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Collaborative approach helps adult learners

The Free Press celebrates Family Literacy Week 2023
Chantel Thrasher is successfully completing her high school equivalency courses with the help of volunteer tutors at CCPL.

By Shannon Thom

Job seekers visit WorkBC for help to gain skills that will make them more employable. Occasionally, this skill-building involves finishing Grade 12 courses as part of their return-to-work plan.

Some of these students have been out of school for decades, and many of them may not have had a positive experience as younger students so getting back into the classroom can be intimidating.

Volunteer tutors available through Cariboo Chilcotin Partners for Literacy (CCPL), many of whom are retired teachers wanting to continue supporting learners, are eager to help these students make their school experience a positive one the second time around.

Chantel Thrasher is one such job seeker. After moving to Williams Lake in 2019, Chantel began school in May 2022 and found her Mathematics and English courses were tougher than she expected. Feeling discouraged and not sure she could finish the courses successfully on her own, she notified her WorkBC Employment Consultant who connected Chantel with Angelika Sellick, Coordinator, Partner Assisted Learning (PAL) & English Language Learning (ELL) programs.

Angelika paired Chantel with an experienced tutor who helped her gain confidence and better understand the material so she could successfully complete the courses.

“When I first started the courses, it was very hard for me to start on my own,” Chantel explained. “But I am glad and confident now in my courses after working with Lynn, my tutor, at CCPL. Reaching out and getting the help I need for my Math and English is the wise thing to do. Continuing to get regular tutoring sessions is helping me learn and achieve my goals for the future.”

Chantel described her tutor as patient and easy to understand, and said she enjoys teaching as much as Chantel enjoys learning.

“Getting the help I need will help me believe that I can graduate and pick out my ideal career choice,” she said.

To find out more about CCPL’s PAL program and other services available, visit or call 250-392-7833.

Shannon Thom is an employment consultant at Work BC Williams Lake and vice-president of CCPL’s board of directors.

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