Beating the Street Through Literacy: Frontier College Program Reaches Out to Vulnerable Youth

    TORONTO, June 20 /CNW/ - Sixteen youth whose prospects for employment or
post-secondary education were poor because they were out of school or at-risk,
will celebrate a new beginning when they are recognized at a celebration and
award presentations on Friday, June 20th, for successfully completing Frontier
College's Beat the Street Program.
    Beat the Street enables youth who are out of school, at-risk,
street-involved or homeless to improve their basic literacy skills, take
courses toward a General Educational Development Certificate (high school
equivalency) and get their Microsoft Office Specialist certification. The
program has turned young lives around and has generated excitement among youth
and their families in the communities where the program is run, including
Lawrence Heights and Jane-Finch.
    Meet the program participants who have overcome great odds to succeed
such as award-winning poet Lypton Robson-Joseph who will be reading the poem
he wrote that won second prize in the Ve'ahavta Voices from the Street
competition last February - a competition that was broadcast on CBC radio.
Another recent graduate is Shawneen Short, a young single mother who attained
her Microsoft Office Specialist certification in April and went from marginal
employment to becoming a full-time office administrator at a starting salary
of $32K. Meet the tutors who helped Lypton, Shawneen and other program
participants take great strides toward a better future.
    "Literacy skills are essential to succeeding in today's society and help
people participate in their communities. With the Canadian Council on Learning
forecasting the number of Canadians with low literacy skills to increase from
three million to fifteen million by 2030, as a society we have to act and
Frontier College is determined to address this challenge, especially for those
who are most vulnerable," says Sherry Campbell, President of Frontier College.

    What:        Frontier College's Beat the Street celebration of learning
                 and award presentations

    When:        Friday, June 20, 2008, 10am to 11:00am

    Where:       35 Jackes Avenue (3 blocks south of St. Clair Ave., east of

    Interview and Photo-ops: Beat the Street students and Frontier College
    literacy tutors are available for interviews and photos.

    Literacy is an essential skill in today's world. At Frontier College, we
believe it's a fundamental right. Low literacy skills are directly linked to
poverty, poor health and high unemployment. Over forty percent of adult
Canadians have trouble with everyday tasks that involve reading. That's
millions of Canadians who are not reaching their potential. Through a network
of thousands of volunteers, Frontier College is helping people to realize
their potential and seize the opportunities that come their way.

For further information:

For further information: Frank Clarke, Media Relations, Frontier
College, Mobile: (647) 235-9974

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