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Alberta’s government is providing a $12,000 boost to the Red Deer Public Library to help Ukrainian newcomers learn English.
The library’s Adult Literacy Program has seen a jump in demand over the past year with many newcomers from Ukraine arriving in the Red Deer area.
“For newcomers, language classes are often their first community experience, and they are a vital step on the road to building a life in Alberta. This boost for Red Deer Public Library’s programs will support more Ukrainian newcomers as they improve their quality of life and their contribution to our society and economy.”
Language education is important for newcomers to help them join their new communities and to make the most of educational and work opportunities. Many Ukrainian newcomers are highly educated professionals who could play an important role in addressing Alberta’s need for skilled labour.
“Red Deer and area have been strong supporters of the Ukrainian newcomers. This announcement will provide much-needed assistance required to make the Community Adult Learning Program successful. Proficiency in English will open doors for the Ukrainian newcomers, which will be essential for their employment.”
"These additional funds will allow us to add seven more classes of 12 to 17 people and to replenish resources used by learners who work one-on-one with their volunteer tutors. More language skills will allow these individuals to settle comfortably, find good employment, help their children with homework, pursue further education or get their credentials recertified."
Through the Community Adult Learning Program, Red Deer Public Library received $145,176 as annual funding in 2022-23.
Alberta Skilled Trades and Professions provides about $18 million annually in grants through the Community Adult Learning Program to more than 80 organizations throughout the province to support learning opportunities such as adult literacy, English language classes, numeracy, digital or life skills.