Sioux-Hudson Literacy Council’s digital literacy program continues to turn heads
Jesse Bonello - Staff Writer
The Sioux-Hudson Literacy Council (SHLC) has been offering a digital literacy program, Discover Online Integrated Information Technology Program (DOI2T), since the summer of 2018.
The SLHC shared the program has been continually growing since.
“We started it here in Sioux Lookout out of the learning centre last summer. It was a pilot that year. Part of the goal was to have an answer to the digital literacy needs of adults across Ontario… It’s transformed into a program where we’re trying to utilize creativity-based digital technologies to offer really short, quick, to-the-point programming for adults and teach a wealth of digital literacy skills. Its proven to be incredibly productive and successful. The numbers of people we work with is through the roof. We now work with just about every organization in Sioux Lookout doing programming with their adults… So far, this past year, we’ve worked with roughly 350 people in Sioux Lookout,” said Evan J, program co-lead.
Recently, at the end of August, the SHLC and the DOI2T program received honourable mentions for the Canada Life Literacy Innovation Award.
ABC Life Literacy Canada describes the award, “The Canada Life Literacy Innovation Award honours innovation in the creation and delivery (or in the development, implementation and delivery) of adult literacy or adult-integrated family literacy programs delivered by a community organization in Canada. The adult-focused literacy program makes a positive contribution to the lives of the participants as well as the community and could serve as a model for other organizations to adapt. There is one top award of $20,000 and up to four honourable mention awards in the amount of $5000 each. The awards as granted can be invested into the program and/or applied to operating funds.”
Evan J said both him and Noreen Bergen, program co-lead, were thrilled to see the SHLC and the DOI2T receive the honourable mention.
“ABC Life are great people. We’ve worked with them a lot over the years. An honourable mention, I find sometimes, is kind of like a second-place or less award, and this one really wasn’t. This was like they were trying to find a way to spread the knowledge and finances around as much as possible, so it feels like a lot more than an honourable mention considering everybody who won got held to the same success standard. It was huge, they’ve been great, and even now we’re still working with them on ways to increase funding for the future,” he said.
The SHLC is a non-profit Literacy and Basic Skills organization funded by the Ministry of Training Colleges & Universities. The SHLC has been serving learners in this region since 1991. They currently operate an Adult Learning Centre in Sioux Lookout, located at 73 King Street, as well as the Good Learning Anywhere e-Channel distance delivery program.
“We run two things. We run the Adult Learning Centre here, which is a great standard adult learning centre. We end up informally becoming a daytime drop-in facility for the street and homeless community in Sioux Lookout, which is awesome, rewarding, and we have a lot of great friends because of it. We are also one of a handful, like three or four, operations in Ontario that also simultaneously runs an online e-channel program. It’s called Good Learning Anywhere, and that’s responsible for online adult literacy and basic skills training for all of Ontario. We specifically do it for the Indigenous stream, so that’s quite a big operation we do as well here in Sioux Lookout,” said Evan J.
When it comes to their DOI2T program, Evan J said he’d like to see the program expand, and offered, province-wide to tackle adult digital literacy needs.
“This is really solving an adult digital literacy need, and it would be wonderful to see that expand and become an adopted platform for learning centres throughout the province… That would be the ultimate goal, to see these tools and this kind of curriculum be adopted into every literacy and basic skills program in Ontario,” he said.
To learn more about SHLC programs, check out their website siouxhudsonliteracy.com.