After a career of teaching, mostly in special education, I started volunteering at the Vancouver Island Regional Correctional Centre, commonly known as Wilkinson Road Jail. Since then the program has developed into a full school program supported by a number of school districts, currently the Sooke School District, which enables the program to grant high school credits leading to the BC Adult Graduation Diploma. Other supporters of the program include the BC Corrections Ministry and the Victoria Literacy Connection which provides volunteers.
It’s impossible to pick a single book. My desert island series would be the Dune series by Frank Herbert and the Lord of the Rings trilogy by J. R. R. Tolkien.
What does LITERACY mean to you?
It is impossible to do well in our society without good literacy skills and a diploma. I saw this with kids who struggled in elementary and high school, and see this now with inmates who are struggling to graduate from high school in the prison school program. While there is a high degree of recidivism in the inmate population, once inmates get their diploma, I rarely see them return.
What books do you recommend?
My go-to genre is military history – 6 volume history of the US Civil War, anyone? – but realize that is an esoteric preference. Recent recommendations would include Greg Iles Natchez Burning trilogy (a page turner) and Humankind – A Hopeful History by Rutger Bregman.
“Do. Or do not. There is no try.” Yoda