Literacy Programs

Photo of a family sitting on the floor using a laptop together

 We recognize that literacy enriches the lives of individuals and families, facilitating opportunities for neighbours to fully participate in their community. At the same time, literacy opens doors for skill- and career-development and employment options, and empowers community members to connect to meaningful resources—making them more capable and resilient.

Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House serves as a steward for community literacy outreach by strengthening resources and connections among local partners, helping community members contribute positively to society.


Literacy Programs life-changing for an immigrant new mother

Tetiana Shvets, a 28-year-old from Cherkasy, Ukraine, arrived in Vancouver with her husband in April 2023. She was in a new country, learning a new language and expecting her first child.
“It was so hard! Everything is new and your family is far away,” she said. “The hardest was to find a new house. Without English it’s very difficult. And then I was scared because I was pregnant and will need to go to the hospital – medical English is even harder!”
Now the mother of four-month-old Solomiya, Tetiana is grateful for community literacy programs that helped her improve her English skills, inspired her to take in prenatal classes and helped her to connect with other new mothers and her community.
When she first arrived, she took English classes at MOSAIC settlement and employment services for newcomers. These first steps helped her to feel more confident about joining a mothers’ group during her pregnancy.
“I’m so glad to know English so I could learn information about how to carry a baby and also to meet other moms.”
Then she joined the Family Literacy Outreach program at Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House (MPNH) in Vancouver.
“I want to speak English well, because my baby will go to childcare and school, so it’s important for me to be able to communicate because it’s important for my baby. And I want to read books.”
Morie Ford, Family Literacy Coordinator at MPNH said, “Family Literacy Outreach serves newcomer families with young children who have recently arrived in Vancouver, many of whom are refugees. These families often encounter challenges accessing educational resources and programs due to poverty, childcare responsibilities, health issues or social isolation. Our program is highly recommended by service providers with funding from the Ministry of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills.”
With the help of her tutor, Tetiana also discovered the Vancouver Public Library and appreciates all it has to offer.
“I love the library. It’s free and has lots of good events – conversation classes and baby time.”
She likes mysteries and romance books and VPL introduced her to easy-read books for people English learners. “They help me learn new words and they give descriptions of the words.”
Her growing English skills and connection to MPNH opens opportunities to participate in family programs offered at any of the Vancouver neighbourhood houses, like Play with Me, Sing and Grow or Tech Café for technology assistance.
“The beauty of community programming is that organizations can tailor programs to meet their local needs,” said Decoda Program Manager, Maureen Kehler.
“Stories like Tetiana’s show the ripple effect that literacy programs can have on health, connecting to resources, continued education and community.”
“Life is very different now,” Tetiana said. “I’m very thankful that Canada helped the Ukrainian people. I’m happy that I’m in a safe place with my family and have met good people. This country cares about people. And I’m very thankful to Morie, my volunteer tutor Tasha, and the Family Literacy Outreach program.”
Decoda Literacy Solutions is BC’s provincial literacy organization. We support community-based literacy programs and initiatives in over 400 communities across BC by providing funding, guidance, training, resources, a library, a weekly blog, the Fostering Literacy reading tutor program, Parents As Literacy Supporters programs and The Westcoast Reader newspaper for learners.
Visit to learn more and support literacy in BC.
Family Literacy Outreach is funded by the Ministry of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills, The Peter Gzowski Foundation for Literacy and has on ongoing partnership with Vancouver Community College. 

Interested in participating?

For more information about the Literacy programs we are offering at this time, please contact:

Micah Pryne – Digital Literacy


Morie Ford – Family Literacy Coordinator


Learn More:

Tutor with us

To volunteer as a tutor, please contact Morie Ford:
604.879.8208 ext 232

Our Community Partners


Volunteers learn how to teach Canadian Immigrants English

Volunteers learn how to teach Canadian Immigrants English

by Ashley Burr | Breakfast Television "In just 10 hours 18 volunteers will learn how to teach English to women who have recently immigrated to Canada. The Vancouver-based Family Literacy Outreach program has volunteers go to newcomers’ homes for one-on-one tutoring...

read more