'Bag of Books’ Book Sale will be held at Red Deer Public Library's downtown branch, located at 4818 49th St. (File photo by ADVOCATE staff)

Alberta Government partners with Red Deer Library to help Ukranians with literacy

The Alberta Government is providing a boost to the Red Deer public library.

The government said Thursday 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. The province provided the library with $12,000 to help Ukranian newcomers learn English.

“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,” said Alla Mysko-Henke, adult literacy program manager, Red Deer Public Library.

“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.”

Red Deer has helped resettle nearly 600 Ukrainians fleeing the war. Friday marks the one-year anniversary of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

“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,” said Kaycee Madu, Minister of Skilled Trades and Professions in a release.

“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.”

Through the Community Adult Learning Program, the Red Deer Public Library received $145,176 as annual funding in 2022-23.

According to the province, the 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.

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