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"The smallest school in America is the family."

John Gardner

Everyday Heroes at the Centre for Family Literacy

April 18 - 24 is Volunteer Appreciation Week in Canada, when organizations such as ours extend a very special note of thanks to our everyday heroes—our volunteers.

Our volunteer tutors delivered 7,348 tutoring sessions last year, or 14,696 hours of tutoring. Those working on special events, committees, and our Board of Directors volunteered that much time again, and they helped raise $153,000 through special fundraising events. Consider this: volunteer hours at the Centre in 2009 were the equivalent of 15 full-time jobs.

These are impressive numbers, but, more importantly, these volunteers are making a difference in the lives of the people who come to the Centre for help. One of our students commented that she doesn’t “even put the TV on anymore. I read instead and do crossword puzzles.“ Another student told us he had read his first novel.

A special bond forms between tutors and their students as you can see from this comment: “She says things that makes me want to learn. I’ve never had a teacher like that and I’ve never wanted to learn before.”

For our volunteers there is a sense of satisfaction and pride as they watch their students grow into confident learners striving to meet their own personal goals. Whether it is picking up a pencil and writing for the first time, getting a promotion at work, or continuing their education at NAIT, it is a partnership that brings rewards to both the student and the volunteer.

Our students obviously know that their volunteer tutors’ time and efforts are priceless. Additionally, our agency and our society as a whole are richer by far due to the efforts of volunteers. Without them, we could not continue to provide the services and supports we do to improve the literacy of individuals, families, and communities. Thank you, everyday heroes!

...volunteer hours at the Centre in 2009 were the equivalent of 15 full-time jobs.


Linn Pascal and Glenna Gardiner

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