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March 2008

In This Issue:

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Edmonton, AB T5K 0M1

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The 2006 Survey of Canadian Attitudes toward Learning revealed that 64% of Canadian parents feel they do not have enough knowledge to help with their children’s homework.

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An Edmonton Community
Of Lifelong Learners

Edmonton & Area
Child & Family Services Region 6

Help Your Child to Read and Write

Rebecca was eight years old and in Grade 3, and her spelling and reading skills were falling behind the rest of her class. She was becoming frustrated and acting out in class and at home.

That is no longer the case thanks to the Centre’s program, Help Your Child to Read and Write. Rebecca’s mother says there has been a big improvement not only in her daughter’s reading level but also in her self-confidence. No more tantrums and no more tears, Rebecca happily packs her knapsack and heads off to school.

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2008 Lois Hole Memorial Literacy Award
Winners Recognized

Dr. Ruth Hayden, the 2007 recipient of the Lois Hole Leadership Award, gave the keynote address at the Centre’s annual Leading with Literacy Breakfast. Over 200 people attended the breakfast where the Lois Hole Memorial Literacy Awards winners were announced.

Dave Chorney won the Lois Hole Adult Learner Award for his determined effort to improve his reading skills. Dave came to the Centre because his wife thought it was time for him to learn to read. At 32 years of age with a full time job and a young family, Dave struggled with words like “mother” and “our”. He didn’t know how to spell his wife or daughter’s name and he couldn’t put a sentence together.

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Aboriginal Issues and Teachings in Family Literacy

Over 150 family literacy practitioners from across Alberta attended the Food for Thought professional development opportunity held in Edmonton, February 12–16. The first day of the conference had an Aboriginal focus with two separate sessions.

In the session All we Have are Our Stories: Literacy for Our Children and Their Future, Narcisse Blood and Cynthia Chambers used stories, photographs and video to share their research. They emphasized the importance of storytelling in Aboriginal culture and the unique place that geography plays as part of stories.

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Learning Together Program Begins

This program will be starting again this fall, running September to June 2009 at St. Gerard Catholic Elementary School. This 36-week program is for parents and their 3 – 5 year old children. Parents and children attend the program together two afternoons a week. Parents upgrade their own skills and learn how to support their children’s literacy while their children attend a preschool program. For more information or to register for the program, please call 421-7323.

International Connection for Centre's Work

UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning and the Family Literacy Project, South Africa are editing a book on family literacy and intergenerational projects in Africa. We have been invited to submit a chapter on our work and include information on the C.O.W. Bus programs, as this concept would work well in Africa.

An Evening of Wine and Words – March 27

The Centre launched a new fundraising event - An Evening of Wine and Words – to tremendous response. Within days of announcing the guest speaker, Blue Rodeo’s Jim Cuddy, the event was close to sold out. The proceeds from this evening will support the local Classroom on Wheels (C.O.W.) program.

C.O.W. Gets Support from HOG®

Stephen Rebus, Chapter Director of the Old Strathcona Chapter of HOG®, wanted to present his chapter’s donation to the Centre in a more dramatic way. He thought driving out to the C.O.W. bus on his Harley would attract a little interest. Unfortunately the weather on January 23 didn’t cooperate, so Stephen had to settle for the traditional cheque presentation at the Centre.

The Harley Owners Group (HOG®) was established in 1983 in response to a growing desire by Harley-Davidson riders for an organized way to share their passion. There are now over 1,100 chapters worldwide and a membership of over half a million.

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Leaving a Legacy

In the years ahead, over one trillion Canadian dollars will be transferred nationally from one generation to the next by means of individual estates. This transfer of wealth will provide Canadians with an opportunity to make a difference in their communities by including their favorite charities in their wills or estate planning.

According to the Canadian Association of Gift Planners, “Canadians will make these decisions for many different reasons: for some it is a way to ensure their memory lives on, for many it’s a way to ensure that their favorite charity is able to continue its important work, while for others it represents a way to facilitate the tax implications that come with the transfer of one’s estate to surviving relatives.”

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In the article Fathers, Fun and Family Literacy in our December 2007 issue, we neglected to mention the crucial role that the Capital Health Early Intervention Program (EIP) plays in the innovative and successful Me and My Buddy program. Staff from Capital Health EIP deliver this program in partnership with KARA Family Resource Centre and Clareview Headstart. Our apologies for this oversight.