’s reading initiatives are targeted at several grade levels and demographic groups and supported by staff training initiatives. Reading assessments indicate that these programs are producing positive results:

wRITInG
Initiatives aimed at improving students’ writing focus on district assessment, professional development, and networking. In all initiatives, emphasis is placed on using the B.c. Performance Standards for Writing as a means of informing instructional practice and enhancing consistency in assessment and evaluation. Resources such as “the Write Path” for Grade 9 students have been developed by the District. Interventions have helped maintain district results at or above the provincial level.

ALTERnATIvE pRoGRAMS
the Surrey School District has several successful alternative programs for students who find it difficult to achieve in a regular classroom learning situation. there are five Learning centres, in cloverdale, Guildford, Newton, North Surrey and South Surrey/White Rock that feature flexible hours. Small group instruction enables students in grades 10–12 to learn at their own pace and to work while attending school. Other programs are located within selected high schools and include one that allows pregnant and parenting students to complete their secondary education. Surrey connect provides an online distributed learning alternative for students from Kindergarten to Grade 12 – useful for students who are homebound, temporarily living elsewhere, or participating in homeschooling.

» Phonemic Awareness programs in all

schools help Kindergarten students gain fundamental literacy skills. city Schools that maintains a part-time literacy teacher to sustain interventions with students. and secondary schools links assessment with instruction and provides the strategies to allow students to become proficient readers. provide support to promote success in literacy for all aboriginal students.

» A literacy project is in place in 10 Inner

» Developing Readers initiative in elementary

nuMERACY (MAThEMATICS)
the District continues to support teachers in examining and improving their instructional and assessment practices with a view to improving student achievement in mathematics. current research points to the need for mathematics learning to be more hands-on and constructive in nature, where computational fluency is still valued but is not simply achieved through rote learning. Both instructional and assessment practices should continue to move in this direction, with problem solving being part of the every day learning experience for students.

» Aboriginal Education Department programs » Soar to Success and Early Success - reading

intervention programs for second language learners and struggling readers provide additional support to students to gain literacy skills. for grades 1–9 helps to identify students that need support and provides a consistent assessment tool.

» Reading Assessment District 36 (RAD36)

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the School District partners with community agencies to provide an alternative to home suspension program (iR3) for students who have been temporarily suspended for the first time – rather than staying home the students participate in a two-day life skills workshop. Partners include Parks, Recreation and culture, Surrey RcMP, the Surrey Firefighters Association and Options: Services to communities Society. the District is a partner with Pacific community Resources Society and Starbucks to provide the Baristas program for unemployed youth with barriers to employment – most of them have not completed high school. the students participate in life skills training and employment experience that prepares them for employment in the retail food services sector. Most of the participants return to school with the intention of completing Grade 12.

ABoRIGInAL EnhAnCEMEnT AGREEMEnT
Surrey School District operates within the traditional shared territories of the Katzie First Nation and the Semiahmoo First Nation. the Aboriginal Education Advisory committee works with Surrey School District to promote a better understanding and a fuller appreciation of the contributions of local and North American Aboriginal cultures within our schools and community. In June 2008, the Aboriginal Enhancement Agreement was signed between Surrey School District and the Aboriginal communities to jointly acknowledge the collective responsibility for the success of all Aboriginal learners attending school in the District. this agreement outlines the purpose, foundational principles and performance goals the parties commit to in order to increase Aboriginal student achievement. the Aboriginal Enhancement Agreement provides specific objectives, performance indicators and annual performance targets for each goal area. the importance of literacy is clearly evident in the goals and objectives. the Aboriginal Enhancement Agreement is available in its entirety on the School District website www.sd36. bc.ca.

SuppoRTInG ALL LEARnERS
Surrey School District provides a variety of different programs and services in order to support and ensure success for all learners. two departments provide leadership in this area: Diversity and Equity and Student Support Services. Within these departments, there is a cadre of professionals and paraprofessionals to support learners who may have additional learning needs or challenges. this includes Speech and Language Pathologists, Educational Psychologists, counsellors, District Hearing and Vision teachers, Hospital Homebound teachers, Integration teachers, Behaviour Specialists, Helping teachers, Special Education Assistants and child care Workers. Students who have additional learning needs such as learning disabilities or intellectual challenges or are gifted have an Individual Education Plan. this plan outlines the learning goals, objectives, and programming to assist the student in being successful. A Learner Support team in each school supports the implementation, monitoring and ongoing revision of the plan in order to ensure the needs of the learner are being met. In addition, there are specific programs to support students who require more specialized and intensive support.

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City of Surrey learning for life STRATEGY

the School District also provides support to English language learners through the Welcome centre, Full-Day Kindergarten, and additional support at schools through Learner Support teams. In addition, support to learners and their families is provided by Multi-cultural Workers and Settlement Workers.

CoMMunITY SChooL pARTnERShIp
the community School Partnership, spearheaded by the Surrey School District and the city of Surrey since 2006, draws together the expertise and resources of key public and community agencies serving children, youth and families in Surrey with the intent to establish designated schools as neighbourhood centres. Using schools as neighbourhood focal points, the community School Partnership seeks to: weave together an array of local services and resources for children, youth and families; provide connections to the broader network of citywide services; build a sense of neighbourhood identity; promote lifelong learning and overall community liveability. While over the long term it is envisaged that the community School Partnership will become a citywide program, the initiative currently focuses on three clusters of inner-city schools in the Guildford, Whalley and Newton communities.

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City of Surrey learning for life STRATEGY

recommendations
Continue Community School Partnership and expand to other schools. that the city and Surrey School District continue the community School Partnership and examine the feasibility of expanding to other schools as funding allows, including the expansion of Parks, Recreation and culture and Surrey Public Library Out of School care programming. Continue arts programming for children and teens. that the city continue to provide a variety of arts programming for children and teens, and explore community partnerships to enhance and broaden its range of creative opportunities. Consider including literacy components in programming for teens. that the city consider including literacy components in the programming it does for teens. Continue Library/School District learning partnerships. that Surrey Public Library and Surrey School District continue to work in partnership on programs that promote and support literacy, homework and lifelong learning to students. Develop Library programs focused on reading for children.that Surrey Public Library continue to develop programs for school aged children that focus on reading for enjoyment and reading skills enhancement; that the Library provide opportunities for aboriginal children to connect with their own culture through books and stories. Support the Aboriginal community’s efforts to promote healthy development of children and youth. that the city continue to support the Aboriginal community’s efforts to promote the healthy development of their children and youth by partnering on the South Fraser Aboriginal children and Youth coalition committee and the Metro Vancouver Urban Aboriginal Strategy. Advocate for funding for more student seats at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. that the city, together with other concerned agencies, advocate with the Ministry of Advanced Education to increase the number of seats available to students in Surrey and area at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, so that students will be able to complete post-secondary studies closer to home. Advocate for English as a Second Language (ESL) programs for immigrants and refugees. that the city partner with Surrey School District and settlement agencies in Surrey to identify gaps in ESL educational programs, especially for the growing refugee population, and advocate with the Ministry of Education for the additional resources required to meet the identified needs. Expand alternative programs that encourage students to complete Grade 12. that the city support Surrey School District as it continues to expand alternative programs to encourage students to stay in school and complete Grade 12. Expand successful reading programs to more schools. that the city support Surrey School District as it continues to expand successful reading programs to more schools as resources are available, and use assessment data to monitor progress of students in the Early Success and Soar to Success programs. Expand writing programs. that the city support Surrey School District as it continues to expand its writing programs and provide continuing education opportunities for teachers. Focus on numeracy and new mathematics curriculum. that the city support Surrey School District in its efforts to support administrators and teachers in understanding the importance of numeracy and implementing the new mathematics curriculum, inform parents about current trends in learning mathematics, and complete the development of appropriate numeracy assessment tools.

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adult and workplace learning
BACkGRounD
the International Adult Literacy & Skills Survey (IALSS) carried out by Statistics canada assesses skills in four domains: the survey uses five levels of measurement – these are often referred to as “literacy levels”: Level 3 is considered to be the level needed to fully participate and succeed in today’s society and canada’s knowledge-based economy. While high school completion has been equated to Level 3 literacy, not everyone has achieved this including some people who have completed Grade 12. Essential skills assessment and training at Kwantlen Polytechnic University and at the Surrey training centre of Douglas college provide an opportunity for adults to complete high school and prepare for further education. A June 2008 report from the canadian council on Learning called Reading the Future focuses on the issue of adult literacy levels in canada and predicts that the situation will not improve noticeably through 2031. It indicates that 48% of canadian adults have low literacy skills (below level 3) – many who are just below that level do not believe that they have a problem. It includes success stories and a tool for planners and literacy providers to project future literacy rates by province.

» Level 1 – people have difficulty reading and » Level 2 – people have limited skills and can » Level 3 – people can read well, though they
may have problems with more complex tasks.

» Prose literacy – understanding and using » Document literacy – locating and using

information from texts, e.g. news, brochures, manuals. information contained in documents, e.g. job applications, payroll forms, schedules, maps. to numbers embedded in printed materials, e.g. balancing accounts, figuring out tips, completing order forms. understanding of problem situations and their step-by-step transformation, based on planning and reasoning.

have few basic skills for decoding or working with text – generally they are aware they have a literacy problem. only deal with material that is simple and clearly laid-out – they often do not recognize their limitations.

» Numeracy – applying arithmetic operations » Problem-solving – goal-directed

» Level 4 & 5 – people have strong literacy

skills and strategies for dealing with complex materials.

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City of Surrey learning for life STRATEGY

LITERACY AnD ThE EConoMY
the tD Bank Financial Group published a report in 2007 that addressed the critical need to improve literacy skills of working-age canadians. Literacy Matters: a call for Action spoke to the 2003 results of the IALSS and noted that there had been little improvement since the previous survey in 1994. the authors of the report focused on the economic impacts of literacy: strong literacy skills are linked with educational attainment that is in turn linked to personal income. they cited a Statistics canada study that found that a 1% increase in literacy produces a 2.5% increase in the level of labour productivity and a 1.5% increase in output per capita – outcomes that are almost three times the return on investment in physical capital. the report also noted that canada’s service economy contributes 70% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product and growth in this sector is in highly skilled occupations. the report’s “call to action” encourages businesses to consider offering employees the opportunity to develop English language and other essential skills that would improve their literacy levels. It suggests that they can do so with on-site courses, training opportunities or support for community literacy initiatives through sponsorship and donations.

ChALLEnGES AnD IMpACTS

» 22% of Surrey residents have not completed » Often people who have had difficulty at

» 47% of B.c. adults with poor literacy skills

high school; for a further 30%, high school is their highest level of education. school are uncomfortable approaching institutions that provide formal learning opportunities in order to complete Grade 12 and move on to further education. from ages 16 – 65 have literacy levels that limit their ability to fully participate in today’s economy and society.

are employed while over 80% of those with strong skills are employed. levels – 47% of the people who are at Level 1 live in low income households; 43% of working adults are receiving Employment Insurance or Social Assistance.

» Average household income reflects literacy

» 40% of adults in B.c. and over 35% of people » Immigrants with a first language other

» the city’s Official community Plan aims to

than English have lower literacy than other canadians – 60% are below Level 3 and this does not improve with time living in canada; two-thirds of B.c.’s working age people are immigrants. have no English skills when they arrive: 79% under the age of 14; 49% of those aged 15-24; 36% aged 25-64 and 62% of people over the age of 65. language are able to achieve a reasonable level of literacy in English with fewer hours of training. likely to be exploited in the workplace because they are unaware of canadian employment standards and cannot read well enough to find the information they need.

improve the population to employment ratio in the city in order to provide more local employment and reduce residents’ need to commute; the city will be able to attract more businesses to Surrey if there is a welleducated workforce with a higher level of literacy and skills. have difficulty attending existing programs because of transportation challenges, childcare issues or timing challenges with weekday/daytime programs. parents/caregivers to provide the early stimulation that is critical to later learning – parents may be motivated to improve their own literacy skills by learning how important it is for their children’s success. of 65 and comprises a diverse population in terms of literacy levels and language skills. often caregivers for their grandchildren and lack opportunities for English language training and practice.

» People who want to upgrade their skills

» Many of the immigrants who come to B.c.

» Adult literacy levels impact the ability of

» People who are literate in their original

» 12% of Surrey’s population is over the age

» People with poor literacy skills are more

» Seniors without English language skills are

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LAnGuAGE SERvICES FoR IMMIGRAnTS
Because of the large number of immigrants in Surrey, there is great demand for English learning opportunities. Programs range from structured training to conversation groups. Government funded classes are available through various agencies, including DIVERSEcity, Douglas college, Surrey School District and some local faith communities. these English Language Services for Adults (ELSA) provide free basic and intermediate level training for adult newcomers. there is a pre-beginner/literacy level and five levels of competency. Assessment of language proficiency is available through the Surrey Language Assessment centre. there are also language learning programs that are not government funded and are fee-based. One of the concerns for agencies dealing with skilled immigrants is the need for English language training that is specific to the immigrants’ professions or trades – the lack of English skills is often the major barrier to employment for skilled immigrants.

Many jobs require a higher level of English proficiency than the government funding provides training for. courses do exist but they are fee-based, e.g. Kwantlen Polytechnic University courses for nurses. A related issue is the particular canadian jargon that exists in many trades and professions - people coming from English-speaking countries may not know some of this jargon and it is even more difficult for people whose first language is not English.

the city’s Economic Development Department provides information and assistance to businesses seeking to locate in the city and works with local business associations to provide learning opportunities. Surrey Public Library provides resources and classes to assist job-seekers, including programs in Punjabi and Mandarin. Many residents who do not own computers come to the Library to create their resumes and job applications, to use the Internet to find out about jobs and to send in their applications. As well as information for job-seekers, the Library provides information for people who want to start their own business – legal, financial, and human resource aspects as well as market information help people decide where to locate and what businesses are most likely to have a profitable market. the Library also has resources and programs to help new canadians learn to speak and practice English, including language learning software in its three electronic classrooms and the language laboratory at Strawberry Hill Library.

CITY/SChooL DISTRICT pRoGRAMS AnD SuppoRT
the Plan for Social Well-Being of Surrey Residents identified gaps related to life skills and essential skills training and recommended that the city advocate with the Surrey School District and relevant provincial ministries to:

» complete studies to better understand the

gaps in life skills training for adults that have not completed high school; and education and employment opportunities, particularly for persons with learning disabilities and mental health concerns.

» Implement the needed life skills programs,

the concerns raised by the city in 2006 are still issues according to research completed in connection with the community Literacy Plan - advocacy is still needed.

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the Library provides adaptive technology and trained staff at the Guildford and Semiahmoo Libraries to help people with print and learning disabilities access Internet resources and learn the skills to create documents or read books using this technology. Parks, Recreation and culture provides English “conversation circles” for new canadians using local volunteers in recreation centres and library branches. these programs allow people to practice their English language skills in a comfortable environment, to learn about library resources, and also to meet others and make new friends. the program is expanding to the schools that are part of the community School Partnership in the fall of 2008 and is very much in demand as people learn about this opportunity. Surrey School District, through its continuing and Adult Learning Department provides courses to help people improve essential skills. they also provide a variety of “transition” programs to assist adults who did not complete high school to find the most appropriate type of learning.

CITY oF SuRREY woRkpLACE
the city of Surrey has been recognized as a top 100/top 50 Employer in B.c. for four consecutive years from 2005 through 2008. Recognition and remuneration, along with training and development opportunities are part of this success and contribute to the city’s ability to recruit and retain qualified and talented staff members. Policies such as the “Respectful Workplace Policy” and the “Human Rights Policy” support staff members in performing their jobs. Literacy issues for city workers do exist, in particular for some of the workers in the city’s largest union, cUPE 402.

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recommendations
Raise literacy awareness in business community.that the city, through its Economic Development Department, help to raise awareness in the local business community of the need for improved literacy and essential skills in the workplace. Develop Learning Centres in libraries and prototype at City Centre Library. that the Library develop Learning centres, subject to existing space, to provide a focus for adult and computer learning; that the Library develop a prototype Learning centre, including space for related collections, computer learning, tutoring and adult programs in its plan for the city centre Library and use this as a model for new or expanded libraries in future years. Increase access to basic computer literacy training for adults. that the city increase access to basic computer literacy training for adults through collaborative planning and appropriate partnerships, in particular to make training available for adults in the workforce who need to learn basic skills. Advocate for life skills training. that the city continue to advocate as recommended by the Plan for the Social Well-Being of Surrey Residents, for studies to understand gaps in life skills training for adults that have not completed high school and for programs, education and employment opportunities for persons with learning disabilities and mental health concerns. Advocate for improved transit services in Surrey.that the city continue to advocate for improved transit services within Surrey so that people with low incomes are better able to access learning services in the city. Translate City literacy program information and explore partnerships to provide more life skills programs for new Canadians. that the city explore the feasibility of providing translations for program information for its key literacy programs for new canadians and continue to seek partnerships with immigrantserving agencies to provide more life skills programs in the major languages of Surrey’s residents. Expand conversation programs for new Canadian adults. that the city expand the number of conversation circles for new canadian adults to better meet demand; that they consider whether it is feasible to partner with the trades or professional organizations to offer opportunities for people to learn the jargon related to their industry. Determine literacy needs in City workforce and plan to address them. that the city work with cUPE 402 to determine essential skills learning needs of its employees, in conjunction with its assessment of staff training and development needs and formulate a plan to address these needs to ensure that city workers have the skills they need to maximize their productivity and progress in the workplace.

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social engagement: community and interpersonal learning
the composite Learning Index developed by the canadian council on Learning includes a component called “learning to live together” that focuses on citizens’ respect and concern for others, the appreciation of diversity, and the social and interpersonal skills that are needed to make society work.
Successful communities include citizens who are engaged in the life of their community, citizens who participate in the democratic process and civic planning exercises. Engaged citizens give their time and talent to helping others through volunteer work, charitable donations, and participation in service clubs and faith communities. they join their neighbours and friends in clubs and activities that speak to their own particular interests, be they cultural, sporting, scientific or environmental. All of these activities are opportunities for learning about the local or global community and learning how to effectively interact with the diverse cultures and people that make Surrey such a rich place to live. there are many opportunities in Surrey for people of all ages to volunteer their time and ability with the city, service clubs, faith communities and not-for-profit agencies. there is a full range of interests represented, from community service to sports to cultural programs. there are even opportunities to help young children and adults who want to improve their literacy skills. there are also many volunteer opportunities related to the Olympics - Surrey will be the home of a Games Preparation centre that will train volunteers beginning in the early spring of 2009. the Surrey Volunteer centre, the city of Surrey’s Volunteer coordinator, and VolWeb are three services that can link residents to the most appropriate opportunities to match their available time, skills and interests.

» Seniors may become isolated without

community support and opportunities for connecting with people through leisure or volunteer activities – Surrey has many active seniors who participate in activities and in their community.

CITY pRoGRAMS AnD SuppoRT
the city of Surrey provides community support to local non-profit organizations and low-income residents in various ways. these include property tax exemptions, Public Leisure Access Program, council-directed projects through the council Initiatives Fund, ongoing leases, crime prevention initiatives, business and tourism grants, and onetime grants. the city places advertisements in local newspapers and on the city’s website inviting interested parties to apply for its annual Grants Program and grants are awarded as part of the annual budget process. the total amount provided by the Grants Program varies from year to year. Grants support community groups and associations that engage citizens in a range of activities: e.g. sports, cultural festivals and seniors’ programs.

ChALLEnGES AnD IMpACTS

» Literacy is a factor in social engagement and
community vitality: 80% of canadians with strong literacy skills are engaged in their communities compared with only 50% of those with poor literacy skills; poor literacy skills can lead to social exclusion.

» Individuals with higher literacy skills are

more likely to understand community issues and participate in debate and decisionmaking, e.g. voting. in Surrey was 35%, up from 31% in 2002 and 29% in 1999. and who are not literate in their mother language need to acquire facility with English in order to fully engage in society.

» Voter turnout in the 2005 municipal election » People whose first language is not English

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the city’s Public Leisure Access program provided financial assistance to over 11,600 participants in 2007, resulting in more than 150,000 facility visits by residents who would not otherwise be able to participate in literacy programs, lifelong learning or fitness and leisure activities. the value of this program is approximately $500,000 per year. the city is providing opportunities for young people to be actively involved in civic issues and to contribute to the community - the Youth Participation coordinator provides the focus for these efforts. Achievements include the creation of the Surrey Leadership Youth council (SLYc), a one-day You(th) Speak Up! Forum and Youth Speak Up Nights at tom Binnie Youth centre. the city is also ensuring that young people have a voice in planning processes such as the city centre Plan Update. the community Literacy Plan Steering committee includes the Youth Participation coordinator and a member of the SLYc.

voLunTEERISM
the city provides many opportunities for residents to engage in volunteer activities. Personal growth and skill development is fostered by continually diversifying volunteer opportunities within 10 key areas across the city:

» community & Leisure Services » Emergency Social Services » Summer Day camps » Outdoor Services » Heritage Services » Arts Services » Partners in Parks » Environmental Programs » Special Events, and » Supportive programs for individuals with
disabilities. More than 3500 registered volunteers are involved in these programs and are given the opportunity to learn, grow and lead through ongoing professional development workshops.

the city has committees, Boards and commissions that help to further its work through citizen involvement, from the Library Board to the Parks and community Services committee and the Heritage Advisory commission. In addition there were a number of special committees and task forces initiated by Mayor Watts on a wide range of current issues – these also involve citizen volunteers. Special events in the city including the Surrey children’s Festival and Fusion Festival promote cross cultural awareness and cultural sharing and build positive community connections while providing volunteer opportunities. Many of the city’s public art projects incorporate text in a variety of languages - to achieve this residents are often engaged in the planning and design of the artwork. these projects are located in highly visible public venues and signal to new residents that they are valued and welcome in this community.

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Parks, Recreation and culture collaborates with Surrey Public Library to offer a unique opportunity for new canadians to practice their English language skills in a comfortable environment free of charge. the program is offered in 7 locations and has 90 participants on average each season. Volunteer facilitators are trained and equipped with techniques and resources to deliver the program. this program engages new canadians in our community while developing their confidence and social skills. In 2007 there was a 321% increase in participation in comparison to the previous year and participants are asking for more sessions as are other new canadians who hear about this initiative. Surrey Public Library provides two opportunities for volunteer involvement. the Outreach Services Department uses volunteers to deliver books to seniors and others who are unable to get to the Library in person. these volunteers often do more than just drop off books – they visit with the customers and develop friendships that add to the quality of life for the homebound individual. the Reading Buddies Program links teen volunteers with young children who are having difficulty with reading. teens receive training that allows them to assist the children and they are true mentors to their little buddies – they also receive credit for community service from Surrey School District.

ConnECTIonS
the Library has ways for people to connect with each other while encouraging literacy: book club kits and information on running a book club allow people to connect around books and reading; an online reading club for teens allows Surrey teens to connect with teens across canada to discuss their favourite reads; book clubs for children and teens take place in library branches; special storytimes with translation in Punjabi or chinese bring together parents/caregivers and young children to hear stories in English and learn about the importance of reading to children and telling stories. Seniors centres provide opportunities for active seniors to meet other people to learn new skills, share common interests, participate in group outings or discuss current events over coffee or a meal. Seniors in areas without such centres make use of public spaces to connect, e.g. at the Ocean Park Library.

CITY STAFF InvoLvEMEnT
city staff members are actively involved in their community. the annual United Way campaign has been successful in raising funds to help local social service agencies – the city has been a Gold Award winner based on the level of staff contributions. city staff members participate in an annual “Day of caring” and other projects that help our less fortunate citizens. Surrey Public Library is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2008 with a campaign to fill book bags with essential supplies for clients of a North Surrey social service agency. the Surrey Firefighters charitable Society provides programs and assists other local charities that have similar objectives: poverty relief; helping people with traumatic injuries; medical research/health care; community service bursaries; programs that promote staying in school; and programs that offer positive life experiences and enhance self-esteem. they have raised well over $4 million for local charities.

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recommendations
Provide more programs that promote social interaction and reduce isolation. that the city provide more opportunities for residents of all ages and ethnicities to engage in learning activities that also promote social interaction and reduce isolation. Provide a range of volunteer opportunities. that the city continue to provide a range of volunteer opportunities for residents and ensure that these opportunities are publicized effectively, including the opportunity for citizens to become involved in city committees, Boards and commissions. Support low-income residents’ participation in City learning activities. that the city continue its Public Leisure Access Program so that residents with low incomes can participate in city programs that promote social interaction, learning and fitness. Support local community groups and charities. that the city continue to support local community groups and associations through grants and property tax exemptions; and that the city council and staff members continue their support and fundraising efforts for local charities.

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personal development and lifelong learning
People never stop learning. What begins as curiosity in early childhood develops into a quest for knowledge and a need for personal fulfillment as people mature.
Healthy people seek out information related to their own physical well-being, through reading information in print or on the Internet, attending seminars and lectures on health topics, and learning from health professionals. People with low literacy skills are less likely to seek such information. Lifelong learning includes the very practical learning that people do in order to deal with everyday chores such as gardening or home repair. It also includes exploring one’s creativity by learning how to paint or learning a language. In today’s society, many people are involved in learning about computers and technology: how to use a mouse, making effective use of a digital camera or designing their own web sites and participating in social networking sites. Visual and performing arts programs ensure opportunities for self-expression and exploration nurturing creativity and self-discovery. Max Wyman writes in the Defiant Imagination: “Engagement with artistic creativity develops the ability to think creatively in ways that significantly enlarge the educational experience. It encourages the flexible, nuanced thinking that will be an essential requirement of any innovative response to the challenges we face.” We learn through participating in cultural activities: visiting the latest exhibit at the Surrey Art Gallery; attending a play or a music concert; sharing Surrey’s history at the Surrey Museum; listening to an author reading at Surrey Public Library or learning the tricks of the trade at the Surrey International Writers’ conference. Participating in sports is a positive learning experience for all ages, with its emphasis on teamwork and personal achievement as well as the health benefits gained from physical activity and fitness. city facilities are key to residents’ access to cultural and sports learning opportunities. One of the phrases that we often hear is “when I retire, I’m going to learn to…..”. Seniors are some of the most active members of society as they continue to learn about themselves, learn new skills, and learn about the world around them. Seniors have a range of literacy levels, interests and activities that need to be acknowledged in lifelong learning opportunities. Some are the caregivers for their grandchildren, particularly in the community of new canadians and can benefit from learning how to share language with the children. Others are actively involved in pursuing personal interests and lifelong learning and are seeking a variety of programs throughout the city. Many are active volunteers in the community and have knowledge, experience and skills to share.

ChALLEnGES AnD IMpACTS

» Literacy levels and health are related: 30% of

adults with low literacy skills rate themselves as being in excellent or very good health compared with 75% of those with high literacy. participate in adult education or training compared with 75% of those with high literacy. visiting museums, attending concerts or plays, participating in team or individual sports) contribute to literacy – families with low incomes do not have the discretionary income to take advantage of such opportunities. language skills before they are able to participate in other learning activities.

» 20% of B.c. adults with low literacy

» Family cultural and sports activities (e.g.

» New canadians need to acquire English » People with low literacy levels may also need

help in acquiring life skills as a critical step in their lifelong learning, e.g. being able to read a map so they do not get lost, learning to take transit, dealing with the health system and financial institutions, learning about city recreation and Library services. ambassadors for the city and its programs and facilities – they need to be aware of all that the city has to offer its residents.

» city of Surrey staff members are

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City of Surrey learning for life STRATEGY

CITY pRoGRAMS AnD SuppoRT
the city of Surrey provides many opportunities for its residents to participate in activities and learning. Events the city organizes many family events throughout the year that bring people together for fun and learning:

» Surrey Reads focuses on family literacy in
January;

» WinterFest helps to brighten February; » the Early Years Festival in the spring

focuses on resources for families with young children; children of all ages in late May;

» Surrey children’s Festival is a highlight for » the largest canada Day celebration in the
province entertains thousands;

Parks, Recreation and Culture Programs the city of Surrey provides a range of lifelong learning activities through its recreation centres across the city. Preschool programs that focus on play-based learning contribute to school readiness and overall healthy child development. Programs such as Mother Goose, Strong Start and parenting programs are offered in partnership with the community to increase access for families to early learning. collaborative multiagency partnerships also support programs such as First Steps that help to meet the settlement and early adaptation needs of young refugee children and their families. After-school homework clubs and leadership programs connect children to positive role models and reinforce the importance of learning and community connection. the wide range of sport and recreation programs for all ages provides opportunities to develop social, physical and cognitive skills that support overall literacy in its fullest definition. Programs for adults and seniors span from nutrition and prenatal education to arts, language, drama and computers. Other life-long learning programs include cPR and First Aid classes, English enrichment programs and volunteer development.

Surrey was proclaimed as the large city cultural capital of canada for 2008 and has a full slate of activities as part of its plan as well as projects that will leave a legacy for the future. Surrey residents have enjoyed “inspired speakers”, a Vaisakhi concert, Fusion Festival and the Kla How Eya canoe. they will see six new public art projects in Surrey parks and greenways, a new Nature centre in Green timbers and a digital art project online and in the techLab at the Surrey Art Gallery. And, last but not least, they will celebrate Surrey’s civic treasures, local leaders in the arts and culture. the Surrey Arts centre includes an excellent Art Gallery and a variety of space for performing arts. Surrey hosts a month-long Festival of Dance each spring that brings thousands of young dancers to this facility. Drama and comedy entertain people in the theatres. School art decorates the walls in the foyers and art is available for people to rent. the city of Surrey has a Public Art Policy and is continually adding to its inventory of creative, one-of-a-kind public art installations throughout the city. the Surrey Museum in cloverdale collects and displays Surrey’s heritage and brings in fascinating exhibits from other museums across the country and around the world. Programs for all ages help people learn a craft or appreciate history.

» the canada cup women’s fastball
celebrate the city’s diversity;

championship draws crowds in July;

» Fusion Festival was launched this July to » the Wandering Angels Lantern Festival
teaches people how to make lanterns as well as provides the chance to participate in a lantern parade in August. will be opportunities to watch some of the Olympic sports in Surrey as the city hosts teams for practice and play “Ahead of the Games”.

» the upcoming Olympics mean that there

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Historic Stewart Farm on crescent Road helps young and old alike to appreciate and understand what life was like in Surrey more than a century ago – learning opportunities range from making ice cream and herbal tea to experiencing farm life in Surrey’s early days. Seniors’ centres in Whalley, Guildford, Newton and cloverdale provide a range of learning opportunities for seniors; seniors’ spaces in the city’s recreation centres in Guildford, Fleetwood, Fraser Heights and South Surrey also provide a focus for seniors. computer labs are available in the cloverdale and Newton centres and classes are offered for a fee. Surrey Public Library Programs Surrey Public Library provides resources and programs for lifelong learning and to help people explore their creative side: books, magazines and DVD’s for leisure and information; online databases to help people find information for homework or to support personal interest courses; informational programs for new canadians in their home languages to help them settle into the city, with topics from health to employment and education.

the Library had its first Writer-in-Residence to celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2008 – Surrey’s writers appreciated the opportunity to work with a professional writer to hone their craft and many people attended the readings and workshops that the writer conducted during his four month term. Library programs for seniors not only contribute to lifelong learning but to socialization and the reduction of isolation among seniors. Electronic classrooms at three libraries (Guildford, Semiahmoo and Strawberry Hill) provide free classes for people learning how to use computers and the Internet. through partnerships with groups such as the cloverdale Seniors, there are also more in-depth classes for a fee. During the summer with the support of the Young canada Works program of Heritage canada, one-on-one coaching is provided at all nine branches. A partnership with Kla How Eya’s culinary Arts Program ensures that its students have basic computer skills when they graduate and move on to programs at community college. the Library also has print and online resources to help people learn basic computer skills so they can learn in their own time and place.

the Library has resources to help people learn English, including books, cD’s and computeraided instruction through the language laboratory and the electronic classroom at the Strawberry Hill Library, as well as in the electronic classrooms at the Guildford and Semiahmoo Libraries. Print and audio materials are available to borrow for people learning languages other than English for school, work, travel or as a means of connecting with their heritage.

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recommendations
City Staff Learning the city provides an orientation program and materials for all new staff members that gives them an overview of the city’s governance, corporate structure, programs and services. Other learning opportunities such as “Lunch and Learn” sessions are regularly provided to feature particular programs, e.g. Surrey’s Olympic involvement. the staff Intranet includes policy and other corporate information, news, job postings, social activities for staff, and information on community involvement. Surrey Public Library and the Fire Service have Intranets specific to their departments and other department information will be developed over time. Encouraging Participation in “Learning for Life”Attached as the final Appendix to this strategy is a “Personal Learning commitment” form – a way to encourage readers to make a commitment to lifelong learning and at the same time to explore some of the facilities that the city of Surrey has to support them in this effort. Provide more Library programs to help new Canadians learn about Canadian services in their home languages. that Surrey Public Library continues to provide information and awareness programs to help new canadians learn about health, education and employment in canada in their home languages, in collaboration with community partners. Provide more computer learning opportunities. Provide more opportunities for Surrey residents to gain computer skills, through classes and resources at the Library, and recreation and seniors’ centres. Promote City programs to other learning agencies. that the city explore partnerships with other learning agencies in the city to find creative ways of informing their learners about the resources and services available at the Library, recreation and seniors’ centres, Surrey Arts centre and Surrey Museum. Find ways to engage new Canadian seniors in learning. that city and School District staff work with the city’s Multicultural Advisory committee members to identify learning opportunities and ways to engage new canadian seniors in the community. Provide opportunities for staff to learn about City policy, programs and services. that the city continue to provide orientation sessions and information to ensure that city staff are knowledgeable about city policy, programs and services; that city staff be encouraged to explore the cultural and learning facilities provided by the city to build their knowledge.

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appendices

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appendix a
MAYoR’S TASk FoRCE on LITERACY AnD EARLY ChILDhooD – MEMBERS
Mayor Dianne Watts councillor Judy Higginbotham (chair) councillor Mary Martin craig Amundsen, Executive Assistant to Mayor Watts (to June 2008) Beth Barlow, chief Librarian Laurie cavan, General Manager, Parks, Recreation and culture Penny coates, Office of Early childhood Education, Learning and care (to June 2008) Pat Horstead, Director of Instruction, Surrey School District (from June 2007) Yrsa Jensen, Director of Instruction, Surrey School District (to May 2007) Aileen Murphy, Senior Social Planner, city of Surrey Susan Papadionissiou, Office of Early childhood Education, Learning and care (from July 2008) Stacey Rennie, Manager, South Surrey Recreation centre Norman Van Eeden Petersman, communication Assistant, Mayor’s Office (from July 2008) Lorraine Anderson, Legislative Services (Recorder)

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appendix b
pRESEnTATIonS To ThE MAYoR’S TASk FoRCE on LITERACY AnD EARLY ChILDhooD

» Baristas Program, Pacific community Resources Society
(John Solano, Barb Vandenberg, program graduates; Sue Johnson, Surrey School District)

» crime Prevention/Victim Services Unit, RcMP
(Shelly Jacobsen, Sergeant Bob O’connor, Jana Anne Stocker)

» Fraser Health – Perinatal care (Kim Williams) » Human Early Learning Partnership, UBc (Joanne Schroeder) » IR3 Program, Surrey School District (Karen Sekhon) » Literacy Bc (Mark campbell) » Literacy Now (Leona Gadsby) » Surrey White Rock community Literacy Planning (Judith McLean) » Surrey White Rock Make children First – First Steps Project (Penny coates)

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appendix c
SELECTED RESouRCES
the 2007 composite Learning Index: Helping communities Improve the Quality of Life. canadian council on Learning. 2007. British columbia Early Learning Framework. British columbia Early Learning Advisory Group. 2008. Building on Our competencies: canadian Results of the International Adult Literacy and Skills Survey 2003. Statistics canada. 2005. census 2006: community Highlights for Surrey. Statistics canada. (http://www12.statcan.ca/english/census06/data/profiles/community/Index.cfm?Lang=E) (accessed June 3, 2008) District and community Literacy Plan: School District No. 36 (Surrey) – collaborating for our community. June 2008. Early Years Study 2: Putting Science Into Action. council on Early childhood Development. 2007. Health and Well-Being of children in care in British columbia: Educational Experience and Outcomes. Representative for children and Youth, British columbia and Office of the Provincial Health Officer. 2006. Literacy: creating the conditions for Reading and Writing Success. Office of the Auditor General of British columbia. 2008. Literacy Matters: a call for Action. tD Bank Financial Group. 2007(?) Making a commitment to Early childhood Development: the Fraser Region Strategic Framework – Report on Phase I and II. 2006. Mapping Early child Development: Surrey (School District #36). Human Early Learning Partnership. 2006. Reading the Future: Planning to Meet canada’s Future Literacy Needs. canadian council on Learning, June 2008. http://www.ccl-cca.ca/ccL/Reports/ReadingFuture/index.htm Surrey/White Rock Make children First Year three Update. 2006. towards a Fully Literate canada: Achieving National Goals through a comprehensive Pan-canadian Literacy Strategy. Advisory committee on Literacy and Essential Skills. 2005 Valuing Our children: taking First Steps together. Surrey/White Rock Make children First. 2004. Working together for Literacy: British columbia’s Literacy Action Plan. ReadNowBc. 2008.

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appendix d
InSTITuTIonS AnD AGEnCIES pRovIDInG LEARnInG SERvICES In SuRREY GovERnMEnT FunDED
city of Surrey – Parks, Recreation and culture Department (multiple locations) – programs to support early learning and development, language, life and computer skills, volunteerism, and personal development. Douglas college, Surrey training centre – essential skills assessment and classes; ESL classes; training programs; career skills. Kwantlen Polytechnic University (Main campus in Newton and trades campus in cloverdale) – range of university degree and trades programs; essential skills assessment and classes, English language learning; career and life skills including courses for new canadian professionals; programs for disabled adults and seniors; Adult Basic Education (high school completion); aboriginal student support. Simon Fraser University Surrey campus – range of university degree programs; ESL; university preparation for aboriginal people; life skills and personal development for adults. Surrey School District – early learning, K-12 and adult education, special programs for aboriginal students, ESL students and students with disabilities. Surrey Public Library – print and online resources to support early learning and reading for all ages as well as language acquisition; programs/services for parents, children, teens, adults, seniors and people with print disabilities to encourage reading, build computer literacy skills and life skills and help to maintain quality of life for seniors and people with disabilities. cedar Grove Baptist church – “Daily Bread” conversation for ESL learners (ELSA approved). centre for child Development – communication skills and assistive technology; preschool – for children with developmental disabilities. children’s Foundation – variety of family life skills programs to support children and families. church of Jesus christ of the Latter Day Saints – ESL classes (ELSA approved). crescent Beach community Services – early learning programs; life skills. DIVERSEcity community Resources Society – ELSA classes/life and career skills/health information for new canadians. Elizabeth Fry Society – life skills for women and girls involved in the justice system. Faith community – several local churches offer ESL programs, some of which are ELSA approved. I AM cares Society – Surrey EDGE Job club – career skills for people with disabilities. Immigrant Services Society of B.c. – Multilingual Employment Resource centre – career skills. Just Beginnings – florist training for adults.

noT-FoR-pRoFIT
Adult Learning Development Association – career skills for unemployed adults with learning disabilities. Arrive Bc (Back in Motion) – careers skills for skilled immigrants (focus on construction, transportation and health sectors). Arts council of Surrey – social engagement/ volunteer opportunities. Atira Women’s Resource Society – life skills for women and families in transition. AWARE Society – career skills. B.c. centre for Ability – career-related programs for youth with disabilities.

City of Surrey learning for life STRATEGY

59

appendix d - continued
Kla How Eya Aboriginal centre (Surrey Aboriginal cultural Society) – early learning (Head Start); youth literacy; career skills Learning Disabilities Association of B.c. Fraser South chapter – tutoring and life skills for youth; resource centre with assistive technology and materials. Metis Family Services – life skills; cultural awareness. Oak Avenue Neighbourhood Hub Society – early learning; personal development. OPtIONS Services to communities Society (9 locations) – early development and learning; services for new canadians; perinatal health; alternate school programs for special needs youth; family places (Whalley, Guildford, Newton, cloverdale). Pacific community Resources Society - life and career skills for youth and adults with barriers, including the Baristas Program/Surrey Youth Employment centre/Passport to Work Program; alternate education in partnership with Surrey School District. Path to Freedom Drug and Alcohol treatment centre – life skills. Pathfinder Youth centre Society – life and career skills for youth with barriers. Peace Arch community Services – career planning skills for all ages including new canadians and people with disabilities; life skills and personal development for people with developmental disabilities. Phoenix Society – essential skills/life skills/ career programs for clients, in partnership with Kwantlen. PLEA community Services Society of Bc – life skills for youth dealing with addictions, in partnership with Surrey School District. Progressive Intercultural community Services Society – ELSA classes/career skills/personal development for new canadians. SEEDS Business Development centre – business skills for people seeking to become selfemployed, including new canadians/ESL clients. Semiahmoo Family Place – early development and family support. Semiahmoo House Society – life skills, career skills and personal development for people with developmental disabilities. Seniors centres (cloverdale, Fleetwood, Guildford, Newton, Whalley) – variety of programs to improve quality of life for seniors, including computer skills. Servants Anonymous Society - life and career skills/personal development for women in transition; high school upgrading in partnership with Surrey School District. South Fraser Women’s Services Society – life skills for women in transition. SRS Vocational Services Society – career skills for people with disabilities. S.U.c.c.E.S.S. – ELSA classes/life and career skills/ personal development for new canadians. Surrey Association for community Living – life skills and personal development for adults/ children/youth with developmental disabilities. Surrey community Services Society – career skills for adults seeking employment. Surrey crime Prevention Society – life skills. Surrey Women’s centre – life skills for women and families in transition.

60

City of Surrey learning for life STRATEGY

appendix d - continued
tHEO Bc (B.c. Society of training for Health and Employment Opportunities) – career, life skills and personal development courses for people with mental health and disability issues. tong Louie YMcA – preschool/daycare and personal development programs for all ages. Umoja Operation compassion Society – early literacy for refugee children, in partnership with Surrey Public Library. Vibrant Surrey – social engagement and learning focused on reducing poverty. Youth Arts council of Surrey – personal development and social engagement for youth.

FEE-FoR-SERvICE CoMpAnIES wITh FunDED pRoGRAMS
career coaching centre – Bc tourism Direct program. career connections training centre Inc. – computer skills courses (fee-based but offers government-funded wage subsidy program for eligible clients). Landell and Associates consulting Ltd. – career skills for unemployed adults. WcG International HR Solutions – Bc JobWave program – life/career skills. Note: there are many businesses providing educational services, tutoring and skills upgrading in Surrey – this list only includes the ones that have government funding that allows them to deliver particular programs without charge. Schools and other institutions may be found in the yellow pages under: computer training and instruction; educational consultants; reading improvement; schools and related headings like ‘language schools’; tutoring.

City of Surrey learning for life STRATEGY

61

appendix e
AGEnCIES AnD InSTITuTIonS oFFERInG LEARnInG SERvICES In SuRREY

Who

Early Years

children

teens

Adults

Seniors

Family

Aboriginal

Multicultural ESL

Disabilities

transitions

Arrive Bc Atira Women’s Resource Society AWARE Society Bc centre for Ability X career connections training centre Inc cedar Grove Baptist church X X X X X X

X

X (career)

X (Life)

X X

X (career) X (career)

X (career; Life)

X

X

centre for child Development X church of Jesus christ of the Latter Day Saints city of Surrey Parks, Recreation, culture X X X X X X X X X X X X X X

cloverdale Seniors’ centre

X

crescent Beach community Services X X X X X X X X X (Life)

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City of Surrey learning for life STRATEGY

appendix e - continued

Who

Early Years

children

teens

Adults

Seniors

Family

Aboriginal

Multicultural ESL

Disabilities

transitions

Diversecity Douglas college Surrey training centre Elizabeth Fry Society of Greater Vancouver Fleetwood Seniors’ centre

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X (career; Life)

X

X

X (career)

X

X (Life)

X

Guildford Seniors’ centre

X

I AM cares Society Immigrant Services Society of Bc

X

X (career; Life)

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X (career; Life)

Just Beginnings

X

X (career; Life)

Kla How Eya Surrey Aboriginal centre Kwantlen Polytechnic University Learning Disabilities Association of Bc

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X (career; Life)

X

X

X

X

X

X

X (career; Life)

X

X

X

X

X (Life)

City of Surrey learning for life STRATEGY

63

appendix e - continued

Who

Early Years

children

teens

Adults

Seniors

Family

Aboriginal

Multicultural ESL

Disabilities

transitions

Newton Seniors’ centre

X

X (Life)

OPtIONS Pacific community Resources Society Pathfinder Youth centre Society

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X (career; Life)

X

X

X (career; Life)

Path to Freedom Peace Arch community Services Phoenix Society

X

X (Life)

X

X

X

X

X

X

X (career; Life)

X

X

X (career; Life)

PLEA community Services Society of Bc Progressive Intercultural community Services

X

X (Life)

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X (career; Life)

S.E.E.D.S.

X

X

X (career)

Semiahmoo House Society

X

X

X

X (career; Life)

64

City of Surrey learning for life STRATEGY

appendix e - continued

Who

Early Years

children

teens

Adults

Seniors

Family

Aboriginal

Multicultural ESL

Disabilities

transitions

Servants Anonymous Society

X

X

X (career; Life)

Simon Fraser University Surrey South Fraser Women’s Services Society S.U.c.c.E.S.S X X X

X

X

X

X

X (Life)

X

X

X

X

X (career; Life)

Sunrise Pavilion Seniors’ centre Surrey Association for community Living Surrey community Services Society Surrey crime Prevention Society Surrey Language Assessment centre X X X

X

X

X

X

X (Life)

X

X

X

X

X

X (career; Life)

X

X

X

X (Life)

X

X

Surrey Public Library

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X (Audiobooks)

X (career)

Surrey School District 36

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X (career, Life)

City of Surrey learning for life STRATEGY

65

appendix e - continued

Who

Early Years

children

teens

Adults

Seniors

Family

Aboriginal

Multicultural ESL

Disabilities

transitions

Surrey Women’s centre Society t.H.E.O- Health and Employment Opportunities Umoja Operation compassion Society of Bc tOtAL 14

X

X

X

X

X (Life)

X

X

X (career; Life)

X

X

X

X

22

23

34

16

20

6

19

16

35

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City of Surrey learning for life STRATEGY

appendix f
CITY CENTRE

112 AVE

WHALLEY

104 AVE 96 AVE
GUILDFORD

88 AVE

80 AVE
FLEETWOOD

72 AVE
CLOVERDALE

64 AVE

NEWTON

56 AVE

48 AVE

40 AVE
SOUTH SURREY

32 AVE

24 AVE

16 AVE

8 AVE
0 2,500 5,000 Meters

0 AVE
176 ST 144 ST 160 ST 120 ST 128 ST 136 ST 168 ST 184 ST 152 ST 192 ST 196 ST
Secondary School Surrey Public Library University

Literacy Facilities

Distributed Learning School Elementary School Learning Centre

City of Surrey learning for life STRATEGY

67

appendix g
pERSonAL LEARnInG CoMMITMEnT I make the following commitment to personal learning.

° ° ° ° ° ° °

Get a library card. Learn how to use a computer. Visit the Surrey Museum. Participate in a class at a recreation centre. Read a book. tell a story to a child. check out an exhibit at the Surrey Art Gallery.

° ° ° ° ° ° °

Learn about the issues and vote in a city, provincial or municipal election. take a child to a library storytime. Read a local newspaper. Find a piece of public art in Surrey. Attend a program at the library. Join a club or service organization and give back to our community. Attend a music concert.

° ° ° ° ° °

Explore volunteer opportunities with the city. Start or join a book club. Ask about newspapers from other countries at the library. Read to a child or have a child read to me. Attend a play at a local theatre. Register for a course at one of the local universities or colleges.

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City of Surrey learning for life STRATEGY

City of Surrey learning for life STRATEGY

69

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