The Canucks Family Education Centre (CFEC) is a partnership between Britannia Community Services Centre Society, the Canucks for Kids Fund, the Raise-a-Reader campaign, the Vancouver School Board, and 40 program partners. The Centre opened October 3, 2002.
The Canucks Family Education Centre is located at Britannia Community Services Centre – a 17-acre site in East Vancouver, which services the inner-city communities of Grandview-Woodland and Strathcona. With a population of about 40,000, it is an area afflicted with a disproportionate share of social and economic challenges. The area is among the city’s worst in poverty levels, low educational attainment, high incidence of crime, problems related to substance abuse, numbers of dysfunctional individuals and families, and significant populations of disconnected youth and isolated seniors. This area is known as Canada’s poorest postal code. It is also an area whose population is made up of large numbers of Aboriginal families and families whose first language is not English or French, who for decades have been at a disadvantage in finding equal footing in terms of education and employment.
The primary goal of the Canucks Family Education Centre is to develop and implement a seamless system of quality family literacy programming that works with existing service providers and institutions to create meaningful opportunities for children, youth and adults to learn together. The mandate of the Canucks Family Education Centre is to positively impact low literacy levels on Vancouver’s East side and other locations throughout the province of BC, by providing a co-coordinated, comprehensive, integrated services approach to family literacy and lifelong learning. This integrated services approach has two main purposes – to develop collaborative relationships between service providers and to share resources.
The Centre works with existing service providers on and off the Britannia site to enhance the good work already undertaken to support intergenerational learning. The Canucks for Kids Fund have made a commitment to literacy in B.C., forming an alliance with Britannia Community Services Centre Society and contributing more than $500,000 to help develop, pilot, and sustain the Canucks Family Education Centre since its inception. As a result of the initial success of the Partners In Education program, CFEC operates seven family literacy program models throughout the Lower Mainland.