July 1st, 2012 by Richard Lord
The Guernsey Adult Literacy Project (GALP) community art project is in its second year.
Its purpose is to raise funds to help Guernsey adults with reading difficulties.
Trevor Wakefield, Principal of the Guernsey College of Further Education, and head of GALP, said “GALP exists to help adults with reading and writing problems and covers basic numeracy as well. It works with about 100 adult learners per year.”
In 2011 GALP organised the donkey parade. For 2012 GALP chose the Guernsey cow.
Organiser of the cow parade, Trevor Wakefield, said “it has been done by the community for the community. I think it really hit home last year. People realised this is for Guernsey, which is why we chose the cow this year and it has generated a phenomenal response.”
“Hundreds of people have helped decorate the cows including children from five or six Guernsey schools,” Trevor Wakefield said.
Fifty-two decorated fibreglass Guernsey cows made up the GALP cow parade on Crown Pier in St Peter Port on 1 July 2012.
The cows that have the body proportions of a heifer will be on display all around Guernsey from 1 July 2012 until they are rounded up on 15 and 16 September to prepare for their auction, when they will be on display together again, on 23 September 2012.
On 1 July 2012 visitors to the Crown Pier could buy a raffle ticket to win a cow decorated for the purpose.
Some cows have a donation box in their base. These cows will be displayed in secure locations.
The main GALP fund raising event is the auction of the decorated cows on 23 September. The highly successful donkey auction in 2011 generated £58,000.
Auctioneer Norman Wilkinson from CI Auctions will be accepting commission bids and telephone bids for the cows during the auction.
The Guernsey Adult Literacy Project costs about £50,000 per year to run. Janet Wakefield and Peter Henry are specially trained to teach adults with reading difficulties. They provide individual tuition to about 100 adults per year.
Family members, community nurses and employers may contact GALP to say they know someone who might benefit from GALP’s help.
Janet Wakefield spends 15 to 20 hours per week providing individual tuition.
She said the problem with adult literacy is the same in Guernsey as it is in the UK. We see some people who start with learning A,B,C. We teach people who are not able to write their own name.
“There are many reasons why people don’t learn to read at the right time,” she said.
“If you have a serious illness or bereavement or a family breakup – there are all sorts of things that can disrupt an education.”
“If you miss out at a certain time when the learning is going on there’s no provision to catch-up and you get left behind, and you get disheartened, and then you get disgruntled,” she said.
“Low intelligence is not something we come across. Undiagnosed adults with dyslexia form the biggest group of people that we see because they do need a different type of teaching. They need a multi-sensory approach,” she said.
“The reason we do one-to-one teaching is because people do not feel comfortable and relaxed when there are other people around,” Janet Wakefield said.
“People are quite proud of saying they are rubbish at Maths, but they would never say the same about reading and writing,” she said.
“In previous generations you could get by without reading but now if you cannot read you are really disadvantaged. You cannot read bills or notices that come through the door, and then you can get into trouble for not paying,” she said.
“We suspect there are a lot more adults in Guernsey that need our help. We don’t even scratch the surface,” Janet Wakefield said.
The Guernsey Adult Literacy Project can be reached by calling 01481 737518.
Many people, organisations and businesses help GALP.
Herald Print produced the map showing where the cows are located.
Betley Whitehorne designed the website.