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Our purpose is to help adults in our community improve their reading, writing and math skills; to use
these skills in everyday living; to help them reach their goals; and to help them improve their self-esteem

If you need help with reading, writing and math, please call our office at 705.728.7323

  Welcome to our web site. We will be adding new information and pages frequently, so please check back often for updates.

Please explore our site; find out how you can get help to improve your literacy and numeracy skills, volunteer with the Council or provide financial support for our work.




Volunteers needed-no-dates


 Call us to add your name to the next information session!


Logo and contact info






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September 8th is International Literacy Day, proclaimed by UNESCO on 26 October 1966 to remind the international community of the importance of literacy for individuals, communities and societies, and the need for intensified efforts towards more literate societies. According to the UNESCO website, "International Literacy Day 2019 will focus on ‘Literacy and Multilingualism.’ Despite progress made, literacy challenges persist, distributed unevenly across countries and populations. Embracing linguistic diversity in education and literacy development is central to addressing these literacy challenges and to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals."

Think about how you can help to builld a better community right here at home. Consider volunteering as an adult literacy tutor!




Eager to know the impact low literacy has on our society?

We are grateful to Community Literacy of Ontario for putting together "Literacy: Why It Matters"

- an eye-opening look at the importance of literacy in Canada today.

Literacy - Why It Matters

Click picture to link to document


BAR volunteer week Super Portrait

Thanks to the Barrie Advance for their profile of local volunteer and Barrie Literacy Council tutor, Wayne Kennedy. Wayne is one of our many incredible volunteers who make it possible to provide our free services to adults in our community.


Celebrating National Volunteer Week | Simcoe.com

Click here to view article




Thank you to Simcoe.com/Barrie Advance for their “Spotlight” on Barrie Literacy Council!

Spotlight - Judy

1. The Barrie Literacy Council is a non-profit charity that’s been providing free services since 1979. 

Students (age 19 and up) get individualized plans to improve reading, writing and math. They can work with a tutor one-on-one, independently or in small groups. Client goals include: furthering education, employment, independence, apprenticeship or to gain basic computer skills. The average client is age 39, and 56 per cent are men.

2. The doors are open for in-person learning. The organization is always seeking adult volunteer tutors. You don't need to be a teacher to volunteer for this role. The Barrie Literacy Council provides about 15 hours of training. This training prepares tutors to work one-on-one with adults who want to learn.

3. To become a client, or to volunteer, call 705-728-7323. The Barrie Literacy Council gets some government funding. Fundraisers, including Delta Bingo and Gaming Centre Barrie, have been on hold during the pandemic. “Things have been tight,” said Judy DesRoches, the council's executive director. To donate, send cheques to 80 Bradford St. Unit 244, Barrie, Ont., L4N 6S7. Donate online at canadahelps.org/en/charities/barrie-literacy-council/.

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The Barrie Literacy Council is featured in a video produced by the Simcoe Muskoka Workplace Development Board, Bell Fibe and our funder Employment Ontario. They partnered with School Boards, OYAP, Post-Secondary Educators, Employment Service Providers, Ontario Works, Local Immigration Partnership, Literacy Organizations, Municipal Government and more to look for and devise support for local workforce development.

Host by local country music star Jason McCoy, The video features Gary Porter, former BLC student, current board member and a passionate spokesperson for the value of improving your literacy skills.

Click below to watch the video:  


SMWDB literacy video



 THANK YOU! Once again the Barrie Vinylpalooza Record Show donated the admission proceeds from this year's event to support the Barrie Literacy Council and our work assisting adults to improve their basic literacy skills. 



Hear from one of our students!

Brandon was a student at the Barrie Literacy Council where he successfully improved his basic reading, writing, and especially his math. We need more volunteer tutors to provide free assistance to students like Brandon who want to learn and build a better future for themselves. Sign up for an Information Session - call 705-728-7323




Barrie  Advance logo 2013

Thanks to the Barrie Advance for their support by helping us reach out to potential students! Follow this link to an excellent profile explaining how the Barrie Literacy Council changed their lives. Published July 17, 2014  






The Barrie Literacy Council Changes Lives!

Watch our latest student interview



Meet Kathie, a volunteer tutor with the Barrie Literacy Council. Kathie talks about the rewards of tutoring adult learners, and how the staff at the Council can assist in every stage of the learning process.




Click here to view an interview with Erin, a volunteer tutor and committee chair on the Board of Directors



"Hi my name is Brandon, I came to the Barrie literacy council to upgrade on my math. I had a meeting with a really kind lady and then she put me into a class. I was not very good at math. I even have trouble with the problem solving. When I came here it was like put number here there and carry I was getting frustrated but they sat down with me. It takes me awhile to get it done. They have helped me so much. I have learned how to multiply, divide, fractions. I didn’t like math at all but now I like math so much I can almost dream about all the math work I have done. Marilyn’s class is the best problem solving class. She does all the work step by step so the whole class can get it down. Coming to the Barrie literacy council made me an even smarter person."



"I’m 23 years old, and I’m going to be telling you a tiny bit about my life and how I became a student at the Barrie Literacy Council. I guess I should start at the very beginning right? Around grade nine, I dropped out of high school. Why? Mostly because of bullying and out of fear for my own safety. After that, I didn’t do very much of anything. I just let life pass me by and before I knew it ten years had already been wasted, still leaving me pretty much nowhere. I remember looking outside and it being wintertime whilst wondering where the heck all the time had gone. Because the last time I bothered to really pay attention it’d been summertime. Moreover, I didn’t have the necessary paperwork to do anything anyways. For example, a proper health card, birth certificate, bank card, photo ID, or social security number. To sum it all up, I was kind of trapped on the account that I had no idea how to go about getting these particular things.

A short time went by after that until eventually an event occurred which ultimately led to me ending up living with my grandparents. Truth be told, in a way they are kind of like my guardian angels. They helped me get my life back on track and finally obtain the required documentation in order for me to actually do something with my life. Next came the Barrie Literacy Council that was suggested by my case worker at Ontario Works. At first, I was extremely nervous, thinking - “School? Oh god, is this going to be a repeat of high school?” However, I was thankfully proven wrong. The environment at the Barrier Literacy Council is amazing. The teachers, staff, and the students are so incredibly kind. It’s honestly a great place and even know I’ve only been attending it for a few months, I’ve met some amazing people. Especially my new classmates, who I always look forward to seeing when I come into class. Now I’m striving to learn more and more in order to get ready for my grade 12. Well that’s it, there’s my story. I hope you enjoyed it at least a little."


"The Barrie Literacy Council has helped me a lot. I wanted to go back to school but I was scared because of my learning disability. The staff and my peers gave me confidence and great learning techniques. As a mother of three, the Council was very understanding and came up with a good schedule that worked for the staff and me. I’m so grateful for the Barrie Literacy Council and very excited about my progress."




"I’m 50 years old. I’m from Toronto, ON and I came to Barrie last year in March 2014. I didn’t have a good enough education to get a job! So I came to the Barrie Literacy Council to learn all over again. I came to Barrie Literacy to get back my education and to help me get back on track in my life. I feel better and I can read and comprehend what I read. It feels good to learn!"


I heard about the Barrie Literacy Council from the Adult Learning Centre. I decided to go and check it out. I wanted to get my reading up a level where I could go for my Driver’s test. When I first started coming here I worked on my own. I was asked to see if I would like to take classes. After a few classes I found it was not for me, so I left Barrie Literacy. Within the year I came back to the BLC wanting to get my Driver’s License. When I came back the BLC asked me if I wanted to try one on one tutoring. I think working with the tutor has helped me with opening up and trusting more so I can learn. The BLC has helped me with my outlook on what I think of myself. The friendships the BLC provide make it easier for me to open up and to get the help I need. The BLC never gave up on me, even when I was not showing up. They never pulled me from the program. I was always welcome. Coming to the BLC has given me a new direction in life. My self image has improved greatly and I have the courage and confidence to try new things. I have passed my G1 License and am still coming to the BLC to improve my reading and writing.



Here is my story how I got to know the Barrie Literacy Council. I came to this building to go to Careers for Inclusion to see my career consultant. I asked her one day when I was in about getting my grade 12 and she told me about the Barrie Literacy Council and to go there and try it out. I took her advice and it is great to be here at the Barrie Literacy Council. It has helped me a lot. I want to go and get my grade 12 and the teachers and my tutor are a great help and I am learning new things here. I want to encourage others that it is a good place to start because it is good to work on your learning skills. I got many words wrong in my spelling test but I do not give up and it is the same with my math and reading skills. I am getting better at many things now. Thank you Barrie Literacy Council for helping me,



While I was in school I always had trouble in my classes because of my writing, reading and math skills and it was so hard for me. Since I have been coming to The Literacy Council my writing, reading and math skills have improved. Now I can write sentences and paragraphs where before I couldn’t. In my reading now I can read full books. In my math I’ve learned addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. If anybody wants to come back to school, this is the place to come. I used to skip classes because I hated school because it was so hard for me. Coming here was the best thing for me.




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