About Us

Who are we?

The Wellington County Learning Centre (WCLC) was founded on the belief that we all have the ability to learn.

We have been around for over 25 years. During this time, our centre has evolved and grown to meet the needs of the communities within Wellington County.

Our youth programs serve students from kindergarten age through high school with tutoring programs, parental assistance, independent learning help and training workshops.

For our adult programs, we have developed partnerships with Employment Services and Ontario Works to help learners improve their essential skills.   With greater self-esteem and confidence gained as a result of the workshops, courses and training offered by the WCLC, participants are able to seek employment, advance to higher positions with their current employer or look to post-secondary education to continue their growth.   

With the additional of the Circles program, we are able to start to help as participants look to break from generational hardships and seek to provide solid foundations for their families.

As a non-profit, charitable organization, we are led by a Board of Directors. The board sets the vision and the policies for the organization, while staff carry out the day to day work. The Board Members are elected at the Annual General Meeting, held each fall.   The Board meets several times throughout the year to provide oversight, approve budgets and offer advise as needed.

Our goal is to support literacy, provide learning opportunities and offer a helping hand to those looking to better their circumstances.

Mission Statement

The Wellington County Learning Centre provides residents of the County with a vital learning service, and with information about literacy issues. Our varied programs and services are key community resources which will allow anyone the opportunity to maximize their ability to learn.

Children and adult reading
Youth reading book in library

Vision Statement

As a means to carry out the Mission, the Wellington County Learning Centre envisions a community where:

Literacy in Our County

22% of adults

in Waterloo-Wellington Region fall into the lowest levels of literacy (levels 1 & 2). 

The majority

of the 22% are Canadian-born with English as their mother tongue.

What does Level 1 Literacy mean?

Individuals with Level 1 Literacy can have trouble filling out catalogue order forms, difficulties following dosage instructions on medications, completing job application forms, and completing applications for government services.

What does Level 2 Literacy mean?

Individuals with Level 2 Literacy are more likely to experience unemployment, six times more likely to be living in a low income household, more likely to be injured at work, and are more reactive than proactive at seeking healthcare.

Our History

As a result of a public meeting held in October 1987, the Wellington County Literacy Council (WCLC) was established. Provincial funding was applied for and received, and the home base was established in Arthur. By the spring of 1988 the WCLC had evolved into a viable non-profit agency that was providing literacy-upgrading services to all rural Wellington County. A board of directors was elected and one staff person was hired.

Increasing public awareness to the cause of literacy was, and still is, a very important aspect of the organization’s work. Links with community newspapers and service agencies, the provincial and federal governments and other literacy organizations were established by the fall of 1989. At this time, regular tutor training sessions were being held and a tutor training manual had been developed.

From August 1993 until May 1998, the WCLC was located in the former county registry office on the main street in Arthur. Upon receiving approval from the Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations in June 1998, the name of the Wellington Council was changed to the Wellington County Learning Centre. The current location is on the main street of Arthur in the former library building where the organization continues to meet the needs of its tutors and learners.

The WCLC operates its adult one-to-one program with an annual grant from the Ontario Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development. The youth one-to-one program is supported annually by the Guelph-Wellington United Way. In the winter of 1998, the WCLC added a job readiness course to its programs. The Job Readiness Program, a joint venture with Conestoga College, allows learners to upgrade their literacy skills for college entry or entry into the workforce.

Where are we?

We’re located in Arthur and serve North and Centre Wellington, Erin Township, Mapleton, Minto and Puslinch. We offer transportation and childcare subsidies to allow our learners to access our services.

Our Staff

Meet the friendly staff who lead the WCLC in helping your community.

Elizabeth Debergh

Executive Director

Patricia Belding

Program Coordinator, Adult Literacy Program

Laurie Few

Program Coordinator, Youth Literacy Program

Gillian Keays

Circles Coach

Jessica McClennan

Assistant Circles Coach

Our Board of Directors

Paul Lingen

Acting Chair /Treasurer

Kristen Smith

Secretary

Nancy York

Board Member

Mary Crome

Board Member

Margaret Paton

Board Member

Financial Support

We offer the following subsidies to support our learners in accessing our services. Contact our office to learn more.

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WCLC is always looking for new tutors and assistants to help run our community programs. Learn more on our Volunteering page.

The Wellington County Learning Centre promotes a learner-centered approach to literacy upgrading. This means learners direct their own learning and set their own goals-both long term and short term.

Contact Us

Our office would love to hear from you!