I’ve recently started transitioning from my role as Family and Community Literacy Coordinator to the role of Youth Literacy Coordinator, and I’m learning lots about the Skills Builders for Youth (SBY) program and all of the great projects happening around the territory.
Each year the NWT Literacy Council hosts SBY training. Participants from around the NWT learn about the nine essential skills - reading, writing, numeracy, document use, oral communication, thinking skills, working with others, computer use, and continuous learning - and how to embed these foundational skills for other learning into programming for youth.
Once the participants have completed training, they are able to run their own SBY projects that focus on building the nine essential skills among the youth in their community. Some of our most popular SBY projects that take place around the territory include Learning in the Kitchen, Youth Literacy Nights and Telling our Stories (Digital Literacy). Even this past year with Covid-19 making in-person programming a challenge, SBY program facilitators found creative solutions to host projects in Aklavik, Dettah, Ndilo, Fort Resolution, Fort Smith, Lutsel K’e, Sachs Harbour and Yellowknife.
Youth literacy programs are important in the NWT to support literacy development among people who are working on learning the skills they need for today’s world. Youth-focused literacy programs like SBY support young people who are preparing to enter the work force or are interested in returning to school. Literacy and essential skills enable youth to participate fully in their families, communities, and workplaces. In each situation, they need different forms of literacy, and different skills.
As I have started to connect with some of our SBY program facilitators, it’s been great to hear about their communities’ projects, what they enjoyed about this past year, what they’re looking forward to for next year, and what changes or opportunities they see for SBY programs in the future. I hope to be able to collaborate with both old and new SBY project facilitators in the upcoming year to create some new and innovative projects and to share some of our updated materials and resources.
Are you interested in participating in our next Skill Builders for Youth training? Send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
- Charlotte Upton
Youth Literacy Coordinator
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