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Adult Foundational Programs

There are many reasons adults return to learning. If you are looking for a course because you want to move forward in your goals, Calgary Learns supports programs that may help.

Calgary Learns provides grants to non-profit organizations to deliver foundational learning programs. Programs are for learners who are:

Adults (over 18)
Living in Calgary
Building basic skills
Facing financial barriers to learning

We support programs that help with learning basic skills. Some programs are designed for a certain group of learners:


Reading and Writing

  • Community Access to Literacy Learning (CALL) – CanLearn Society 
    Is English your first language? Are your struggles with reading holding you back? Come to this course! It will help you strengthen your reading and writing skills. This will help you to feel more confident in your everyday life and support you in finding better work opportunities.

    For more information, please visit CanLearn
    Email: famlit@canlearnsociety.ca
    Phone: (403) 686-9300 ext. 128

“I’ve realized that I am capable of far more than I expected. I was shocked when I received
the book Missing from you and was actually able to tackle the first chapter with success!”

  • Literacy and Learning Program (LLP) – Calgary John Howard Society
    Have you had criminal justice involvement? Are your reading, writing, or math skills getting in the way of setting new goals?  This one-to-one and small group learning opportunity can support you and get you on your way.

    For more information, please visit Calgary John Howard Society
    Phone: (403) 266-4566

 “The program helped me understand my verbs, nouns, and they related it to
my understanding. That’s what I struggled with. It boosted my confidence.” 

  • Reading Connections  – CanLearn Society 
    Do you want to improve your reading skills? If you would like to learn one-on-one at your own pace, without pressure, this program may be a good fit for you. 

    For more information, please visit CanLearn
    Email: famlit@canlearnsociety.ca
    Phone: (403) 686-9300 ext. 128

“I know how to read long words now. I know so
much more vocabulary. I am over the moon!”

To hear about this program from a past learner, please click below:

  •  Write On The Alex
    If you want to strengthen your reading and writing skills, but self confidence keeps getting in the way, come to this course. Together we will choose, read, and talk about books. You will be supported to build self esteem in a positive learning environment! 

    For more information, please visit  The Alex
    Email: info@thealex.ca
    Phone: (403) 520-2260

“I am reborn into the joy of an educated adult, much beyond my expectations!”

Upgrading

  • Basic Math for Adults – CanLearn
    Do you need help with math for everyday life or your job? Are you hoping to take courses that need a good understanding of math? In this course you will get help with basic math concepts.  We hope this will help you to feel more positive about math.

    For more information, please visit CanLearn
    Email: info@canlearnsociety.ca
    Phone: (403) 686-9300 ext. 128

“I am now able to do multiplication, long division, and I understand
fractions. I feel very optimistic about my plans to get my GED.”  

To hear about this program from a past learner, Steph, please click below:

Learning English

  • Bi-Literacy Project – Centre for Newcomers 
    This program is for adults who did not have access to formal schooling and have not learned to read or write in their first language. Beginning with literacy instruction in the home languages of Tigrinya, Arabic, Farsi/Dari, or Nepali, adults learn English literacy skills.

    For more information, please visit: Centre for Newcomers
    Email: eslprograms@centrefornewcomers.ca
    Phone: (403) 648-2231
  • Everyday English for Seniors – Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association (CIWA)
    Are you over 55 years old and an immigrant to Canada? Do you want to have better English reading and listening skills? Come to this class and practice your English language conversation skills.

    For more information, please visit CIWA Seniors
    Email: ees@ciwa-online.com
    Phone: (403) 263-4414

“My family has noticed how much I have improved since I started the classes.”

  •  Foundational English for Academic Purposes (FEAP) – SAIT
    Do you want to learn English to help you get into college or university? This course will help you to improve your reading and writing so that you can apply for upgrading. This course covers grades 6 – 9 English to help you get ready to apply for upgrading. 

    For more information, please visit SAIT
    Email: english.language@sait.ca
    Phone: (403) 210-4045
  • Pebbles in the Sand – Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association (CIWA) 
    This program helps immigrant women with less than 7 years of education in their home language learn how to read, write, and speak in English.

    For more information, please visit CIWA
    Email: languageclasses@ciwa-online.com
    Phone: (403) 263-4414

“I was very shy to speak in English before. Because I think my English is not good.
But now I feel comfortable and enjoy group talking with all my classmates.” 

To hear about this program from past learners Netsnet, Rania, and Seneit, please click below: 

  • Reading Room – The Immigrant Education Society (TIES)
    Would you like to improve your reading in English?  We are here to help! This program offers one-on-one support to help you be confident in reading and understanding what you have read. 

    For more information please visit TIES
    Email: reception@immigrant-education.ca
    Phone: (403) 235-3666

“I can understand now. I am slow, but I understand better.
Thanks to the Reading Room I am happy.”

  • Stepping Stones – Diversecities
    Is English your second language? Would you like to improve your daily English skills? This program uses both first languages (Mandarin, Cantonese, Farsi, Dari and/or Pashto) and English instruction. Field trips provide real-life opportunities to practice listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills.

    For more information, please visit Diversecities
    Email: esl.coordinator@diversecities.org
    Phone: (403) 265-8446

“The classes have improved my spoken English.”

Programs for Ukrainian Evacuees

  • Emergency ESL for Ukrainians – Centre for Newcomers
    Are you a Ukrainian evacuee? Do you need to learn English (below Canadian Language Benchmark 4)? This course will help you with your language goals.  You will learn the skills you need so that you can do things like shop for groceries and read job advertisements. We will help you to settle into Canadian life.

    For more information, please visit Centre for Newcomers
    Email: eslprograms@centrefornewcomers.ca
    Phone: (403) 648-2231
  • Survival English for Ukraine Newcomers – Ukrainian Canadian Congress Calgary (UCC Calgary)
    Have you just arrived in Calgary from Ukraine? Do you want to build your basic English language skills? Come to this 10-day class to learn and practice.

    For more information please email: survivalenglishforua@gmail.com
  • Ukrainian Employment Program – Calgary Catholic Immigrant Society (CCIS)
    Are you a Ukrainian evacuee with no or limited English skills (CLB 0-4)? Do you need help to learn how to find employment in Canada?  Join us! Together we will work on your job search, including resumes and Canadian job interview strategies.  You will learn about the workplace and employer expectations in Canada.  We will help you look for employment. We are here to help.

    For more information, please visit CCIS
    Phone: (403) 262-2006 Please ask for the employment or settlement counsellor.

Computer-Use

  • Basic Digital Literacy Training for Foundational Learners – Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association (CIWA)
    Are you an immigrant to Canada looking for a job? Do you need computer skills? In this course, you will learn about the Canadian workplace and develop the digital skills you need for employment.

    For more information, please visit CIWA
    Email: employmentservices@ciwa-online.com
    Phone: (403) 263-4414
  • Basic Digital Skills — Calgary John Howard Society
    Have you had criminal justice involvement? Are your computer skills getting in the way of setting new goals or finding services? This one-to-one and small group learning opportunity is a great place to start.

    For more information, please visit  Calgary John Howard Society
    Email: info@cjhs.ca
    Phone: (403) 266-4566

“I have no complaints, other than when’s the next class?”

  • Computer Access for Literacy Learners – The Immigrant Education Society (TIES)
    Are you looking to learn how to use a computer, tablet, or smartphone? Are you learning English? We can help! This program will help you feel more confident with the daily tasks that need you to be online.

    For more information, please visit TIES
    Email: reception@immigrant-education.ca
    Phone: (403) 235-3666

“This computer class is very helpful – I learned a lot in terms of internet exploration, receiving and sending
emails, booking appointments online, typing, creating documents, and sharing them with my teachers.
Computer class is better because many things are linked to computer use these days in Canada.”

  • Computer Training for Integration for Refugees – Calgary Catholic Immigrant Society (CCIS)
    Do you need to learn basic computer skills? Are you a new refugee to Canada who is learning English and has other barriers to taking programs? Come to this course for help. Classes are taught in Tigrinya, Amharic, Pashto and Dari.

    For more information, please call CCIS at 403-262-2006 and ask for an employment or settlement counsellor.
    Email: contact@ccisab.ca

“I have support from so many people who obviously care about me. They have made
me believe I can be part of a classroom when before I felt incapable of learning.”

  • Digital Readiness Tutoring Program – The Women’s Centre
    Are you a woman looking to build your computer skills? Come join us! We will focus on the basics of using computers. You’ll learn how to use Microsoft, stay safe online, manage your files, use Zoom, and navigate websites. You can learn at your own pace.

    For more information, please visit The Women’s Centre
    Email: info@womenscentrecalgary.org
    Phone: (403) 264-1155
  • Digital Skills Training for Service Access and Community Engagement – Calgary Catholic Immigrant Society (CCIS) 
    Do you need help with your digital skills so that you can access the programs and services you need?  Do you need basic English (below Canadian Language Benchmark 4) to help you learn? This is the course for you! 

    For more information, please visit CCIS
    Email: contact@ccisab.ca
    Phone: (403) 262-2006

“The course was very good, and I learned a lot from it.”

Programs Specifically for Indigenous Learners

  • Indigenous Financial Literacy Momentum
    Are you interested in learning about financial wellness? We will use Indigenous cultural values to learn about western financial concepts through stories and knowledge sharing. Join us so that you can feel more confident on your financial wellness journey. One-on-one individual financial coaching is also available.

    For more information, please visit Momentum
    Email: welcome@momentum.org
    Phone: (403) 272-9323
  • Indigenous Foundations: Adult Literacy (COMM 006) – SAIT
    Do you want to go to college or university but need upgrading in English first? If you need to strengthen your reading and writing to apply for upgrading, this pre-upgrading course covers grades 6 – 9 English to help you get ready. 

    For more information, please visit SAIT
    Email: Chinook.Lodge@sait.ca
    Phone: (403) 210-4028

“It made me more positive towards my goal instead of beating myself up for not trying new things
. . . it helped me feel more included into society . . . I would love to recommend this for people who
are looking to work for a career goal. It may help those who are down these days or may get
them moving instead of being stuck in a spot in life, living paycheque to paycheque.”

  • Indigenous Foundations: Numeracy (MATH 007) – SAIT 
    Do you want to go to college or university but need upgrading in Math first? If you need to strengthen your math skills to apply for upgrading, this pre-upgrading course covers grades 5 -8 math to help you get ready.

    For more information, please visit SAIT
    Email: Chinook.Lodge@sait.ca
    Phone: (403) 210-4028

“I was struggling to relearn the things I forgot at first, but after 2 months
I successfully regained the knowledge I needed for the future courses.”

  • Indigenous Workplace Wellness Circle – Aboriginal Futures
    Have you been out of work or school for more than a year? Build skills and a plan to return to work, school, or training. Join us to gain experience, earn certificates, and explore employment opportunities. Indigenous culture and ways of learning are honoured with support from community Elders.

    For more information, please visit Aboriginal Futures
    Email: info@aboriginalfutures.com
    Phone: (403) 253-5311
  • Knowledge to Move Our Lives Forward – Closer to Home 
    Do you want to learn from Indigenous Elders/Knowledge Keepers? Join us! This is an opportunity to build life skills through traditional cultural teachings. Come and be part of the circle and learn to drum and sing. Families are welcome.

    For more information, please visit Closer to Home
    Email: familyresourcenetwork@closertohome.com
    Phone: (403) 543-0555

“I come here to hear from others and to share some of my own experience
with others, it’s healing and I am learning about my life and moving forward.”

  • Sage: Emotional Wellness Program – Elizabeth Fry 
    Are you an Indigenous woman? Have you had criminal justice involvement? Join us. Using Indigenous cultural connections and supports, we will come together to gain confidence and strengthen communication skills. You will build essential skills and prepare for employment.

    For more information, please visit Elizabeth Fry
    Email: sage@elizabethfrycalgary.ca
    Phone: (403) 294-0737 ext. 246

Parenting and Family Literacy

  • Family Life Education – Families Matter
    Are you a parent who wants to learn positive parenting skills and strengthen your family? This course is for you! Childcare may be available.

    For more information, please visit Families Matter
    Email: info@familiesmatter.ca
    Phone: (403) 205-5194

To hear about this program from past learners please click below:

  • Learning Starts at Home – CanLearn Society
    Do you want to help your children become strong readers? This course is for parents whose children are between 3 and 7 years old. You will learn how to understand and support your child’s learning needs. Learning together as a family, in your own home, is a good way to build both your child(ren)’s and your own literacy skills.  

    For more information, please visit CanLearn
    Email: famlit@canlearnsociety.ca
    Phone: (403) 686-9300 ext. 128

“Both my daughter and I have learned to read so many new words. 
My biggest learning is how important it is to learn to read step by step.” 

  • Magic Carpet Ride – CanLearn Society
    Do you want to be more confident to engage your child’s learning? This course is for families whose children are between 3 and 5 years old.  You will practice everyday learning by playing, talking and listening, singing, and sharing books and stories. Together with other families, you will develop skills that will help your own learning.

    For more information, please visit CanLearn 
    Email: famlit@canlearnsociety.ca
    Phone: (403) 686-9300 ext. 128

“One of the things I have learned is how important it is that parents model learning
for their kids. I enjoyed parent discussions, and I loved the “pen pal” activity!”

To hear about this program from Stacey and another past learner please click below:

Basic Skills for Life, Learning, and Work

  • American Sign Language – Deaf and Hear Alberta (DHA)
    Do you or a family member need to learn or improve your American Sign Language (ASL) to communicate?  Deaf and Hear Alberta have courses available to help.  There are bursaries available to remove financial barriers.   

    For more information, please visit Deaf and Hear Alberta
    Email: info@deafandhearalberta.ca
    Phone: (403) 284-6200
  • Learning Enhanced Employment Program (LEEP) – Calgary John Howard Society
    Have you had criminal justice involvement? Are you ready to work on the skills you need to get a steady job? This might be the program for you!

    For more information, please visit Calgary John Howard Society
    Email: info@cjhs.ca
    Phone: (403) 266-4566

“Don’t let your criminal record get you down or hold you back from achieving your full potential.” 

  • LEARNS – The Alex
    Do you want to improve your confidence, problem solving, and communication skills? Do you want to learn skills that will help you achieve your personal goals? Come to this course for practical learning experiences.  You will develop skills as well as confidence! 

    For more information, please visit The Alex
    Email: goodfood@thealex.ca
    Phone: (403) 370-0807

“This program opened up my mind to being around people . . . and has given me
something positive to look forward to. It also benefits me because I can really use 
skills like budgeting, cooking, gardening. These things are all very wonderful.”

  • Money Matters – Momentum
    Do you want to feel more confident when it comes to dealing with your money? Does mental health stress make that hard? The Money Matters program will teach you how to plan and manage your money.

    For more information, please visit Momentum
    Email: welcome@momentum.org
    Phone: (403) 272-9323

 “I am more confident with money.  Money Matters has given me the tools to succeed in life. “

  • Pre-employment Program (PEP) – The Alex
    Are you preparing for employment, volunteering, or school? Are you looking for support to achieve your goal? This course will help you develop skills and confidence. It also provides work experience and certifications. 

    For more information, please visit The Alex
    Email: pep@thealex.ca
    Phone: (403) 520-2260

“I learned more than how to properly prepare for, and to search for employment. I learned a lot
about myself and what direction I want to head in life. I feel so much more confident in my abilities.”

  • Taking Charge – CanLearn Society
    Learning can be so hard! Are you ready to try again? Want to learn some skills that can make learning easier? This program will help you strengthen your everyday reading. You will gain confidence and skills at the same time.

    For more information, please visit CanLearn
    Email: njerkovic@canlearnsociety.ca
    Phone: (403) 686-9300 ext. 128

“The program is great because it gives me the idea that
I can learn and talk about what I read with other people.”

  • Time to Grow– carya
    Are you looking to return to learning?  Have you experienced learning challenges in the past?  Do you want to develop confidence that will help you achieve your personal goals? Come join us.  You will build skills in problem-solving, decision-making, and communication. 

    For more information, please visit:  carya
    Email: info@caryacalgary.ca
    Phone: (403) 205-5244

Programs for Learners with Disabilities

  • Foundational Literacy Program – Prospect Human Services
    Do you want to improve your reading and writing skills? Come join our group-based program to meet friends and learn together. There is one-to-one support available.  Attending 2 to 3 times a week will help you to reach your goals. 

    For more information visit Prospect  
    Email: info@prospectnow.ca
    Phone: (403) 273-2822

 “I am so confident now; I build others’ confidence.”

To hear about this program from Jason and other past learners, please click below:

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