For many people, literacy is taken for granted – but for some across Highland, reading can be a struggle.
High Life Highland is highlighting that help is available, during this year’s Book Week Scotland, for those who want to improve their literacy skills.
HLH Adult Learning Manager Mike Jones said: “Strong literacy skills help people fulfil their potential, achieve their goals, and take advantage of opportunities. Book Week Scotland is a celebration of reading, but we know for some people it can be a struggle – and in adults it’s more common than you might think.”
The latest available statistics for adult literacy levels show around one in four adults in Scotland experience challenges due to a lack of literacy skills.
“There’s no shame or embarrassment in improving your literacy skills,” Mr Jones continued, “and whilst we understand many are reluctant to ask for help, the Highland Adult Learning team are here to support you in improving reading and writing.”
High Life Highland’s Adult Learning team offer courses in literacy, numeracy, digital and English for speakers of other languages.
Prior to the pandemic there were more than 16,000 interactions each year with learners across Highland, carrying out individual assessments of their literacy needs.
Mr Jones added: “One of our learners said that the course had changed her for the better and had made her want to better herself in life. She said she felt more developed and had grown, not only as an adult learner, but as an individual and was more outgoing and social – taking up swimming and going to the gym as well as starting up a coffee group.
“Throughout the pandemic, much of what was once face to face has moved online, and for literacies learners this is particularly challenging. Information around Coronavirus has not always been easily accessible leaving some feeling vulnerable.”
The Adult Learning team has adapted the way it delivers its services and currently offers a blend of face to face and online learning.
If you or someone you know would like to learn to read, ask at your local library or call 01349 781700.