Read Write Now literacy program celebrates 45 years

Imagine buying the same food products at the supermarket each week because you are unable to read food labels. For some Western Australians this is their reality, and literacy is a daily battle.

For many of us; reading a bus timetable, a pharmaceutical prescription or even filling out a form at the doctors comes easy. But for varying reasons — including upbringing, education or original nationality — some adults struggle to read and write, which is why literacy programs such as Read Write Now are so important. It has been estimated almost half of Australian adults have low level literacy and for many Western Australians, Read Write Now has transformed their live, with the flow on effect also impacting those close to them.

Thousands of Western Australians have sought assistance through the Department-funded initiative to improve their literacy skills, and this year the program celebrates its 45th anniversary. The epic milestone is thanks to the community-based volunteers who offer one on one tutoring throughout WA with the aim of improving adult literacy including reading, writing, maths, study or basic computer skills, which ultimately improves their social and economic wellbeing. The program operates from North Metropolitan TAFE's Leederville campus to deliver statewide services to 17 regions around WA.

Students and volunteers meet either face to face or using online services such as Zoom, WhatsApp and GoogleMeet. Tutoring can also be offered at other venues such as TAFE colleges, libraries and community centres.

Volunteer tutors are integral to the program, as they dedicate countless hours to prepare personalised lessons which supports students to achieve their study goals. Volunteers provide exceptional services in sometimes challenging circumstances and each dedicates 1.5 hours weekly to each student to provide tutoring and mentorship. The goodwill of the tutors who gift their patience and share their literacy skills is instrumental to Read Write Now’s longevity.

This 45th anniversary celebrates and recognises the achievements, commitment and volunteering activities provided by tutors to people with literacy needs, to adults with vulnerabilities and learning difficulties, and in supporting the workforce in a technologically driven world.

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Page last updated February 09, 2024