Lynn Quakers remove barriers to adult literacy
Lucy Faulkner-Gawlinski from the King’s Lynn Quakers has devised and now runs the literacy project ‘Read, Write, Click’ to help adults learn to read, write and use computers without the pressure of exams or funding quotas to fulfil.
At the Churches Togehter in King’s Lynn AGM on September 21 Lucy Faulkner-Gawlinski (pictured) provided a briefing about the project ‘Read, Write, Click’.
The local literacy project, which is fully supported and encouraged by the King’s Lynn Quakers, developed out of Lucy’s experience as an adult education tutor. Lucy remembered: “I kept finding that learners would come and they would make a big effort to start learning but if they were starting from the very beginning being dyslexic or with other barriers to their learning they would finish a term, fail a test and not be allowed to continue. It was happening over and over again with a particular type of learner”.
Although Lucy understood that there are good reasons why adult education courses are required to demonstrate achievement in order to justify their funding, she and a colleague began to wonder what would happen if you took away the money and adapted to the need of the people who were being rejected and excluded. And so they developed Read, Write, Click.
Now in its second year of delivery, the project focuses on a particular type of adult learner - English speakers who are right at the very beginning of literacy learning.
Lucy said: “We decided that all we’d ask was that learners would come regularly and be willing to make progress at their own pace. And we have found that this is what has been happening.”
The course runs from the Friends Meeting House on Bridge Street, King's Lynn every Wednesday 12-4pm with a 30 minute lunch break to encourage an element of sociability. Referrals come from the Job Centres in King’s Lynn and Downham Market although they would welcome referrals from other avenues. Both course tutors and the Learning Support Assistants who work one-to-one with learners all volunteer their time.
King’s Lynn Quakers provide the accommodation and equipment has been donated by the Access and Achievement Foundation, a local business and members of the Religious Society of Friends. Lucy joked: “I find I’m teaching with far better resources than I’ve had for a very long time!”
The attendees have described the Read, Write, Click as a ‘warm and welcoming place to learn’ and have said ‘I like it because it is nice and friendly’.
Lucy concluded by telling the story of one of their former attendees who was able to find employment as a caretaker through his experience at Read, Write, Click. Lucy said: “So that felt like a success. And we feel that generally we are meeting our aims to build confidence and provide that sense of inclusion that comes with literacy”.
For further information about Read, Write, Click please contact Lucy Faulkner-Gawlinski on firstname.lastname@example.org.