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Literacy Alberta News For You
We have a lot of excitement in the air here as plans for our September Waking Up to Literacy Breakfasts and the Literacy and Learning Symposium take shape. The staff is using every form of media to 'shout out' and connect with people all over the province to promote, share and encourage participation in these important events.
Our annual fund and awareness raising Waking Up to Literacy Breakfasts have become an important way for us to share our message – literacy is an essential part of our social, cultural, educational and political lives. We want to keep sharing this message until everyone has had a taste. Do join us. Check for details on our website, and get in touch if you want to know more. To buy a table or a ticket, see the link below in this Newsletter.
The Literacy and Learning Symposium is shaping up to be the best yet. See more about it later in the newsletter. We will again support literacy learners and tutors with bursaries to help cover expenses for the Literacy and Learning Symposium. It is one of our most important outreach services - and we are proud of it.
Our team is also busy finishing projects, meeting key deadlines on others, and preparing for new ones. I am focussed on things that start with 'A' – the annual report, our AGM and attending meetings to build our association with others – where changing lives with literacy and essential skills is the common goal.
Wishing you a great summer – with lots of time for family, friends and some fun (hopefully in the sun). 'Hope you have time this summer to read a good book!
Be sure to mark your calendars before you go:
Waking Up to Literacy Breakfasts -
Calgary, Sept 19 and Edmonton, Sept 20
See you in the autumn – if not before!
Janet Lane, Executive Director
As another fiscal year comes to an end, the Board met recently to approve next year’s budget and finalize our rolling strategic plan for the next three years. The new budget includes some different kinds of projects and an increase in fee for service revenue. Literacy Alberta has made progress in diversifying our revenue sources. Much as we love our relationships with our provincial and federal funders, we have been looking for (and finding) a few more baskets for our eggs!
Our strategic plan remains the very much the same, with some minor changes to the outcome statements and some new measures of success. To ensure that Literacy Alberta is on the right track, in the late summer we will be looking to you, our members and stakeholders, to provide some input into the work we do.
Specifically, we are interested in your thoughts regarding our products, services, membership fees and our Literacy Alberta brand. We know you have limited time for surveys, but would very much appreciate your giving a few minutes to reply to the survey when it hits your email inboxes. An organization counts on its members and stakeholders to let it know what it’s doing well, and what it can improve on – or eliminate. We will be counting on you – just not until late August.
Meanwhile, it is officially the early days of summer and it’s time to think about easing back and creating some time for relaxing, reading and reflecting. The board of Literacy Alberta wishes you all that, and some fun too!
Chris Tortorelli, President of the Board
Our second annual Waking Up to Literacy Breakfast fundraisers take place on Wednesday, September 19th in Calgary, and Thursday September 20th in Edmonton, during Learn @ Work Week.
"Literacy is everybody’s business," said Janet Lane, Executive Director. "We want you to make it yours. Support our breakfasts today by getting tickets, being a Table Captain, or making a donation. Your support helps expand our reach through the creation of tools, resources, professional development and training."
100% of funds raised will go toward Literacy Alberta programming.
Get your Waking Up to Literacy Breakfast tickets
For information contact Brendan at email@example.com.
Be part of the solution!
Each year our Awards of Excellence acknowledge contributions to literacy by recognizing an outstanding organization, volunteer, learner and literacy practitioner. Nominate someone whose dedication you respect for an Award of Excellence. The awards will be presented during the Gala banquet at the Literacy and Learning Symposium, Edmonton, October. Nomination deadline: September 28, 2012.
Literacy Alberta supports literacy tutors and students by offering bursaries to attend the Literacy and Learning Symposium 2012. Bursaries cover registration, shared accommodation and a portion of travel costs. All applications can be made using our new online bursary application form. Application deadline: September 21, 2012.
Mick Lerch joined our Board late last year, bringing first-hand literacy experience and a strong commitment with him. Mick works as a supply chain professional for Loblaws, and is a champion for improving workplace literacy skills for everyone.
"I deal with ESL folks regularly in my business and am really committed to bringing literacy and essential skills education to the workplace and making a difference," said Lerch, who has a B.Ed, B.Sc and is currently completing his MBA.
"I see how hard they work to integrate into our work world. I've struggled with their struggles," said Lerch.
Mick is well connected in many fields, and feels this is a strength that he brings to the board. He is in tune with Literacy Alberta's roles and is 'working to get the message out there' to all his connections.
He is busy working, studying and helping to raise two young children; but accepted the board role because 'literacy is a cause I believe strongly in'. Mick is serving a two-year term, and is on a couple of Board committees.
What a finish to this fabulous project! Work Up! gave us the expertise and experience to develop tools and resources for Workplace Essential Skills practitioners.
We are sending the final products to print soon. A final report and the case studies from the five practicum sites will be just the beginning. Then will come the Marketing Tool Kit – which is full of ideas for those crucial initial conversations with employers. Finally we will have presentation folders with handouts for employers that include all kinds of information about why Essential Skills are important to them in their workplace.
Our practitioner members will be receiving complementary copies of these items soon.
New Coordinator Training/Follow up training
Partnering with CLN to broaden the scope of the training was a key highlight of our NCT and NCTF this spring. With CALCs and VTALS coordinators sharing training there are new networks and increased possibilities. This spring’s sessions were the second round of shared training and the responses from coordinators continues to be enthusiastic and positive.
Coordinator comment: I was feeling pretty discouraged about my job before I came, but this training has given me motivation to continue.
We’re looking forward to continued partnership with CLN, and increased participation from Family Literacy Coordinators to round out the full spectrum of community literacy services professional development.
Contact Jennifer for details firstname.lastname@example.org
Essential Skills and Literacy Practice Project
Our annotated online resource guide, with dozens of links to essential skills web pages is ready. Download it from our site at literacyalberta.ca/essential-skills
As well, we have completed the Essential Skills chapter for the Creating Learning Partners Tutor Training Manual. There’s a free download from our website.
We are working with our colleagues at CBC and with Simon Glassman, an award-winning animator on our series of Essential Skills videos. They will be ready shortly – just in time for back to work in the fall.
Literacy and plain language awareness consulting is ongoing with team leaders at CUPS (Calgary Urban Project Society). This is a comprehensive project covering person, print and online communications.
We also have funding from Human Services and are working with two Calgary-based private training providers to embed literacy and essential skills into their training programs.
Contact Cindy email@example.com for information.
Essential Skills (ES) Fieldwork
This exciting new project will ensure that learners have an increased understanding of the importance of LES (literacy and essential skills) training, and improved access to it. We will be providing professional development with training providers across Alberta to increase their ability to incorporate LES in their programming.
We will also be highlighting through our website and social media some of the many LES activities going on through programs around Alberta. Contact Lorraine firstname.lastname@example.org and let her know about the great LES work you are already doing.
Taking Shelter with Literacy project
Three women’s shelters in Central and Northern Alberta recently participated in our literacy awareness and library workshops. One has been involved in FESA’s Parenting after Violence facilitator training; and they also received the parent-child literacy kits this past month.
Literacy workshop: it helps knowing how many people struggle with reading.
Library workshop: the picture dictionaries will help increase vocabulary immediately.
Parenting after Violence (PAV) Facilitator training: Very excited to be part of this project.
Parent-child literacy kits: Very impressed, liked the approach proposed with them and suggestions for future use
We really love our work with Women’s Shelters – it is truly a win-win kind of project. Contact Pam Swimmer for more information email@example.com
Clear Language Driver's Guide
We are delighted to announce that Alberta Motors Association has agreed to support our project by printing 2,000 copies of the Clear Language Drivers Guide, when it is completed. The Guide is on its final plain langauge edit, before going to the designer. It will be ready for piloting in fall 2012. Several communities have expressed interest in piloting it. Please contact us if you want to be considered.
LA, CLN, CFL joined by eCampus Alberta, are pooling resources to make LLS2012 a truly collaborative effort.
The theme, Sharing Stories, Changing Lives has pushed the program committee to find some amazing storytellers. The program is well balanced, with something for everyone!
Literacy Alberta is offering bursaries for volunteer literacy tutors and adult literacy learners to attend the symposium - a terrific opportunity.
Twitter thread #lls2012