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The Barrie Literacy Council was founded in 1979 by local Barrie, Ontario resident, Connie Morgan to assist adults improve their basic reading, writing and math skills. We currently provide one-to-one tutoring and small group learning sessions. Independent students receive assistance from staff while they wait to be matched with a volunteer tutor.

We currently serve about 100 students and have 89 active volunteers. Our students are either matched with volunteer tutors or are working independently with the assistance of our staff. Since our inception, we have assisted well over 1500 adults improve their basic literacy and meet their personal learning goals. Many of our tutors and volunteers have been a part of the organization for a decade or more: a testament to the rewards of tutoring and the values of our organization. 

The Council is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors that meets monthly (except July and August). Each chairperson has a committee to assist in their particular area of responsibility. Please see the next page for a description of the committees and their duties.

The Executive Director is responsible for the day to day operations and reports to the Board of Directors.

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The following link will explain how community-based literacy organizations such as the Barrie Literacy Council help adults to improve their skills:

http://www.communityliteracyofontario.ca/literacy-in-ontario-2/ontario-community-literacy-agencies/

 

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THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS

CHAIRPERSON:

For Meetings:

  • Makes an agenda.
  • Follows the agenda.
  • Encourages discussion of issues.
  • Maintains order in meeting - Robert's rules used.
  • Puts questions to a vote - majority rules

General Duties

  • Interprets Laubach Literacy of Canada goals and policies for members.     
  •                 Ensures that the annual work plan is consolidated.    
  •                 Co-ordinates activities of the Council--acts as an ex-officio member of all committees. Contacts Board members as necessary.
  •                 Participates in the Board orientation process and contacts all new Board members after two regular Board meetings to respond to any questions.
  •                 Speaks to any Board member who is not fulfilling his/her Board responsibilities and, if necessary, takes disciplinary action.
  • Represents Barrie Literacy Council at public or official functions.
  •                 Acts as a representative to the Provincial Committee meetings (or appoints  a delegate).
  •                 Acts as liaison between provincial, national, local organizations and other groups involved in literacy

VICE-CHAIR

  • In the absence of the Chairperson, presides at Board and general meetings.
  • Represents the Chairperson at public or official functions if asked.
  • Is expected to assume the position of Chairperson (president-elect) when the Chair's term of office has expired or in the event of the Chair's resignation
  • Acts as liaison with staff.   Attends staff meetings and brings concerns or questions by the staff to the Board’s attention.   Also relays the Board’s decisions to the staff.
  • Would convene a hiring committee when the need to hire new staff arises.
  • Fulfils other duties as requested by the Board.

Past Chair 

  • Acts as an advisor to the Chairperson and to the Board.
  • Shall be Chair of the Nominations Committee, responsible for presenting a slate of officers to the Annual General Meeting which adheres to the Council’s policies and procedures.
  • Compares our Board profile to our community profile to ensure that our Board is representative of the community it serves.

SECRETARY

  • Records minutes of all Board meetings and the Annual General meeting.
  • Transcribes from notes all relevant information, including all motions made and passed, committee updates,etc.
  • Submits minutes to the office within one week for proof-reading. Corrections are made and a final copy is submitted for distribution to all Board members. Materials handed out at the meeting should be included with this final draft.
  • Ensures that the minutes of Board meetings and the Annual General Meeting are signed by the Chairperson and the Secretary in the Minute Book.
  • Writes letters if requested by the executive members or Chair.
  • Acts as a signing officer for cheques for the Council.
  • Keeps confidential all information pertaining to students or the Council.

 TREASURER:

  • Acts as a signing officer for cheques.
  • Reviews bill or statement of expense before signing.
  • Is responsible for the regular payroll and vacation pay of staff personnel.Issues T4 slips at year-end and Records of Employment when the employee leaves. Monitors records of income and expenses to ensure that they are accurate and up-to-date.
  • Prepares a financial report for all Board meetings, including the budget and the amount spent to date.
  • Brings any areas of concern to the Board’s attention.
  • Presents an audited financial report to the Annual Meeting.
  •  Prepares the application for a GST refund twice per year.
  • Sends in the application for a City of Barrie business tax rebate once per year.
  • Sends in the charitable status return within six months of the end of the fiscal year.
  • Invests surplus funds in appropriate, accessible and secure investment certificates and bonds.
  • Serves as a member of the Finance Committee and assists in setting the budget for the following year.

STANDING COMMITTEES

Finance 

  • Develops a fundraising plan for presentation to the Board of Directors.
  • Monitors the progress of this plan.
  • Reviews and approves all potential fundraising and partnership opportunities.
  • Develops proposals with the assistance of staff and volunteers.
  • Represents the organization at funding meetings.
  • Identifies, researches, evaluates and cultivates appropriate contributor prospects. Develops an overall prospect list.
  • Seeks and identifies prospect information from internal and external research sources prior to making a request.
  • Determines appropriate upgrading opportunities for new and existing donors.
  • Becomes familiar with techniques of solicitation and makes requests comfortably.
  • Develops and presents the Council’s case for support clearly..
  • Approves all letters sent out by the Council to appeal for funds.

Internal Communications

Composition: Chairperson, Newsletter Editor, Phone Convenors.

  • NEWSLETTER EDITOR: The "Newsbeat" is published quarterly. Dates of publications are: February 15; April 15; August 15; November 15.
  • Qualifications: sense of layout design, computer skills in desktop publishing, good English grammar, editorial (proofreading) skills, contact with students, volunteers and staff, planning (especially prioritizing), good oral and written communication skills.
  • PHONING CONVENORS: Qualifications: Friendly, pleasant phone manner, good listening skills, good oral communication skills, dependability
  • The Special Events Phone Convener sets up a phoning system so all members are informed of upcoming meetings, events, etc.The Tutoring Hours Phoning Convenor arranges monthly call for tutor hours.
Members-At-Large
  • Attend meetings of the Board of Directors and General Meetings of the Council.
  • Perform duties as requested by the Board, e.g. acting as chairman of an ad hoc committee.
  • Will serve as members of at least one standing committee or contribute special expertise to the Board.
  • Is grooming to take on the role of Chair of a committee after one term of office is complete. If a Board member resigns, may be asked to step in to assume the role of Committee Chair until a replacement can be appointed or elected.
Planning and Evaluation
  • Ensures that the Council maintains compliance with National Quality Standards for Laubach Councils and with MTCU’s Continuous Improvement Performance Management System (CIPMS) expectations.
  • Implements a process involving appropriate stakeholders (Board, staff, students and tutors) for the regular evaluation of the Council’s delivery of the five literacy services, as defined by the Literacy and Basic Skills Program of the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities on a three-year cycle. The five literacy services are: information and referral, literacy assessment, training plan development, training and follow-up.
  • Ensures that the Council’s organizational competence is evaluated at least every three to five years in relation to the strategic planning cycle.
  • Tracks and includes in the annual report a list of significant changes resulting from evaluation and planning activities during the fiscal year.
  • Initiates the strategic planning process every three to five years, depending on the time frame of the existing strategic plan, and ensures that appropriate stakeholders (Board, staff, students, tutors) are involved.
  • Monitors the implementation and progress of the Strategic Plan via the annual work plan of the Council.
  • Oversees the maintenance and review of the Policy and Procedures Manual of the Council according to the review schedule. This review process will be used as the mechanism to educate the Board of Directors on the Council’s policies and procedures.

Public Relations 

  • Provides information about the literacy program to the local media on a regular basis as deemed appropriate and necessary.
  • Plans annual public awareness campaigns to increase the profile of International Literacy Day (September 8) and Family Literacy Day (January 27).      
  • Ensures that workshops and special activities are publicized well in advance of the date.
  • Contacts community groups, agencies or businesses which may be a referral source for students or tutors.
  • Oversees the design, preparation and/or distribution of posters, flyers and brochures as required with the technical assistance of staff.
  • Coordinates publicity of special events, mall displays, etc. with the assistance of staff and volunteers.
  • Keeps abreast of the need for recruitment of tutors and/or students and plans appropriate publicity.
  • Approves all articles concerning publicity of the Barrie Literacy Council before submission to the media.
  • May assist the Finance Committee with promotion of fund-raising appeals, projects and presentations.
  • In conjunction with staff, maintains a list of members willing to speak to community groups about the Barrie Literacy Council, and delegates speakers when requests are made.
  • Maintains and updates a speakers’ kit and media kit.
  • Identifies opportunities for media sponsors and/or corporate sponsorship to promote the work of the Council.

 Social

  • Assists the Chairperson in planning the Annual General Meeting - e.g., booking the hall, organizing the menu if meal provided, decorations needed, invitation of guests,      entertainment when required.
  • Provides refreshments at tutor training workshops.
  • Provides food and refreshments at two social events.
  • Provides refreshments at Board meetings and any seminar workshops when requested.
  • Keeps accurate account of expenses incurred on the Cash Advance Distribution sheet.

Student Representative

  •  Provide opportunities for students to get together, and helps them to plan their activities.
  • Bring suggestions, concerns and needs of students to the Board (acts as a liaison between students and the Board).
  • Provide student perspective on issues discussed by the Council and assist other committees when asked.
  • Suggest student representatives for tutor training workshops, Board committees, speaking engagements, media interviews, etc.
  • Keep abreast of student conferences, activities, etc. and advise students.
  • Notify new students of student activities, invite them to participate, and offer support.

Tutor Training 

  •  Determines the need for workshops based on the student waiting list.
  • Sets dates, times and place of workshops, in co-operation with GeorgianCollege.
  • Assists, when requested, nearby communities in organizing tutor-training workshops and forming new councils.
  • Plans upcoming workshops--trainers, schedule, changes to presentations, workshop guests, set-up, book distribution, helpers, etc.
  • Orients volunteers to their role as tutors - e.g. in a pre-workshop general information session (1 or 2 weeks before the workshop), and during the workshop.
  • Evaluates training workshops and recommends changes for the future.
  • Provides upgrading seminars two to three times per year for tutors.

Volunteer Management

  •  Analyzes the need for volunteers and notifies the Public Relations Committee when volunteers are needed.
  • Checks references as listed on the volunteer application form for all volunteers.
  • Uses focus groups and periodic seminars to gather feedback from tutors to assess if the training provided was adequate for the tutors’ needs and report findings back to the Tutor Training Committee.
  • Compiles and analyzes feedback obtained from volunteer performance reviews. Recommends future action when needed.
  • Analyzes results of questionnaires obtained from volunteers who have retired to recommend program changes that are needed and to develop plans as needed to retain volunteers.
  • Periodically reviews existing questionnaires for volunteers and recommends changes needed.
  • Designs questionnaires for volunteers to address specific volunteer issues as they arise.
  • Decides on the nature of awards for volunteers and purchases them prior to the annual general meeting.
  • Reviews results of volunteer performance appraisals.
  • Discusses persistent problems with individual volunteers and attempts to find solutions, up to and including possible dismissal.
  • Consults student representative(s) when student input is required on tutor-related issues.
  • Revises as necessary the Volunteer Handbook.

 

Staff

Executive Director
Student Tutor Coordinator/Assessor
Administrative Assistant
Instructors

 

 

 

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