Strategic Plan

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2020 – 2022 Strategic Plan

Kwanlin DĂźn First Nation elder Louie Smith and Yukon Learn tutor Ted Ackerman, recipients of the 2019 Council of the Federation Literacy Award. This national award recognizes outstanding achievement, innovative practice and excellence in literacy.

Yukon Learn: changing lives one word at a time since 1983

From the Board of Directors On behalf of the volunteer board and staff of the Yukon Learn Society, I am pleased to present our 2020-2022 Strategic Plan. As part of Yukon's literacy mosaic, our plan communicates a clear direction forward. This direction involves more research and advocacy, while continuing to deliver free, high-quality literacy and essential skills programming to adult Yukoners. Adult learners are people you see every day. They are part of our community and in some way need assistance in improving their literacy skills. We are here to help them increase their literacy skills around nine essential skills: reading, writing, computer use, numeracy, critical thinking, oral communication, working with others, document use, and continuous learning.

With the generous support of Yukon Government and the tireless commitment of our dedicated staff, we continue to make a difference in the lives of many Yukoners. And, as this plan demonstrates, we continue to listen and explore new and innovative ways to support the lifelong learning efforts of adult Yukoners, particularly those with literacy and essential challenges. This plan is centred around a number of key strategic outcomes, including: 

Adults with literacy or other essential challenges acquire the skills they need to thrive in today’s world, and achieve their full potential.

Yukoners understand the importance and relevance of literacy and life-long learning to a productive, engaged and inclusive life, and a strong and vibrant community.

Adult learners have effective and consistent access to literacy and essential skills programming and supports, regardless of where they live.

Yukon Learn’s programs and services reflect best practices, innovative approaches and new technologies.

Yukon employers and social service related not-for-profit organizations actively support employee literacy and essential skills learning as a means to achieving a more inclusive society and northern labour force.

While this plan represents a three-year planning window, implementation has already begun. For example, our newly launched new website will enable learners to access lessons that can be downloaded and used on their own time, register online for specific courses or sessions, and provide online tutor/instructor profiles that help learners decide which tutor best fits their goals and learning style. We have also begun implementing the Digital Literacy Exchange Program (aka, the "Yukon Tech Road Show"), which offers smart technology, and device and computer skills training to adults living in rural Yukon communities. We look forward to the future, and invite you to help us make a difference in changing the lives of Yukoners, one word at a time. Shäw nἱthän,

Mark Davey, President 1 | Yukon Learn

Our Vision

Our vision is a Yukon where every adult with literacy challenges is inspired and empowered to continue their journey of lifelong learning and achieve their life goals and aspirations.

Our mission is to help adult Yukoners address their literacy challenges and gain the essential skills they need by: 1. providing a suite of culturally relevant, innovative and best practice learning options that can be tailored to each individual’s unique needs and learning styles; 2. partnering with organizations, communities and employers to increase awareness and access to needed literacy supports; and

Our Mission

3. conducting advocacy and research to better understand the needs of adult learners, and to highlight the value of lifelong learning to an inclusive and welllived life.

Our Guiding Values and Principles We believe: 1. that basic literacy in all forms strengthens the social, economic and political fabric of our northern communities; 2. that a welcoming, encouraging, compassionate and safe learning environment can empower people to reach their full potential; 3. in acknowledging the cultural diversity of Yukon through individualized learning approaches that build on each individual’s unique strengths and learning style; 4. in collaborating with partners to collectively work in the best interests of those who require learning supports to achieve their life goals and aspirations; 5. in recognizing, supporting and celebrating the incredible efforts and commitment of our staff, volunteer tutors and instructors; and 6. in exploring new and innovative approaches and perspectives to ensure that our

programs and supports reflect both northern realities and best practices.

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Pillar A

Supporting Lifelong Adult Learning

Providing free access to guided lifelong learning opportunities is our primary focus. We recognize that everyone has unique needs and learning styles, and we continue to seek ways to better personalize and tailor learning experiences and materials to these needs, particularly in ways that reflect the diverse cultural values and perspectives of all Yukoners. Recognizing that literacy and essential skills learning can be a prerequisite to employment or educational opportunities, we will explore ways to embed essential skills learning in workplaces and within social service organizations to better link adult learning supports to these opportunities. We also seek to leverage new technologies and approaches that are more adaptable to adults’ lifestyles and availability, and to provide opportunities to more consistently practice new skills outside of the classroom or tutor-learner relationship. HOW WE WILL GET THERE | KEY STRATEGIES


Adults with literacy or other essential skills challenges acquire the skills they need to thrive in today’s world, and achieve their full potential. Adults without a high school diploma can access the assistance they need to achieve a diploma equivalency. Adult learners have effective and consistent access to the literacy and essential skills programming and supports they need, regardless of where they live. Yukon Learn’s programs and services reflect best practices, innovative approaches and new technologies.

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A1. Explore the feasibility of embedding or integrating literacy and essential skills programming in Yukon workplaces and social service organizations to provide greater access to literacy and essential skills programming. A2. Explore the feasibility of alternative program delivery options such as the creation of a virtual literacy hub to support e-learning, online tutoring and access to learning resources, and the enhanced use of learning apps to enable learners to practice their skills on their own time. A3. Formalize a program that supports low-income learners to obtain the resources they need to facilitate learning and practice outside of the classroom. A4. In the spirit of the Truth and Reconciliation Committee’s Calls to Action, work with Yukon First Nations to identify specific ways to integrate Indigenous knowledge and teaching methods within Yukon Learn’s processes, programs and materials. A5. In partnership with the Department of Education, explore the development of an adult learning diploma (adult dogwood) program whereby Yukon Learn supports individuals to receive an adult graduation diploma. A6. Develop and promote an employer/industry-funded bursary that adult learners can access to further their education or pursue apprenticeship opportunities. A7. Conduct a program review to assess the degree to which our programs, processes and approaches are innovative, incorporate best practices, and address the barriers and challenges adult learners typically face.

Pillar B

Community Outreach and Advocacy

It is critical that we continue to advocate the benefits of literacy in all its forms to a productive and inclusive life, and encourage and empower people to continue their journey toward lifelong learning. We believe in working collaboratively with others toward a common goal of ‘normalizing’ literacy as a way to encourage greater participation in adult learning opportunities. Through partnerships we can better promote and improve awareness and access to programs and services across Yukon, and find ways to reduce overlap and duplication in order to collectively make better use of available resources. In addition to our annual literacy fundraisers, such as the Peter Gzowski Invitational Golf Tournament for Literacy, we will continue to explore opportunities to celebrate, champion and raise awareness of the importance of lifelong adult learning, and addressing literacy challenges. HOW WE WILL GET THERE | KEY STRATEGIES STRATEGIC PRIORITIES

 Yukoners understand the importance and relevance of literacy and lifelong learning to a productive, engaged and inclusive life, and a strong and vibrant community.  Yukon employers actively support employee literacy and essential skills learning as a means to achieving a more productive and inclusive society and northern labour force.  Strong, effective and clientfocused partnerships and collaborations.  Yukon communities are supported in developing the capacity and resources they need to support the unique literacy and lifelong learning needs of their citizens.

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B1. Partner with related organizations to develop a 'hearts and minds' marketing campaign (including the use of Yukon Learn branded promotional items, testimonials of community leaders and advocates, and the success stories of those with lived experience). This campaign will address the perceived stigma and other misconceptions surrounding adult literacy, and bring greater awareness of the importance of lifelong learning in strengthening Yukon’s social, economic and cultural fabric. B2. Develop a community-based 'literacy ambassador' program that recruits and supports literacy champions to conduct outreach and encourage Yukoners to address their literacy challenges. B3. Lobby mayors, First Nation leaders and Yukon Government to create a 'Yukon Adult Literacy Day' to increase exposure and awareness of literacy and lifelong learning. B4. Host or support a Yukon-wide lifelong learning conference or town hall that brings communities, government, NGOs and individuals together to learn the 'facts' about adult literacy, reduce barriers and enhance opportunities for lifelong adult learning; and identify innovative and practical ways to support adult literacy as a key factor to a viable and sustainable northern labour force. B5. Cultivate strategic partnerships and collaborations with related organizations in order to eliminate program and client overlap and duplication, thereby increasing efficiencies, making better use of limited resources and providing a clearer ‘road map’ on how to access literacy supports.

Pillar C

Organizational Effectiveness

We recognize that achieving our vision is dependent in part on how well-positioned we are internally to make a difference. This means increasing the availability of well-trained volunteer tutors and instructors to meet a growing demand for programming, ensuring that our board and staff have the tools, training and support they need, and that we have the financial resources, capacity, technology and infrastructure to effectively operate. This pillar also explores how can we more consistently collect and use data and qualitative information to better understand the nature, scope, incidence and impact of illiteracy in Yukon, and demonstrate the impact of Yukon Learn’s efforts to promote adult literacy and lifelong learning. HOW WE WILL GET THERE | KEY STRATEGIES

C1. Increase the number of volunteer tutors by continuing to host an annual ‘tutor recruitment session’ at Yukon College and high schools to recruit student tutors, and working with Yukon First Nation governments to identify, train and support volunteer Indigenous tutors. C2. Conduct an evaluation of Yukon Learn in order to: a. identify a suite of qualitative and quantitative indicators (and associated data collection methods) that can help pinpoint trends in the causes, incidence, and persistence of adult illiteracy in Yukon; b. better understand the degree to which our programs and supports are meeting the needs of adult learners and our funders; and c. demonstrate the effectiveness and impact of our programs, services and supports, and celebrate success stories. C3. Support effective tutor-learner partnerships by investing in tutor development through formalizing a tutor support program that addresses: a. opportunities for tutors to come together to communicate and discuss challenges and ideas; b. tutor/learner safety protocols; c. tutor/learner performance reviews to obtain two-way feedback; d. ways to incentivize tutors in order to recognize their valuable contributions; e. the development of learner-specific learner plans that provide clearer roadmaps for tutors and learners on how best to achieve the learner's goals; and f. training or mentorship opportunities for tutors to learn and incorporate new, innovative or best practices approaches and methods. C4. Develop and implement an organizational succession plan to facilitate Board and staff continuity, and ensure that Yukon Learn has the internal capacity to achieve its mission. C5. Develop a fundraising and planned giving strategy to bolster Yukon Learn's financial capacity to innovate and provide best-practices programs and supports. C6. Conduct a review and update human resources policies and operational procedures.

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We are looking for people who need help learning to read.

Please contact us if you are interested in being a volunteer, a tutor or a learner. Suite B, 2158 Second Avenue Whitehorse, Yukon, Y1A 5N9 867-668-6280 or toll free: 888-668-6280

Yukon Learn continues to host the annual Peter Gzowski Invitational Golf Tournament in Whitehorse to help raise awareness and funds for adult literacy programs.

A special thank you to Yukon Government Department of Education’s Community Training Fund and the to Community Development Fund for assistance in developing this Strategic Plan.

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