Transcript: Beat the Street | Jul 12, 1989

[traffic ]
[horn honking]

A group of people talk in the street.

[car tires squealing]

The title of the show appears on screen. It reads "People Patterns. Beat the Street."

Joan Reed-Olsen stands on a corner. She’s in her sixties, with short brown hair. She’s wearing glasses and a blue sweater over a white turtleneck.

Joan says I'M JOAN REED-OLSEN.
YEARS AGO,
PEOPLE PATTERNS
WAS INVOLVED WITH
EX-OFFENDERS HELPING
THEIR PEERS FIND JOBS,
KEEP JOBS, STAY OUT OF PRISON.
OTHER PROJECTS HAVE GROWN
OUT OF
HELP:
BEAT THE STREET,
A LITERACY PROGRAMME
TO HELP STREET PEOPLE
FUNCTION IN A SOCIETY
THAT DEMANDS LITERACY
TO GET BY,
SOMETIMES TO STAY ALIVE.
TRACY LAQUYERE
AND RICK PARSONS
ARE
BEAT THE STREET'S
CO-FOUNDERS.
WHEN I MET TRACY,
I DIDN'T KNOW
HE COULDN'T READ AND WRITE.
HIS BOSS DIDN'T KNOW EITHER.
IT TAKES TALENT
TO FOOL MOST PEOPLE
MOST OF THE TIME.

A caption reads "Jack Pearpoint." Jack sits in an office. He’s in his forties, with a blond beard and blond hair. He’s wearing a white shirt.

Jack says THE
HELP
PROJECT BEGAN HERE
IN 1980.
WHAT HAPPENED WAS
WAS TRACY LEQUYERE
WAS ONE OF MANY EX-OFFENDERS
WHO JOINED THE
HELP
PROGRAMME.
TRACY BEGAN ON STAFF THERE.
AND A FEW MONTHS
INTO HIS PROGRAMME,
HE HANDED IN A WRITTEN REPORT
NOT IN HIS HANDWRITING.
NO ONE KNEW
HE HAD
NO
HANDWRITING.
HIS WIFE WAS DOING IT FOR HIM.
TONY ASKED HIM TO UPDATE IT
AND HE COULDN'T.

The caption changes to "Tracy LeQuyere." Tracy is in his late thirties, with a beard and brown curly hair. He’s wearing a black T-shirt.

Tracy says THEY DISCOVERED
TWO, THREE WEEKS LATER
I COULDN'T READ OR WRITE.
TONY McGIVERY SUGGESTED
I GET A TUTOR
SO HE CAN USE ME IN THIS JOB.

The caption changes to "Co-founder Beat the Street."

Tracy continues I COULDN'T WRITE REPORTS,
COULDN'T GET BY.
HE SUGGESTED
FRONTIER COLLEGE,
AFFILIATED WITH
THE
HELP
PROGRAMME.

The caption changes to "Doctor Marsha Forest." Marsha sits at a desk. She’s in her forties, with long wavy light brown hair. She’s wearing a white blouse, glasses and long earrings.

Marsha says WHEN I MET TRACY,
HE WALKED INTO THE OFFICE
THAT WE'RE SITTING IN NOW
AND HE WAS A SCARED,
UNSURE OF HIMSELF,
ACTING LIKE
HE WAS GOING TO SCHOOL.
MY FIRST JOB WAS SAYING,
"HI, I'M NOT
THIS HORRIBLE TEACHER."
WE GOT TO KNOW ONE ANOTHER.
TRACY COULDN'T READ.
IT'S VERY HARD TO BELIEVE
TRACY WAS TOTALLY ILLITERATE.
MY JOB,
AS I THINK ABOUT IT NOW,
WAS TO CONVINCE TRACY
THAT HE
COULD
READ.
HE HAD ATTENDED SCHOOL.
I KNEW HE KNEW A LOT.
AND I SAID,
"SOMEBODY MISSED YOU."
"YOU CAN READ, I'LL PROVE IT."
THAT WAS THE BREAKTHROUGH.

Tracy says EVERYTHING WAS EXCITING.
WHEN I WAS ON THE STREET,
AFTER MY FIRST DARN
LESSON
LEAVING
FRONTIER COLLEGE,
WAS THE FIRST TIME
I STARTED READING.
I THOUGHT I COULDN'T.
AFTER ONE LESSON,
I STARTED READING, WRITING.
IT'S A NEW WORLD
WHEN YOU CAN DO THAT.

Jack says HAVING MADE INCREDIBLE PROGRESS
ON HIS BASIC LITERACY SKILLS,
TRACY BEGAN TO MOVE VERY QUICKLY
UP THROUGH THE RANKS
IN THE
HELP
PROGRAMME
BUT THEN REALIZED
THAT HIS
REAL
COMMITMENT
WASN'T TO FINDING JOBS
BUT RATHER TO THE ISSUE
OF LITERACY.
HE BEGAN TO DREAM ABOUT
SETTING UP SOMETHING LIKE
HELP,
ONLY FOCUSED ON LITERACY
AND FOCUSED ON THE PEOPLE
HE KNEW BEST
WHICH WERE STREET PEOPLE
BECAUSE THAT'S WHERE
HE CAME FROM.

Tracy says WE THOUGHT OF
TAKING LITERACY TO THE STREETS:
TO STREET FOLKS,
PEOPLE THAT
AREN'T
TOUCHED.

The caption changes to "Rick Parsons."Rick sits in an office. He’s in his early forties, with brown hair and a beard. He’s wearing a white sweater that reads "Beat the Street."

Rick says WE COULD DEAL WITH THEM
BECAUSE WE HAD BEEN THERE.
WE CAN'T BE STORIED.
YOU CANNOT SPIN A YARN ON ME
ABOUT THE STREETS.

The caption changes to "Co-founder Beat the Street."

Rick continues NOBODY COULD HANDLE THE PROBLEM
BETTER THAN US.

Jack says THERE ARE SEVERAL GROUPS
OF PEOPLE WHO HIT THE STREET.
SOME HAVE DONE VERY WELL
IN A VARIETY OF SETTINGS
AND HAD A FALLING OUT
AND END UP THERE.
OTHERS HAVE BEEN DECIMATED
BY THEIR EXPERIENCES
AND END UP THERE
WITH NO OPTIONS.
FOR THEM, LITERACY IS
A SERIOUS ISSUE.
MOST HAVE HAD SOME EXPERIENCE
OF SCHOOL SYSTEMS,
ALMOST ENTIRELY NEGATIVE
IN THEIR PERCEPTION.

The caption changes to "Mazie Brillinger." Mazie stands in the street. She’s in her late thirties, with short curly hair. She’s wearing a blue dress.

Mazie says STREET PEOPLE,
STREET PEOPLE, BASICALLY,
ARE PEOPLE THAT HAVE NO HOMES.
NOBODY CARES FOR THEM.
THEY DO WHAT THEY MUST
ON THE STREETS.

The caption changes to "A poem by David." David stands in a sidewalk. He’s in his twenties, with a beard and blond hair. He’s wearing round glasses, a leather jacket and a blue shirt.

Holding a few papers, David reads LIFE ON THE STREETS:
"IN THE STREETS AND LANES,
AND IN THE PARKS,"
"ARE PLACES WHERE PEOPLE SLEEP
AFTER DARK."
"THEIR SHOES AND CLOTHING
ARE TATTERED AND TORN."
"FOR THEY HAVE NO PLACE
TO CALL THEIR OWN."
"LINING UP FOR HOURS,
THEY PATIENTLY WAIT."
"AT CHURCHES AND MISSIONS,
"WHERE THEY PRACTICE
THEIR FAITH,"
"FOR RATIONS OF DONATED FOOD,
THEY MOST APPRECIATE."
"YET THIS GENEROSITY
WON'T IMPROVE THEIR STATE."

Mazie says KIDS NEED TO KNOW
THAT SOMEBODY'S THERE.
IT DOESN'T HAVE--
YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE
A MILLIONAIRE
TO GIVE LOVE, YOU KNOW,
OR TO SHARE.
IT'S...
AND THEY SHARE WITH EACH OTHER,
TOO, YOU KNOW.
IT'S A HARD THING TO SAY.
IT'S, IT'S HARD
TO EXPLAIN STREET PEOPLE.

Jack says MANY STREET PEOPLE
HAVE BEEN LABELLED.
THEY HAD TROUBLE IN SCHOOL
AND MANY OF THEM
HAVE PICKED UP LABELS
LIKE MENTALLY RETARDED,
AND ALL KINDS OF PSYCHIATRIC
AND MEDICAL LABELS.
THEY INTERNALIZE THOSE.
IT MEANS THAT
THEIR OWN SELF-CONFIDENCE,
THEIR SELF-IMAGE
HAS BEEN ERODED.
THE FIRST, MOST CRITICAL ISSUE
IS TO CONVINCE PEOPLE
THAT
THEY
CAN LEARN.

Rick says THE CONCEPT OF
BEAT THE STREET
CAME UP WHILE TALKING.
I THOUGHT OF THE NAME.
IT WASN'T
FOR THE LITERACY PROGRAMME.
IT WAS FOR A HOOKER PROGRAMME.
BEAT THE STREET:
YOU WANT THESE GIRLS
TO BEAT THE STREET.
BUT
WE
KEPT THE NAME.

Tracy says WELL, FUNDING IT
WAS REALLY TOUGH.
BECAUSE FOR SEVEN MONTHS,
WE DIDN'T GET A NICKEL
OR A DIME.
THEN WHAT HAPPENED
WAS
IMPERIAL OIL
GAVE US 5,000 DOLLARS, SEED MONEY:
800 DOLLARS FOR FLYERS, ETCETERA,
BROKEN DESK, LOG BOOK,
AND WE WERE IN BUSINESS AT 416.

Rick says IT STARTED FAST AND FURIOUS --
FASTER THEN WE EVER THOUGHT.

Tracy says WE HAD TO PROVE OURSELVES.
WE HAD TO HAVE A PROGRAMME
ALREADY.
THEN,
SOCIAL SERVICES
GAVE US OUR MONEY --
WHICH WAS GREAT --
FOR RICK AND I AND EMPLOYEES.
THE TORONTO SCHOOL BOARD
THOUGHT IT WAS A GREAT IDEA.
THEY'RE NOT REACHING THE PEOPLE.
SO THEY'RE PAYING US.

Rick says KIDS IN THE PROGRAMME
WERE OUR STREET WORKERS.
THEY SAID,
"HERE'S
BEAT THE STREET,"
"AN ALTERNATIVE PROGRAMME."
"IF YOU WANT HELP,
WE WILL HELP."
WE DIDN'T SELL THE PROGRAMME.
WE SOLD AN IDEA.
WE TOOK 12 STREET WORKERS,
CAME BACK WITH 200 PEOPLE.
IT WAS PHENOMENAL.
THEY BELIEVED IN IT
AND CAME IN.
THE KIDS WEREN'T QUALIFIED
TO BE STREET WORKERS
BUT THEY HAD CONVICTION.
THEY SAID."
BEAT THE STREET."
"CARES ABOUT PEOPLE
LIVING ON STREETS."
THEY MEANT IT.
IT JUST BLOSSOMED.

Jack says CENTRAL NEIGHBOURHOOD HOUSE
NEEDED TO INCREASE
THE NUMBER OF YOUTH
COMING IN THE DOOR.
THEN, A LOT OF STREET KIDS --
THE PUNKERS AND ALL THESE KIDS,
SOME WILLING TO TUTOR,
SOME OF WHOM
DESPERATELY NEEDED TUTORS --
NEEDED A PLACE
TO DO THEIR THING.
CENTRAL NEIGHBOURHOOD HOUSE
MADE SOME SPACE AVAILABLE.
THE THING GREW.

Marsha says SOME OF US TRAIN THE PEOPLE
THAT ARE GOING TO TRAIN TUTORS.
I WORKED WITH RICK AND TRACY
WHO TRAIN THEIR OWN PEOPLE.
IT'S LIKE
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS,
IN THAT SENSE:
A SELF-HELP PROGRAMME
WITH ADVICE FROM PROFESSIONALS.
THEY THEN DO THE WORK.
RICK PARSONS IS PROBABLY
THE BEST TRAINER I'VE SEEN.
NOW, THAT'S VERY THREATENING
TO A PROFESSIONAL TEACHER,
BECAUSE RICK HAS GRASPED
THE PHILOSOPHY OF THE PROGRAMME
BETTER THAN ANYBODY.
TRACY ARTICULATES IT...
THEY'RE BOTH EQUAL, YOU KNOW.
THEY HAVE THEIR STYLE.
THEY CAN DO TRAINING
BETTER THAN
MANY PROFESSIONAL TEACHERS.

The caption changes to "Ruth Burton." Ruth is in her thirties, with long wavy blond hair and bangs. She’s wearing a black sweater and long black earrings.

Ruth says THE KIND OF PEOPLE,
WE GET PEOPLE
WHO WANT TO LEARN.
THEY'VE BEEN PASSED BY.
THEY DON'T HAVE JOBS
BUT WANT TO BETTER THEMSELVES.
THIS IS AN OPPORTUNITY
TO COME WHERE WE'RE NOT GOING
TO LOOK DOWN ON THEM.
WE WANT TO HELP THEM.

The caption changes to "Wendy Pateman." Wendy is in her twenties, with short curly blond hair. She’s wearing a yellow and black sweater.

Wendy says I KNOW THAT EDUCATION
IS A POWERFUL TOOL.
I LEFT SCHOOL AT 16.
I'VE GONE BACK FOR MY EDUCATION.
IT'S EASY TO BE
A MOST ENTHUSIASTIC TUTOR
FOR
BEAT THE STREET.
I'M INSPIRED TO DO MORE COURSES.
I'M CONSTANTLY BEING INSPIRED,
TAUGHT HOW VALUABLE IT IS
TO READ AND WRITE.

The caption changes to "Roxanne Cook." Roxanne sits in a room. She’s in her twenties, with curly blond hair. She’s wearing long silver earrings and a light orange sweater.

Roxanne says I'M ON A PROGRAMME:
FUTURES
THROUGH
GEORGE BROWN.
THEY HAVE A FILE OF JOBS.
BEAT THE STREET
WANTED A TUTOR.
I FIGURED I WOULD TRY.
I LIKE BEING A TUTOR.
YOU'RE LEARNING A LOT
AS YOU GO ALONG.

Marsha says THERE ARE DIFFERENT TEACHERS.
SOME MAKE YOU FEEL WORTHWHILE.
THERE ARE METHODS
TO LEARN TO READ.
IT WON'T HURT.
YOU WON'T
FAIL.
THAT'S THE REAL KEY.
FAILURE BREEDS MORE FAILURE;
FAILURE BREEDS CRIME;
FAILURE BREEDS EVERYTHING
GOING ON ON THOSE STREETS.
THEY'RE CREATING
A MIRACLE THERE.

People sit around a table taking a lesson.

A woman wearing a cap says ONE TIMES FOUR IS ONE...

A young man says YEAH.

The woman wearing a cap says NO.

[chatting]

At another table, a man with brown hair says IT'S MARKED TWO...
THREE...FOUR...FIVE.

A blond woman says YES, THAT
ISN'T BAD.

Sandy says WE USE WHAT STUDENTS WANT.
IF THEY'RE INTERESTED
IN APPLICATION FORMS,
WE WILL USE
DRIVER'S LICENCE HANDBOOKS.
WE TRY AND KEEP LESSONS
EXCITING AND FUN.
WE USE THINGS
LIKE
SCRABBLE, BOGGLE
AND THE
STREET LEGAL
MAGAZINE
WHICH IS GREAT
BECAUSE STREET KIDS
FIND IT INTERESTING.

Tracy says
IF YOU DON'T WANT TO LEARN
ON ANY DAY, YOU CAN LEAVE.
COME BACK, YOUR COURSE
WILL ALWAYS BE HERE.

The caption changes to "Sandy Dutcher." Sandy stands in the street. She’s in her thirties, with long light brown hair. She’s wearing a yellow T-shirt.

Sandy says
WE TEACH READING,
WRITING AND ARITHMATIC,
ALONG WITH UPGRADING.
THE BASIC PHILOSOHY IS THAT
YOU MATCH THE PERSON
WITH THE PROPER TUTOR,
ENVIRONMENT,
WITH THE PROPER MATERIALS,
AND YOU GOT IT.
WE DO IT THROUGH
CORRESPONDENCE COURSES.
WE DO STREET WALKS.
WE HELP USE APPLICATIONS
OR THE NEWSPAPER TO FIND PLACES.
WE USE COMIC BOOKS,
DEPENDING ON WHAT THE PERSON
CAN RELATE TO.

The caption changes to "Tim." Tim is in his teens, with brown hair. He’s wearing a white T-shirt.

In the street, Tim says YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE, LIKE,
A STREET PERSON AND, UH,
TRY AND GET A JOB AS A BUS BOY.
YOU CAN HAVE AN EDUCATION,
GET YOURSELF OFF THE STREET.
AND THESE PEOPLE HERE
HAVE BASICALLY GIVEN ME
THE REASON TO BETTER MYSELF.

The caption changes to "Beverley." She’s in her twenties, with short brown hair. She’s wearing a blue shirt and a white cap.

Beverley says WHEN I WENT TO HIGH SCHOOL...
WHEN YOU'RE DOING WORK,
IF YOU HAVE A PROBLEM,
IT TAKES HALF AN HOUR
UNTIL THE TEACHER COMES.
HERE, YOU GOT TUTORS
WHO COME RIGHT AWAY
AND HELP YOU.
THAT'S WHAT I LIKE.

The caption changes to "Russ." Russ is in his twenties, clean-shaven with long brown hair. He’s wearing a blue cap and a white T-shirt.

Russ says I NEEDED TO UPGRADE MY MATH
AND OTHER SUBJECTS
I WASN'T GOOD IN.
A FRIEND SAID...
I WANTED TO GO TO COLLEGE
SO I CAME HERE.
IT'S HELPED
BECAUSE IT'S ONE TO ONE.

Mazie says MY TERRY STARTED
BEAT THE STREET.
THIS KID WENT TO GRADE 6,
COULD NOT READ
NOR WRITE HIS NAME.
NOW, HOW DOES THIS GET THROUGH
IN AN EDUCATION PROGRAMME?
HE STARTED THIS PROGRAMME,
HE'S NOW WORKING.
I'M NOT SAYING
HE'S DOING PERFECT
BUT HE'S
DOING.
HE'S STARTED READING, WRITING
AND
LIKING
IT.

David says I TOOK THIS PROGRAMME
BECAUSE I HAVE GRADE 12
AND I COULD BE
OF USE AS A TUTOR.
I COULD SHARPEN
MY WRITING SKILLS.
AND, YOU KNOW,
IT GIVES ME SOMETHING TO DO
DURING THE DAY.
LEARNING IS FUN.

Sandy says WELL, STREET WALKS...
WE USE THEM BASICALLLY
TO BREAK UP THE DAY,
LIKE AN ALTERNATE WAY
OF DOING THINGS.
WE JUST TAKE A WALK ANYWHERE.
WE USE LICENCE PLATES
FOR ADDING,
HOUSE NUMBERS FOR MULTIPLYING,
STREET SIGNS...
SOME KIDS DON'T EVEN KNOW
WHERE THEY ARE.
WE TEACH THEM
TO READ THE STREET SIGNS.

Tracy says THERE'S ALL KINDS
OF PEOPLE SAYING,
"I DON'T WANT EDUCATION
OR GRADES."
"I WANT TO KNOW HOW
TO FILL OUT AN APPLICATION."
"I WANT A DRIVER'S LICENCE."

An man and a woman walk into a building that reads "Metro Community Services. Metropolitan Toronto Youth Employment Strategy."

Tracy continues THE DIFFERENCE THAT WE'RE DOING
THAN THE TRADITIONAL TEACHING
IS THAT YOU'RE TAUGHT SOMETHING
AND THAT'S WHAT
YOU BETTER LEARN.
WE'RE
SAYING,
"WHAT DO YOU NEED?"
WE WILL WORK ON THAT.
THERE'S LOTS OF SUCCESSES.

Roxanne helps a young woman with an exercise.

Roxanne says 1.50.
START THE LINE HERE.

Ruth and an old man sit at a table looking at a book.

Ruth says ...FROM WHEN THEY STARTED.

The old man says FROM WHAT
THEY STARTED WITH....AND
THE OTHER.

Ruth reads "REPORT FORM OF BALANCE SHEET."

Wendy sits by Ron, who’s browsing through a workbook.

Ron says ...SHEETS START BACK
AT THE BEGINNING.
SEE HOW MANY PEOPLE
WE'VE HAD SINCE WE STARTED.

Eddie reads a comic book.

Eddie says ."..BECAUSE...YOU...
YOU'RE GREEN."

Ruth says THE MAGAZINE'S
PUT OUT BY CLEO.
BEAT THE STREET
INSPIRED THE MAGAZINE.
AND IT'S CARTOON FORMAT,
BUT EXPLAINS A BIT
ABOUT PROBLEMS
THEY MIGHT FIND THEMSELVES IN,
WHAT THEIR LEGAL RIGHTS ARE.

The caption changes to "Eddie." Eddie is in his teens, with short blond hair. He’s wearing a light gray sleeveless shirt.

Eddie says ...KNOW HOW TO READ.
SO I WENT
AND LEARNED HOW TO READ.
I'M STILL LEARNING.
I'M LEARNING OTHER THINGS,
MEETING GOOD PEOPLE
I NEVER KNEW,
HAVING A GOOD TIME.

The caption changes to "Martin." Martin is in his twenties, with a short moustache, and long brown hair. He’s wearing a blue cap and a white shirt.

Martin says I LEARNED TO UPGRADE MY MATH
AND ENGLISH.
I'VE LEARNED TO STAY OFF
THE STREETS, NOT HUSTLE.

The caption changes to "Ron Jenkins." Ron is in his fifties, with a moustache, sideburns and brown hair. He’s wearing a white T-shirt.

Ron says ORIGINALLY, I CAME IN
TO, UH, UPGRADE MYSELF.
AND, UH, I'M ALSO TAKING
A COMPUTER COURSE RIGHT NOW.
BY, TUTORING, UH...
I GET SATISFACTION OUT OF BEING
ABLE TO, UH, HELP OTHER PEOPLE.

The caption changes to "Karen Cleveland." Karen is in her mid-twenties, with shoulder-length light brown hair and bangs. She’s wearing long earrings and a white sweater.

Karen says I LOVE TO READ, WRITE.
I LIKE TO TEACH.
IT'S IMPORTANT --YOU CAN
LEARN A LOT FROM READING.
IT'S GREAT TO SEE OTHERS LEARN
WHAT I KNOW.

Eddie says BEAT THE STREET'S
PERFECT.
I LIKE IT BETTER
THAN NORMAL SCHOOL.

Joan says WHY?

Eddie says 'CAUSE YOU DON'T GOT NO RULES.
YOU CAN TAKE YOUR TIME
DOING THINGS AND THAT.
IN SCHOOL, YOU GOT TO RUSH.
YOU MAKE MISTAKES.
AT
BEAT THE STREET,
YOU TAKE YOUR TIME.
YOU WON'T MAKE
NO MISTAKES THEN.

Karen says THERE'S STREET KIDS
THAT DIDN'T GET
THE CHANCES WE DID.
THEY HAD BAD BREAKS.
THEY DESERVE TO LEARN.
IT'S FUN TEACHING THEM.
THEY
WANT
TO LEARN.

Ruth says BEAT THE STREET
IS HELPING
BECAUSE WE HAVE 47 PEOPLE
WHO HAVE JOBS.
THEY DIDN'T BEFORE.
WE HAVE PEOPLE
OFF THE STREETS, IN HOMES.
WE HAVE PEOPLE THAT
ARE CONTINUING THEIR EDUCATION.
THEY HAVE A STRONG DESIRE
TO LEARN WHICH IS EXCITING.

David says FOR MANY PEOPLE
WHO ARE ON THE STREETS,
IF THEY KNEW PROPER BUDGETING,
YOU KNOW,
LITTLE BIT OF BASIC MATH
OR, IF THEY HAD ENOUGH ENGLISH
BEHIND THEM,
THEY COULD GET OUT
OF THE STATE THEY'RE IN,
GET INTO THAT APARTMENT,
OR THAT ROOM --
IMPROVE THEMSELVES.

The caption changes to "Bill." Bill leans on a truck. He’s is his twenties, with blond hair. He’s wearing a brown T-shirt.

Bill says I LEARNED MATH,
A BIT OF HEALTH, SCIENCE.
NOW I'M FINISHING MATH,
SO I KEEP MY JOB.
NOW I CAN COUNT MY MILEAGE.

Tracy speaks with a group of people in the street.

Jack says
IF I GO
TO QUEEN STREET AND TUTOR
SOME BAG LADY, PUNK ROCKER,
I WON'T DO WELL.
THEY DON'T TRUST ME.
WHY SHOULD THEY?
I DON'T HAVE MUCH IN COMMON.
WITH RICK, TRACY,
I CAN FORM A PARTNERSHIP
WHICH BUILDS ON THEIR STRENGTH,
PARTNERS
OUR ADMINISTRATIVE SKILLS.

The caption changes to "President Frontier College."

Jack continues THEY OPPERATE LIKE THEY COULDN'T
ON THEIR OWN.
WE SUPPORT THEM
LIKE WE COULDN'T IN ISOLATION.
THE JOB GETS DONE.

Joan says
RICK AND TRACY SUCCEED
BECAUSE THEY NEVER FORGET
THEIR EXPERIENCES.
NOT READING, WRITING,
YOU DEVELOP OTHER SKILLS.

Rick says WHEN YOU CAN'T READ, WRITE,
YOU TALK OUT OF SITUATIONS,
INTO THINGS.
THAT'S WHAT YOU DO.
SOME PEOPLE CAN'T EXPRESS
THEMSELVES VERBALLY
BUT THEY CAN IN WRITING.
I COULDN'T EXPRESS MYSELF
IN WRITING BUT COULD VERBALLY.
EVEN NOW,
SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS WERE HARD.
I WASN'T A PEOPLE PERSON.
I WAS A STREET PERSON.
THAT MENTALITY HADN'T LEFT ME
UNTIL LAST YEAR.

Tracy says WE'RE ASHAMED
WE CAN'T READ, WRITE.
WE DON'T FEEL WE MEASURE UP.
WE FEEL STUPID, RETARDED, SLOW.
WHEN PAPER COMES BY,
WE SAY THINGS LIKE:
"I'LL READ THAT LATER,"
"I SPRAINED MY HAND,"
"I FORGOT MY GLASSES."
WHATEVER, TO GET OUT OF IT.

Rick says THE FIRST THING I READ
WAS THE RULES OF A POOL TABLE.
I WAS A HUSTLER.
IT WAS A 100 DOLLARS GAME;
I PULLED A MASSE SHOT.
A MASSE SHOT IS ILLEGAL.
THE GUY WAS JUMPING,
SAYING, "YOU CAN'T,
IT'S ON THE RULES."
THE THING ABOUT NOT KNOWING
IS DENIAL.
"WHAT THE HELL?"
"IT'S NOT THERE."
FINALLY
HE
REALIZED.
WHEN HE POINTED IT OUT,
HE GOES:
"SON OF A BITCH,
YOU CAN'T READ."
SO, I LEARNED HOW TO READ
"MASSE SHOT."
I COULDN'T WRITE MY NAME.
I KNEW HOW TO READ THE RULES.
He laughs and continues IT WAS A 100 DOLALRS LESSON.

Tracy says THE DANGER
OF SOMEONE THAT CAN'T READ
IS THEY
DO
POISON THEMSELVES
BY NOT READING
WHATSEVER
IS ON THE BOTTLE.
THEY DO OVERDOSE
WITH DRUGS AND THAT.
IN GAS STATIONS,
IN PAINT SHOPS,
THERE HAS BEEN TIMES
WHERE THINGS HAVE EXPLODED
BY NOT READING THE SIGNS:
"INFLAMMABLE," "EXPLOSION,"
UH, "PUT OUT THE CIGARETTE."
THEY, UH, THEY HAVE DIED.

Rick says I READ AND WRITE GOOD NOW
BECAUSE I'VE MADE A POINT
TO DO THAT.
I WANT TO.
YOU CAN'T HAVE
A LITERACY PROGRAMME
WITHOUT KNOWING
READING AND WRITING.
YOU GOT TO PREACH BY EXAMPLE.
I HAVE TUTORS.
I ENJOY IT.
I DON'T UNDERSTAND HOW COME
I DIDN'T LEARN BEFORE.
I KNOW WHY
I WENT THROUGH SCHOOL,
DIDN'T GET ANYTHING.
I COULDN'T CONCEIVE
NOT KNOWING READING,
WRITING BEFORE.

Tracy says NOW I CAN READ, WRITE.
RIGHT NOW,
THAT'S WHAT I REALLY BELIEVE
GOT
ME
OFF THE STREET.
PEOPLE SAID: "GET A JOB."
WHAT DO I SAY?
"FILL OUT
MY APPLICATION FOR ME."
I WAS GOOD AT BEING BAD.

The caption changes to "Jack Laforet." Laforet stands outside a building. He’s in his late sixties, with a short moustache and receding white hair. He’s wearing glasses, a blue suit, a white shirt and a dark red patterned tie.

Laforet says A CONSIDERABLE NUMBER
OF THE INMATES
IN THE TORONTO JAIL --
EVEN THOUGH MANY OF THEM
ARE FROM URBAN CENTRES --

The caption changes to "Volunteer Educator Toronto Jail."

Laforet continues THEIR LITERACY LEVEL
IS VERY POOR.
IN FACT, SOME
AREN'T ABLE TO FUNCTION
IN THE WORLD OF WORK
AS FAR AS WRITING
AND READING.
THERE ARE FEW JOBS
YOU CAN HANDLE
WHERE YOU DON'T
HAVE TO READ AND WRITE.

Tracy says 70 percent OF THE PEOPLE JAILED
CAN'T READ, WRITE.
IT HAS SOMETHING TO DO WITH IT.
NOT EVERYBODY JAILED
CAN'T READ, WRITE,
BUT MANY CAN'T.

Laforet says THE QUESTION OF NOT BEING ABLE
TO READ AND WRITE
AT A FUNCTIONAL LEVEL, UH,
THAT'S BEEN THROWN ABOUT,
UH, AMONGST EDUCATORS AND
PSYCHOLOGISTS FOR MANY YEARS.
AND, ALTHOUGH, I SUPPOSE,
50 YEARS AGO IT WAS
POSSIBLE TO RAISE YOUR FAMILY,
FEED YOUR FAMILY
WITH BELOW-FUNCTIONAL LITERACY.
IN THE WORLD TODAY --
WHERE BEING ABLE TO READ
AND BEING ABLE TO WRITE IS,
IS SO MUCH A PRIORITY --
I SUPPOSE THOSE PEOPLE
WHO DON'T HAVE THE SKILLS
IN READING, WRITING,
FALL BELOW THE LEVEL
OF EMPLOYMENT
AND THEY HAVE TO FIND THEMSELVES
IN, IN SOME OTHER WAY.
AND, AND VERY OFTEN IT LEADS TO,
TO A, A LIFE OF CRIME.

Marsha says IF YOU LOOK AT TRACY
AS AN EXAMPLE
OR OTHER KIDS THERE--
IF YOU CAN'T READ, YOU CAN'T
FILL OUT AN APPLICATION.
YOU DON'T HAVE CONFIDENCE.
YOU'RE SCARED SOMEBODY
WILL FIND OUT YOU CAN'T READ.
YOU SPEND YOUR LIFE
RUNNING IN CIRCLES
THAT GET SMALLER.
IT'S EASIER TO STEAL SOMETHING
THAN TO GO TO SCHOOL
TO FAIL AGAIN.
AND THAT'S WHY
SECOND-CHANCE LEARNING,
THE
SKILL
PROGRAMME
THROUGH
FRONTIER
IS GIVING THESE KIDS
ANOTHER CHANCE.

Tracy says NO MATTER WHO YOU ARE,
YOU'RE POOR
UNTIL YOU READ, WRITE.

Jack says THERE ARE PARALLELS
BETWEEN PROGRAMMES LIKE
HELP, BEAT THE STREET
AND OTHER
CONSUMER ORGANIZATIONS
WE'RE TRYING TO DEVELOP
NEW PARTNERSHIPS WITH.
PART OF IT IS
THAT WE'RE TAKING ADVANTAGE
OF PEOPLE WHO ARE ADDICTED,
ADDICTED IN A GOOD SENSE.
THE TRACYS AND THE RICKS
WERE ADDICTED
TO SOME PRETTY BAD THINGS.
THEY HAVEN'T
CHANGED THEIR STYLE,
THEY'RE ADDICTED,
BUT TO DOING GOOD.
THEY'RE ADDICTED TO GETTING
PEOPLE OFF THE STREET,
TO HELPING THEM GET LITERACY.
THAT'S SOMETHING THAT
NO BOARD OF EDUCATION
CAN
PAY
FOR IN THE USUAL SENSE.
YOU CAN FIND THE RIGHT PEOPLE,
PARTNER WITH THEM,
BUT CAN'T DO IT BY YOURSELF.
WHAT I
HOPE
WILL HAPPEN,
IS THAT...
NOT THAT
FRONTIER
IS GOING
TO PARTNER WITH EVERYONE,
BUT THAT BOARDS OF TRADE
AND OTHER PEOPLE
WILL OPEN THEMSELVES
A LITTLE MORE TO FORMING
A WHOLE NEW
CONCEPT OF PARTNERSHIP.
INSTEAD OF BEING FRIGHTENED
BY SOMEONE WITH ADDICTIONS,
USE POSITIVE ADDICTION
TO DO GOOD THINGS.
IT'S LIKE BEING ADDICTED
TO RUNNING.
WE'VE GOT PEOPLE ADDICTED
TO FINDING JOBS FOR PEOPLE,
TO HELPING SOMEONE
LEARN TO READ, WRITE.
THAT'S A FAIR ADDICTION.

Tracy says THE FAILURES CONSIST OF THIS:
NOT REACHING
AS MANY PEOPLE AS WE WOULD LIKE.
WE HAVE PEOPLE ON HOLD
BECAUSE WE HAVE NO TUTOR,
WE DON'T HAVE TIME.
THE FAILURE IS THAT WE GOT 350
INSTEAD OF 1,000.

Marsha says I THINK THAT SOMEBODY
HAS TO FUND THE PROGRAMME
SO IT HAS A SECURE BASE.
IT'S NOT FAIR THEY HAVE TO
SCROUNGE FOR MONEY.
THEY'RE KEEPING
HUNDREDS OF KIDS OUT OF JAIL.
THEY'VE GOTTEN AT LEAST
35 GIRLS OFF THE STREETS.
WE ACHE FOR THE FACT
THAT SOME OF THE SECRETARIES
DON'T HAVE SALARIES.
RICK, TRACY ARE ON LOW SALARIES.
THE ISSUE IS SECURE THE FUNDING
SO THAT THE PROGRAMME
DOESN'T DISAPPEAR.
I MEAN, I GET REALLY,
REALLY
ANGRY
AT THE FUNDING SOURCES
THAT WOULD RATHER IMPRISON A KID
THAN GIVE THEM THE MONEY
TO EDUCATE THEM.
THE TORONTO BOARD DESERVES
CREDIT FOR CONTRIBUTING.
ALL
THE BOARDS
SHOULD CONTRIBUTE,
GIVE US TEACHERS
AND MORE SECURE FUNDING.

Jack says ONE OF THE HOPEFUL THINGS
IS THAT THE RECENT THRONE
SPEECH FROM THE GOVERNMENT
ACKNOWLEDGED
LITERACY WAS AN ISSUE,
COMMITTED THEMSELVES
TO DOING SOMETHING.
WHAT THEY'LL DO
AND HOW THEY'LL DO IT
IS NOT DETERMINED.
BUT THAT IS THE FIRST
PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT
WITH A COMMITTMENT
TO TAKE ACTION ON LITERACY.
SO, OVER TIME,
THAT'S...ENORMOUS PROGRESS.
Smiling, he continues THE RESULTS ARE YET TO BE SEEN,
BUT IT'S IMPORTANT
TO DO SOMETHING NOW.

Mazie says I WOULD TELL
THE BOARD OF EDUCATION
TO PUT THE MONEY BACK
IN THE SCHOOL SYSTEM,
STOP CUTTING BACK
ON SPECIAL EDS
AND DON'T LABEL CHILDREN.
She shakes her head and concludes DON'T LABEL THEM.

Ruth says JUST WATCH YOUR KIDS
WHILE THEY'RE IN SCHOOL.
MAKE SURE THEY'RE GETTING
THE EDUCATION THEY DESERVE.
IF YOU CATCH THEM IN SCHOOL,
THEY MAY NOT NEED
BEAT THE STREET.
Smiling, she continues I'M GLAD WE'RE THERE
FOR THE NEEDY.

Wearing a white suit, Tracy speaks in front of students.

Tracy says A GUY BY THE NAME OF MARC
WALKS INTO MY OFFICE.
THIS KID HAS GOT
TATTOOS, AN
ATTITUDE
THAT DOESN'T STOP.
HE SAYS ‘MAN, I DON’T
WANT EDUCATION,
I JUST WANT MY DRIVER
LICENSE.

The audience laugh.

The end credits roll.

Producer/Director, Joan Reed-Olsen.

A production of TVOntario. Copyright 1985, The Ontario Educational Communications Authority.

Watch: Beat the Street