Organization Spotlight: ONE TO ONE Literacy Society
At DP World Vancouver, we’re passionate about social responsibility. Knowledge is key to helping local businesses give back to the community; whether it’s by making donations, volunteering, or even by operating charities and fundraising events. Our Community Kinship programme points the way toward organizations that are contributing to the greater good in Vancouver and across the country, such as ONE TO ONE Literacy Society.
What Is ONE TO ONE Literacy?
ONE TO ONE Literacy began in 1989 at Carlton Elementary in East Vancouver. It had become evident that many grade 7 students had difficulty reading and weren’t prepared to progress into high school. A programme staffed by volunteers from the Junior League proved very effective in improving literacy skills, plus students and volunteers enjoyed it!
So, a volunteer tutoring programme was born, and in 2001, ONE TO ONE became a registered society. Within the last several years, the programme has grown dramatically. This 2016-17 school year the programme served approximately 3,500 students across British Columbia. ONE TO ONE plans to further expansion in the coming years to more schools and more school districts in the province. The programme has evolved since its early days. It now focuses on primary school students because early intervention in literacy weakness is crucial. In fact, the literacy level at grade 3 is a major indicator of a student’s performance in years to come.
Volunteers must first pass a criminal background check, and attend a 3-hour training session. Then they must commit to a morning or afternoon session for the duration of the school year. The commitment is important because it ensures that students have a reliable tutor, and it helps build a bond between tutor and student. In the individual schools, teachers determine which students can benefit from tutoring, and volunteers are assigned accordingly.
The Importance of Volunteers
A strong commitment from the community is key to the programme’s success. A good volunteer is someone with a flexible schedule—many volunteers are retirees or students, or some come from companies that value social responsibility and allow volunteering on company time.
ONE TO ONE is a community that values literacy and believes that fostering it at a young age helps produce informed adults who can become contributing members to society. ONE TO ONE volunteers understand that the benefits of literacy know no race or class. They’re people who return to the programme year after year—dozens of volunteers have been honoured for five, seven, or ten years of service, and some have participated even longer than that.
The ONE TO ONE Literacy Spelling Bee
ONE TO ONE Literacy receives no government funding. It relies entirely on the power of volunteers, fundraising, grants, and donations. Their biggest event every year is the annual Spelling Bee, a fun and friendly competition for adults. And the best part is, all ticket sales support the ONE TO ONE Literacy programme.
Connect Your Business with ONE TO ONE
ONE TO ONE accepts monetary donations year-round, and it especially appreciates the efforts of socially responsible companies that encourage employees to volunteer. Awareness building is another great way for businesses to help this amazing organization build a better future for the youth in our community.