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Nine million Canadians struggle with low-literacy, but KL&S is hoping to change that. Learn more about us and what we do.

Mission Statement

Mission Statement

“To empower lives through literacy and language”


Vision Statement

Vision Statement

“Communities where everyone has the skills to achieve their full potential”

ABOUT KINGSTON LITERACY & SKILLS

Who We Are

Kingston Literacy & Skills (KL&S) is a non-profit community organization. With professional, knowledgeable staff and dedicated volunteers, we deliver literacy upgrading and workforce preparation programming to adults and families in Kingston and surrounding communities.

Since our beginnings in 1977, we have been unwavering in our efforts to support and encourage adults with low literacy skills; we work with them to achieve their goals of further education, employment or independence.

KL&S strives to continually provide innovative programming that meets the needs of our students in order to help them realize their goals. Some of our programs have been developed in partnership and through consultation with Ontario Works, Kingston Community Health Centre, Kingston Employment Youth Services, and Re-Start.

We also have long-standing partnerships with St. Lawrence College, the Limestone District School Board, the Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board, Kingston Frontenac Public Library, Queen’s University and the municipalities we serve.

KL&S is a recognized leader and pioneer in the literacy sector. Our history of community support, successful volunteer recruitment and management, and effective working partnerships with a variety of organizations in Kingston and surrounding area has contributed to our longevity and our positive impact on the communities we serve.

Over the years, we have grown to include Family and Early Literacy (FEL) as well as Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) programming.

Want to get an in-depth look?

View Our Strategic Plan

Our History and Core Values

Altruistic

Altruistic

  • We provide a caring supportive environment for our clients.
  • We empower our clients to grow and develop their literacy and social skills.

Inclusive

Inclusive

  • We welcome everyone to our programs and services.
  • We respect diversity.
  • We create an inclusive learning space.

Collaborative

Collaborative

  • We work collaboratively to build a more literate society.
  • We work as a team to address client needs.

Respectful

Respectful

  • We value each person’s input and worth.
  • We respect one another.

Learner-Centered Focused

Learner-Centered Focused

  • The needs of our learners are paramount. We place the needs of our students’ first.
  • We are responsive to our client and stakeholder needs.

Innovative

Innovative

  • We encourage change, innovation, creativity and continuously seek better and more effective ways to serve our clients and community.
  • We are committed to continuous improvement and service excellence.

Quality Focused

Quality Focused

  • Our services are high quality. Our staff are committed. Our clients achieve results.

1976 -1977

Following repeated requests for basic reading materials, Kingston Public Library staff identified the need for a program in Kingston that focused on adult literacy. This need was confirmed by 1971 Census data that indicated almost 27 per cent of adults in Kingston had less than a Grade 9 education.

In 1977, a research study called “Reach Non-Readers” was conducted, and the results indicated there was a need for a part-time literacy program. Later that year, the Kingston Literacy Council and Adult Reading Program were established.

1977-78

With help from St. Lawrence College, the Frontenac County Board of Education and the Kingston Public Library, the Adult Reading Program began to provide one-to-one training at the 0 to Grade 4 level.

Staff consisted of one part-time teacher/coordinator and 10 to 15 tutors.

After a series of moves throughout 1978 to 1984, the Adult Reading Program eventually relocated to a building on King Street.

1984

Due to funding shifts, the Kingston Literacy Council became Kingston Literacy. Kingston Literacy was incorporated, becoming an independent organization, and a registered charity. Kingston Literacy began looking for alternative sources of funding.

1985-1989

In 1985, Employment and Immigration Canada funded a pilot project aimed at the unemployed, and Kingston Literacy was awarded a grant to operate a literacy centre on Barrie Street, called the Read-Write Centre.

Funding ran out for the Adult Reading Program on King Street. As a result, it was closed and transferred to the Read-Write Centre on Barrie.

In 1987, The Read-Write Centre found a new home at 88 Wright Crescent, below the Calvin Park Branch Library. The new space was larger than the location on Barrie Street, and much less expensive, since the library waived most of the rental fees.

By 1988, Read-Write Two opened in the Greenridge Plaza. Twenty-six learners and six volunteers signed up in the first six months. An outreach program also started in Amherstview at the Amherstview branch of the library and a neighbourhood school.

In 1989, Family Literacy programming began in response to research that indicated children from language-rich homes had an easier time learning to read and write. The Reading and Parents Program (RAPP) was launched as a pilot project in Kingston’s north end. The program was aimed at making parents aware of the essential early learning that must take place in the home before children are ready to begin learning at school. That year, The Adult Reading Program won the 1989 National Literacy Award.

KL&S and the 90s

Throughout these years, Kingston Literacy continued to expand by offering additional programming, adding more locations and hiring new staff. We also developed a number of learning resources that are distributed throughout the country and have been involved in a number of research projects.

KL&S 2000-2016

In 2006, Kingston Literacy began offering Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) classes.

By 2008, the reconstruction of the Calvin Park Library on Wright Crescent necessitated a move by Kingston Literacy’s Community Learning Centre Kingston (CLCK) to a new location at 859 Princess Street. The new space was larger, brighter and at street level, making it comfortable and accessible for the community it serves. The building was also close to the bus terminal at the Kingston Centre. Later in the year, Family Literacy staff moved from 1755 Bath Road to 859 Princess Street and La Salle Secondary School, and the LINC program moved into its new centre at 16 Bath Road.

To better reflect the various programs Kingston Literacy offers, the corporate name was changed to Kingston Literacy & Skills (KL&S for short) with a value proposition of “Build Yours Skills, Shape Your Future” in 2009.

Come 2010, Kingston Literacy & Skills developed a new and updated logo to reflect its new name.

Present Day

Today, KL&S operates three sites in Kingston and area: two in Kingston and one in Napanee.

We now employ 27 people, and serve 1,950 clients annually.

We manage a growing budget of $1.2 million and receive support from 74 volunteers who donate more than 7,000 hours annually.

KL&S Volunteers

CHILDREN’S ROOM

CHILDREN’S ROOM

We are looking for a volunteer to help with light duties to enable staff to focus their energy on the children. Duties include: snack preparation, craft preparation, toy cleaning, light dishwashing and helping with updating the display board.

If you are interested in the position listed above, please contact the Executive Director, Chuck Dowdall at cdowdall@klandskills.ca or send in the application form found on this page.

URGENTLY NEEDED – BINGO GREETERS

URGENTLY NEEDED – BINGO GREETERS

  • Attend at least three bingos per year (two hours per bingo)
  • Assist on the floor as needed – no sales involved

Commitment: Attend a 3/4-hour training session provided by Community Spirit Bingo. Attend at least three bingos (two hours per bingo) per year with another KL&S bingo volunteer.

You will NOT be asked to handle money or to be a runner. This volunteer opportunity takes place in a smoke-free environment.

If you are dependable, punctual and enjoy people, this is your opportunity to shine! If you are interested in this volunteer opportunity, please email Donna Vinkle at dvinkle@klandskills.ca or phone (613) 547-2012.

FUNDS RAISED GO TOWARDS SUPPORTING OUR LITERACY PROGRAMS.

GRATE GROAN-UP SPELLING BEE VOLUNTEERS

GRATE GROAN-UP SPELLING BEE VOLUNTEERS

The Grate Groan-Up Spelling Bee is KL&S’ premier fundraiser. The Bee committee is looking for additional volunteers to help run this fun event! Volunteers plan and organize the event, and help find sponsors and teams. The committee is also looking for anyone interested in taking meeting minutes. If you enjoy people and want to have some fun, this is the opportunity for you! The time commitment is about two hours per month.

If you are interested in this volunteer opportunity, please email Donna Vinkle at dvinkle@klandskills.ca or phone (613) 547-2012.

FUNDS RAISED GO TOWARDS SUPPORTING OUR LITERACY PROGRAMS.

KL&S Volunteer Tutor Training

KL&S Volunteer Tutor Training

Are you interested in tutoring adults? Most of the one-to-one tutoring at KL&S is delivered by volunteer tutors.

Are you patient, flexible and open-minded?

Do you have strong reading and writing skills?

Can you commit to volunteering three hours a week for the next eight months, or more?

If you said “yes” to all three questions, please read on!

REQUIRED TRAINING

Training is generally offered twice a year, once in the fall (October) and once in the winter (January). If you are interested in becoming a volunteer tutor, please call in September or December to set-up an interview. Note: Next training Winter 2017.

Before registering for training, you will have an interview with our tutor coordinator. Training comprises eight sessions. Four sessions are delivered in group meetings at KL&S; four sessions are delivered to you online.

TUTORING

After successfully completing the training, you will be matched with one of our students. The student will already have met with a staff member and together they will have outlined learning goals and a basic plan of action.

Tutors and students meet once a week for a two-hour session on-site at KL&S.

CONTACT US

If you are interested in becoming a Volunteer Tutor, please contact Stacy or Laurie for more information, and to arrange for an interview.

In Kingston: Stacy Watson, email or call (613)547-2012

In Napanee: Laurie DesLauriers, email or call (613)354-0226

Looking to become a volunteer?

Feel free to fill out the form below or download it here.

Meet Our Board

Board President

Vice-President

Treasurer

Secretary

Executive Director – Ex-Officio

Directors

Laura Niles

Lester Webb

Lynne Gutoskie

Bonnie Livingstone

C.M. (Chuck) Dowdall

Blair Hicks
Lorraine Hudson
James Bonham-Carter

Robin Tippett
Leslie Casson

Committees supporting the decision-making of the Board are:

  • Executive/Planning
  • Finance
  • Human Resources
  • Marketing & Fundraising

Qualifications:

  • Must be at least 18 years of age
  • Must be a resident of the City of Greater Kingston, County of Frontenac, or County of Lennox & Addington and provide a local perspective through work, or community involvement
  • Direct experience in the literacy sector
  • Skills in areas identified by the Board of Directors to meet its needs, such as accounting, law, fundraising, human resources, etc.
  • Prior experience from other board appointments either concurrently or previously, or
  • Past experience as a client of the Agency’s services
  • Once appointed, Board Directors shall serve for a term of two (2) years from the date of their appointment
  • No Director shall serve more than three (3) consecutive two-year terms

If you would like information on becoming a Board member, please fill out the form and drop it off to our office :
click here



Meet the Staff

C.M. (Chuck) Dowdall, Executive Director

C.M. (Chuck) Dowdall, Executive Director

Donna Vinkle, Manager Finance & Administration

Donna Vinkle, Manager Finance & Administration

Martha Rudden, Manager LBS & Family Literacy

Martha Rudden, Manager LBS & Family Literacy

Darren MacDonald, LBS Instructor/IT Coordinator

Darren MacDonald, LBS Instructor/IT Coordinator

June Hugh, Administrative Assistant

June Hugh, Administrative Assistant

Jade Garrison, LINC Instructor

Jade Garrison, LINC Instructor

Nataliya Gurska, LINC Instructor

Nataliya Gurska, LINC Instructor

Carolin Taguchi, LINC Instructor

Carolin Taguchi, LINC Instructor

Robyn German, LINC Coordinator

Robyn German, LINC Coordinator

Christine Magda, Early Childhood Educator

Christine Magda, Early Childhood Educator

David Weese, LBS Instructor

David Weese, LBS Instructor

Ellen Turcotte, LINC Instructor

Ellen Turcotte, LINC Instructor

Christine Adams, LINC Instructor

Christine Adams, LINC Instructor

Jasminder Sandhu, Early Childhood Educator

Jasminder Sandhu, Early Childhood Educator

Deb Nesbitt Munroe, Family Literacy Coordinator

Deb Nesbitt Munroe, Family Literacy Coordinator

Laurie DesLauriers, LBS Supervisor (Lennox & Addington)

Laurie DesLauriers, LBS Supervisor (Lennox & Addington)

Susan Ramsay, Early Learning Specialist

Susan Ramsay, Early Learning Specialist

Stacy Watson, Coordinator 1 To 1 Tutoring

Stacy Watson, Coordinator 1 To 1 Tutoring

Bylaws

Bylaws

Audited Statements

Audited Statements

Annual Reports

Annual Reports

Our Partners

  • Employment Ontario Logo
  • United Way
  • Ontario Gov Logo
  • CIC Logo

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

— Winston Churchill

Kingston Literacy and Skills needs your help. Please donate to make a difference today.

Donate Today!

Get In Touch

Kingston Literacy & Skills
16 Bath Road, Kingston, ON
1-613-547-2012
Monday 8:30 am – 5:00 pm
Tuesday 8:30 am – 9:00 pm
Wednesday 8:30 am – 8:30 pm
Thursday 8:30 am – 5:00 pm
Friday 8:30 am – 5:00 pm
Saturday 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Sunday – Closed

KL&S Napanee
55 Dundas Street East, Napanee, ON
1-613-354-0226
Monday 8:30 am – 5:00 pm
Tuesday 8:30 am – 5:00 pm
Wednesday 8:30 am – 7:00 pm
Thursday 8:30 am – 4:00 pm
Friday 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Saturday – Closed
Sunday – Closed

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