Our Students

One out of three adults in Edmonton struggle with reading and writing. This means that they cannot write a resume or fill in a job application. They can’t read letters from school, the government or their doctors. They can’t read or understand instructions on a medical bottle for their child or themselves. Low level literacy skills impact their lives in a negative manner on every level.

People with poor reading skills can not:


  • Fill out a job application
  • Read a manual at work
  • Read a recipe or a pill bottle
  • Read letters

1 out of 2 people have problems with basic math.

Many of our math students are preparing for entrance into a job training program and/or an apprenticeship. Improving their math skills can help them pass an entrance exam and get them on a path to educational opportunities and better employment. Approximately 30 students a year from P.A.L.S. pass the apprenticeship entrance exam.

Benefits of Literacy

Student’s lives get a lot better when they improve their reading, writing and math. They now have opportunities to:


  • find better jobs
  • make more money
  • feel a lot better about themselves

How the Programs Work

P.A.L.S. match students one to one with a tutor who will help them learn to read or write or do math.

P.A.L.S. also offers English classes in conversation and literacy. 40% of our students are LELL. Most of them are established immigrants who are working to improve their literacy skills. This helps them become more active contributors to the Canadian economy. For all our students every academic level they master can give them up to 10% in increased income and an unmeasurable increase in self-confidence and pride.

Our tutors are people who enjoy reading or math and want to share that enjoyment with some one else. They are volunteers! They do it because they want to help!

There is no cost to the student and lessons are set up so they fit into the student’s life.

If you think you would like to work on being a better reader and writer, or if you want to work on your Math or your English speaking skills, please contact us


“I only knew small words and wasn’t sure of the sounds of all the letters. The materials were an introduction, step-by-step to reading and they worked. I started being able to read very quickly. I could make sense of things I never even bothered to look at before. It was like I already knew a lot and we were just filling in the blanks. It felt really good.

By the end of my first year I could read flyers and letters. I didn’t have to stockpile mail ‘til I could find someone to help me with it. Now I read magazines about fishing and hunting and building cabins in the wilderness. It’s great and sure better than just looking at the pictures.”


“I came to Canada for a better life, but living in a country where culture, language, and climate is very different was a huge transition for me. Therefore, it has been really difficult to adjust. I realize that improving my English through P.AL.S. has given me confidence, and I am exploring more career options, and am becoming aware of other employment and educational opportunities open to me.”


Sarah was worried she was going to lose her job in a coffee bar. Her tutor worked directly with the menu from her job and made up imaginary orders for her to practice with. Her managers at work noticed the improvement and are giving her more responsibility. Their confidence in her has increased and she has a more challenging job than before.

She took the placement exams to go to Grant McEwan for 2014 to continue upgrading and did very well with them. These successes have lea to growth in her confidence and self-esteem.

Students for Students

“It was within two weeks of obtaining my First Aid Certificate at P.A.L.S. that an opportunity presented itself for me to use my First Aid Training at work. A colleague injured his eyes, and I was able to provide immediate assistance and save him from becoming seriously hurt.

This timely intervention got me noticed at work and I was invited to join the company’s Safety Committee. This means that I am responsible for explaining safety procedures and prevention practices to my fellow workers. I am able to explain these regulations in Arabic and English, improve the safety record of the company, and even explain complex safety regulations about using certain machines on the shop floor.”