woman looking at posters

Three ways to attract more learners to your adult literacy program

Success in today’s competitive job market requires advanced literacy skills – yet almost half of adult Canadians possess skills that are below the high school level, ultimately affecting their work and personal lives.

adult learners

While there are numerous literacy organizations across Canada intent on improving adult literacy rates, getting program awareness out to suitable individuals can often be challenging.

What is the best way to advertise your program offerings? How can you ensure adults will remain committed to your literacy program until course completion?

Use our practical tips below to help attract more learners to your adult literacy programs.

  1. Advertise in the right places

Consider new audiences through food banks, religious centres, probation offices and social service agencies. These are all places that your target audience may go, providing suitable locations to promote your literacy programs.

Although creating and distributing posters to targeted locations is great, it may not be enough. Some adults may struggle with the information on your poster and be left unaware of your great program opportunities.

To increase the awareness about your literacy programs, provide information to educate the staff found within these centres. They know their clients and customers best and have already established trusted relationships with many of them.

Also, inquire about potential opportunities for you to be a guest speaker at an upcoming event with a social service agency.

If budget permits, use radio, newspapers and social media campaigns to assist with program awareness.

  1. Advertise an inclusive, flexible learning environment 

Your literacy program is an environment that encourages respect, connection and feelings of safety between learners and teachers. Tell people about this and include it in your advertising.

While promoting your program, be sure to inform potential participants about its inclusive learning atmosphere. Describe the all-encompassing learning methods that will be used and draw on positive testimonials from past learners with a range of cultures, beliefs and values.

Courses that offer flexible learning pathways are appealing to learners who must take breaks due to family, work or other obligations. Although potential learners should always be encouraged to attend as much as possible, it’s important for no negative stigma to be attached to missing class.

  1. Provide motivation to continue learning

Attracting learners to your adult literacy programs is only half the battle – encouraging them to complete the program comes next.

Remove as many barriers as possible that could prevent an adult from attending your program. Hold your program in an easily accessible location, with no (or minimal) cost to participants. Provide bus tokens or tickets, subsidized childcare and complimentary refreshments or door prizes. For learners requiring extra support, consider offering drop-in hours for one-to-one instruction.

With hours of study and practice required to acquire stronger literacy skills, keeping adult learners motivated throughout your literacy program is key. Educate learners on the benefits of improving their literacy skills – and remind them often. Participating in your program helps learners increase confidence and skills that can lead to securing a better job.

Want more information on attracting participants to your adult literacy programs? Contact us today for more tips and advice. If you’re running one of our programs, we often provide free promotional materials to help you advertise.