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I-CARE Literacy Program
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1.1 m of textual records
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The I-CARE Literacy Program was first developed at Douglas College in 1978 as a pilot project funded by the Ministry of Education, after the College had identified literacy as one of its top priorities and hired regular literacy faculty in 1977. Its early success led to I-CARE being incorporated into the College's base funding structure. The program was developed "to help meet the literacy needs of adults who are unable or unwilling to enter a classroom situation because of work schedules, negative school experiences in the past or other such seasons."
Since its inception, I-CARE has offered one-on-one literacy education for members of the broader community, with tutors tailoring their sessions to each individual learner's needs and goals. Although some logistical and administrative details of the program have changed over the years, its overall structure has largely remained constant since the late 1970s: Volunteers receive literacy tutor training, are paired with a community member seeking literacy education, and commit to weekly sessions with their assign learner for one year. I-CARE's newsletter 'Breakthrough' was originally designed for tutors, however, it evolved into a resource for learners too. I-CARE also produces a monthly publication featuring the written work of learners called 'Writing For Our Future.'
Materials were transferred directly from I-CARE to the Archives. The first accession was circa 1983.
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Series predominately consists of published materials by the I-CARE adult literacy program: the group's newsletter and later its annual publication featuring student writing. This series also includes additional textual records related to I-CARE's creation and early years, its operations, and various events.
The first I-CARE newsletter was launched in January 1979. It was called "The Nameless Newsletter" and was edited by Sheila Taillefer and Linda Ellwood. By July of that year, the newsletter was simply titled "I CARE", which would remain in place until the fall of 1982 when it was renamed "Breakthrough". Early editions of Breakthrough contained event announcements, meeting agendas and minutes, photocopied articles, information resources for tutors, crossword puzzles, activities, and artwork and graphics. The newsletter's tagline was: "A newsletter published for literacy volunteers in the Douglas College region." However, by the 1990s the target audience of the newsletter had expanded to include learners as much as tutors. In the September 1992 issue, Breakthrough started including a section called "Writing For Our Future" which featured short written works by students from the program. (Writing For Our Future was the name of a stand-alone, annual publication by I-CARE featuring student writing. It was launched in 1990.) Breakthrough has been published on a monthly and later quarterly basis, uninterrupted until the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in winter 2020.
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Original order of files is unknown. Copies of I-CARE newsletters are arranged in chronological order, with additional I-CARE administrative and historical files grouped together. This arrangement likely occurred at the discretion of previous archival staff.
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Description created by James Goldie in October 2021