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Literacy Services

The support you need to help you feel at home.

Literacy Services

The support you need to help you feel at home.

YMCA Community Literacy Program | Helping Everyone Learn, Grow and Thrive

Do you want to improve upon your reading, writing and math skills? Are you looking to get your grade 12 equivalency?  If you are 19 years of age and over, you can participate in our free Learning Services program.  Once your literacy level has been assessed, our team will help you set your personal goals for education and employment. We provide a comfortable and supportive learning environment.

We work with individuals to deliver training in the following areas:

The YMCA offers literacy, numeracy and essential skills services to assist you in moving you toward your goal of  employment, apprenticeship, secondary-school credit, post-secondary education or independence.

  • As a participant in our program, you work at your own pace towards employment, education or a personal goal, in a supportive, comfortable learning environment.
  • We will assess your skill levels for free!
  • We offer both daytime and evening classes  in our Huntsville location.
  • We provide both one-to-one and classroom support.

Are you hoping to get your Grade 12 to get a better job, or to go on to post-secondary education?  You have several options!

GED preparation

We can help learners prepare for the GED, a test that allows adults who have not completed high school to demonstrate that they have the knowledge and skills comparable to high school completion. The GED offers a high school equivalency certificate that can be used to move on to college or university or employment.

For further information on GED Test Locations and dates, go to

The Academic and Career Entrance (ACE) certificate

We can help you gain confidence and skills to transition to taking the ACE program through the local college, which will give you your grade 12 equivalency once completed.

Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD)

Going back to school can be tough—we can help you get to the point of being ready to take high school level math and English.

Based on demands, YMCA Learning Services will offer specialty classes that increase the skill base of those with goals of seeking employment (or greater independence), or to increase skills  needed in their current job.  These include:

  • Money Smart
  • Cash Handling
  • Smart Phone use
  • GED preparation

Call the Huntsville or Parry Sound office today to  find out more and put your name on the list!

  • We teach basic computer knowledge from the parts of the computer, to opening and closing files.
  • You can learn about the internet and how to get involved with social media
  • How to email, dealing with spam, safety and privacy
  • How to navigate Microsoft Word
  • How to use Microsoft Excel
  • An introduction to Microsoft Power Point.

Contact the Huntsville or Parry Sound office to get more detailed information on these courses.

Newcomers to Muskoka are welcome to take English classes at the YMCA Huntsville location!  Classes are split between beginner and intermediate levels to ensure newcomers are getting the level of English they need to start at to be able to get comfortable conversing in the community they are now living in.  Training happens in a small classroom setting. Classes are ongoing. If you know someone who would benefit from ESL classes, please contact Huntsville Learning Services to find out how we can help!

This Employment Ontario Service is funded in part by the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario and through the Canada-Ontario Job Fund Agreement.

Strengthsquest - self assessment

• Identify your top 5 talents
• Learn the power behind your talents and how to intentionally apply them daily
• The benefits and power of a strengths based approach
• The tools to begin your StrengthsQuest journey and establish a strengths based culture

Leadership Communication

• Identify your communication style
• Gain awareness about the impact you have on others based on how you communicate
• Learn techniques and the awareness needed to be a truly great communicator

Transformational Leadership

• Defining leadership throughout the ages
• Learn to differentiate between trending concepts on leadership to those that are proven, relevant and applicable today
• Learn to identify what leadership styles have influenced you and what leadership style and the characteristics you would most like to exemplify. What form of leadership is your team or organization led by? Which style would have the most impact?

Strategic Planning

• Why is it important?
• How does one get started?
• What makes a good strategic plan? – learn the essentials

Team Effectiveness - Stages of Development

• Be provided with the tools needed to assess at what level of performance your team is working at
• Learn to kick start and transition your team to one that is highly performing

Mindfulness - Group Approach

• Strategies, techniques & its importance towards attaining a work/life balance

Strengthsquest - Motivation and Engagement

• Learn to manage your talents and those of your team as an interactive process
• You will be able to assess if you are in the right role and determine if managing people is the right fit for you? Are you developing or damaging your teams?

Managing Performance

• Tried and true tools perfect for staff evaluations
• You will be able to differentiate between critical behaviour needing intervention versus behaviour that can be coached
• You will be provided with the tools on how to address staff behaviour & coach your teams


• Learn the science, physiological & psychological responses that impact decision making and personal interaction
• You will be able to look at the work environment through a different lens noting its impact on potential employee performance and learning the means to intervene and influence for better results

Emotional Intelligence and Leadership Resiliency

• Provides additional insights on how you are perceived and how that awareness can lead to greater impact as a leader

Change Management

• Examines the impact change has throughout an organization and provides you with the tools and understanding of how to navigate through change with the least collateral & cultural damage

Conflict Resolution

• Learn the tools needed to be able to find the common ground needed to move beyond an impasse

The Art of Persuasion

• Realize the weight of your words and actions and how to put that knowledge to the best use
• Where do you fit within the political milieu?

Strengthsquest - followership and leadership

• Move beyond what your individual talents contribute to a team and start to learn to intentionally aim & maximize the talents of others
• With this understanding you will be able to address and provide what your team members need from you as their leader

Principled-Centre Leadership

• You will learn to appreciate and consider the weight of responsibility that comes as you evolve as a leader
• You will examine ethical dilemmas and the means to address them, as well as the consequences those decisions may have

Philanthropic Leadership

• Learn a strategic approach to philanthropic visioning for your organization. As the funding landscape changes so too must our approach to philanthropy
• You will examine your readiness to adapt to these changes and how to instill a framework and culture of philanthropy that can be sustained for the long term

Board Governance

• Learn the importance of Governance and the essential role it plays as part of any organization
• Learn to assess at what stage of Governance your board operates at and how to move their level of engagement should your organization be ready for the shift
• You will be given the tools to fully understand & implement best practices of governance into your organization

Collaboration and Strategic Partnerships

• You will be provided with the tools in order to assess the readiness of your organization and your board to collaborate or partner with another organization
• We will discuss and examine what governing practices need to be in place in order for collaboration to not only occur but also succeed

Unconscious Bias

• Everyone is biased. With that understanding and acceptance you will learn how to make decisions that acknowledges the role bias can often play within that process
• You will discuss best practices and be provided with the tools needed to implement them

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