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PEEL — More than 20 service providers from Peel hopped on a chartered bus recently to promote, learn and be inspired about literacy efforts taking place in the region.
The bus tour was organized by The Learning Place, a non-profit group providing literacy education and key life-skills training to committed learners in Peel.
On Thursday, March 12, representatives from local shelters, food banks, Ontario Services and newcomer services gathered at the offices of Learning Place at 7700 Hurontario St., suite 413, for the four-hour bus trip. The group made three pit stops at some key learning hubs: Peel District School Board head offices in Mississauga, Peel Adult Learning Centre in Brampton and Sheridan College’s Davis Campus.
"The purpose of this tour was to network and make connection to various resources in the community,” said Maria Reolin, executive director, The Learning Place. "We want to help the agencies develop material that’s relevant to the population they serve. Most people came away with new information and we succeeded in raising awareness about literacy in Peel.”
The Mystery Literacy Tour was possible because of an Ontario Trillium Foundation grant for The Learning Place’s Literacy Outreach Initiative. The two-year project’s purpose is to bring awareness about literacy issues in Peel and to collaborate with other service providers to deliver a more holistic array of services, explained Karolina Styrczula, literacy outreach coordinator, The Learning Place.
"We wanted to form networks with other agencies in Peel so we can appropriately refer our clients to the right resources and vice versa,” she said. "The Mystery Literacy Tour was meant for service providers to come together and learn about all the different Literacy Services in Peel.”
Jagjit Sekhon, the LINC coordinator, at Muslim Community Services, was among those that participated in the Mystery Literacy tour. She said the trip was a great idea as it helped her understand some of the issues up close and meet other agencies and understand their mandate.
"One of the main things we do at Muslim Community Services is offer Language Instruction to Newcomers to Canada (LINC programs) as well as other learning programs for new immigrants,” she explained. "I think our agency (which is part of Brampton Multicultural Community Centre) and The Learning Centre can work together to deliver some of the programs.
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