The Right-Fit Tailored Literacy to Suit You!
The Salford Literacy Project started at the end of May as the result of a partnership between Salford City Council, the Seedley and Langworthy Trust and the Broughton Trust. They secured funding for a year and a Project Manager, Carmel Gibbons (pictured right) was appointed at the beginning of June. Carmel was in the process of being made redundant from Hopwood Hall College, where she was training teachers.
Carmel has 20 years experience of teaching in colleges and has mainly worked with 16 to 19 year old apprentices and boys who have been excluded from school. She is very excited about working on this project.
The first two groups of volunteers have been trained by Ava Lux from Salford College. The training course was 10 weeks long and was delivered at the UNISON offices in Swinton. The training involved a detailed look at how people learn to read and write, dyslexia awareness, spelling strategies and awareness of the different needs of learners. At the end of the course volunteers were entered for the level 2 adult literacy test which is the equivalent of a GCSE. Later in the year, volunteers will be invited to apply for a Preparing to Teach Course which will also be delivered by Salford College.
The volunteers are mainly local and live and / or work in the Salford area. They are an incredibly committed group of people and have brought a tremendous wealth of experience with them to the project. Several volunteers are already working with people in Salford. For example some of our volunteers are already working in housing jobs and have seen at first hand the impact of poor literacy skills on people’s lives. One of the volunteers said that if tenants receive a letter saying that their landlord is coming round to repair their house, they don’t know that they need to be in so repairs are missed and several months down the line this is causing major problems for them that could so easily have been dealt with if they were able to read.
One of the main aims of this project is to help people into employment or support them to get to a stage where they are able to access training. The support will be carefully tailored to support the needs and learning preferences of the students. Carmel is currently purchasing support materials that are designed to support adults on a one to one basis. These materials include a book called ‘Yes We Can Read’ which is written by Libby Coleman and Nick Ainley who have had years of experience of one to one literacy support. The book has recently won a special achievement award by the People’s Book Prize. http://www.peoplesbookprize.com/winners2010.htm This book is currently being used around the country in prisons and hostels for homeless people and it is hoped that this project will also be able to continue this work in Salford.
The literacy project is being launched on the 16th September between 11.30am and 1.30pm at the New Emmanuel Church on Langworthy Rd, Seedley, opposite SALT. Please get in touch with Carmel Gibbons on 07881 787556 0161 737 9918 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to become a volunteer or know someone who needs literacy help or if you can support the project in any way.