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Ruth Hayden Memorial Family Literacy Practitioner Award

The Centre for Family Literacy established the Ruth Hayden Memorial Family Literacy Practitioner Award to recognize the accomplishments of individual practitioners in the family literacy field.

The late Dr. Ruth Hayden was an influential leader in the areas of emergent and family literacy in Alberta. Ruth worked tirelessly to advance the field of family literacy in Alberta and beyond.

Dr. Ruth, as those in the field knew her, spent many hours researching, developing and evaluating family literacy programs. She developed numerous training manuals for the Centre for Family Literacy and co-authored many resources used in the family literacy field and in other disciplines as well. Dr. Hayden was instrumental in building community capacity across the province.

Dr. Hayden spent a great deal of time training front-line practitioners across the province, as well as mentoring and coaching policy-makers and funders. She shared her deep knowledge and helped others build the principles of family literacy into their everyday practice. She also instilled the importance of working with the whole family in her dealings with practitioners, funders and community members. She believed that parents, given the right support and strategies, could be more confident in their role as their child's first teacher.

Dr. Hayden further believed that family literacy is as much about adult literacy and learning as it is about early and emergent literacy. She saw family literacy as an opportunity to re-engage parents in their own learning environments, where they see themselves as competent learners who can better their own lives, that of their families and their communities.

Award Description

The Ruth Hayden Memorial Family Literacy Practitioner Award will be presented to an individual who has excelled in the field of family literacy, maintained a high quality of service to participants in their programs and the community and shown a commitment to their own learning.

The award is presented each year at the Literacy and Learning Symposium in October.


To be eligible, the nominee must be at least 18 years of age, be a resident of Alberta, consent to their nomination and not have been a previous recipient of the award. The nominee must have at least two years experience working with families in addressing the literacy needs of the family.

Click here for the criteria and nomination form.

Deadline for 2020 nominations is Friday, September 4.

Congratulations to our Past Annual Award Winners!

  • 2019: Kimberly Cairns:

    Kimberly Cairns, of Grande Prairie Council for Lifelong Learning, has been a strong advocate for family literacy. She connects with other agencies and literacy leaders in her community and surrounding areas to establish meaningful partnerships and works collaboratively to provide programs, events and ongoing discussions to meet learner needs.

    She has implemented best practices that inform planning, delivery and evaluation of programs. She recognizes the family as a learning unit and supports parents as they develop literacy skills in programs. She recognizes the importance of connecting and building relationships with families to make them feel welcome in programs.

    She continues to build her own knowledge through workshops related to Family and Adult literacy. This year, she successfully completed the Family Literacy Facilitation Certificate from Conestoga College. She worked tirelessly to achieve this and implement her learnings in program delivery.

  • 2018: Monique Sedlar
  • 2017: Sue Stegmeier
  • 2016: Wendy Peverett
  • 2015: Donna Arnold
  • 2014: Lil Radley (first annual award winner)

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