YMCA Literacy Program Celebrates 20 years of Success

    TORONTO, Sept. 19 /CNW/ - The YMCA of Greater Toronto Learning
Opportunities Program is celebrating its 20th anniversary with an open house
reception on September 20, at 3 p.m., at 42 Charles Street East.
    Funded by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities and the
United Way, the YMCA Learning Opportunities Program officially opened its
doors on Literacy Day September 8, 1987 with a mandate to create an
environment in which literacy-challenged youth and adults would gain skills
that would move them towards independence, further education and employment.
    Since 1987, the YMCA Learning Opportunities Program has helped over 1250
participants through an individualized approach that focuses on three main
components for education and training in reading, math, computer and life

    -   One-on-one tutoring

    -   Small group assisted learning

    -   Personal and family health care

    "The YMCA Learning Opportunities Program is really the base for all the
learning that goes on here," says Barb Williams, General Manager, Essential
Skills, Employment & Community, "Participants in this program are given a
head-start on further education, jobs, and living more satisfying and
productive lives. That's why we say "Learning and Living."
    "I am so grateful to the YMCA that helped to move me from darkness to
light. I love using the computer and surfing the Internet. I like to email my
friends and relatives. I enjoy working and sharing experiences with my
teachers and other members of my class. The YMCA is like a family to me."
    Statistics Canada reports that one in six adults in Canada today have
serious problems with reading and writing. This means that three million
people have trouble completing simple day-to-day tasks such as understanding
medicine labels, filling out an order form or reading to a child.

    About the YMCA of Greater Toronto

    Serving over 400,000 members at more than 240 program sites throughout
the GTA, The YMCA of Greater Toronto is a charity focused on community support
and development. Our aim is to provide every individual in our community with
opportunities for personal growth, community involvement, and leadership. By
making connections, collaborating, and mirroring our region's diversity, we
believe we can become the network that binds our many neighbourhoods into one
city, one country, and one world.

For further information:

For further information: Jamie Slater, Manager, Association
Communications, YMCA of Greater Toronto, (416) 413-1020 ext. 2362,

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