September 2008

In This Issue:

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"Enhancing literacy levels in the workplace improves bottom-line performance for Canada's employers and gives employees a better chance for success in their careers."

Conference Board of Canada,
The Economic Benefits of Improving Literacy Skills in the Workplace


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The Centre for Family Literacy gratefully acknowledges the ongoing support of the following:

An Edmonton Community
Of Lifelong Learners

Edmonton & Area
Child & Family Services Region 6

Improving the Literacy Levels of Canadian Workers

In the premier issue of Canadian CEO, Alan C. Middleton, Schulich School of Business, York University stated, “making sure employees have the requisite workplace literacy skills has become an economic imperative to address the challenges facing corporate Canada today.”

The Centre has received funding from Human Resources and Social Development Canada, Office of Literacy and Essential Skills to explore how family literacy concepts can enhance literacy and essential skills programs in the workplace.

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How Easy is Health Information to Read?

Canadians turn first and foremost to their family physician for health related information. On average, they consult five different print sources (internet, libraries). A recent report by the Canadian Council on Learning states that older and less educated Canadians – those who also tend to score lower on literacy assessments - use fewer health information sources.

Considering that health information is often written at higher reading levels, it is no surprise that this has health consequences for individuals who struggle with literacy.

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Centre Appoints New Executive Director

On August 11, Sandra Irving joined the Centre for Family Literacy as our new Executive Director. Sandra recently retired from Edmonton Public Schools after a thirty-four year career as a teacher, assistant principal and principal.

We recently asked Sandra a few questions about her new role as Executive Director of the Centre for Family Literacy:

What led you to apply for the position of Executive Director at the Centre?

When I retired, I knew that I wanted to be engaged in continued learning for myself personally but also in work that would allow me to continue to serve others in some way. When I saw the ad for the position of Executive Director at the Centre for Family Literacy, and subsequently conducted some of my own research, I knew that I had found a place to capitalize on what I already knew and also learn about families and learning from a very different perspective.

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Call for Nominations: 2009 Lois Hole Memorial
Literacy Awards

The Centre for Family Literacy invites you to join us in celebrating the achievements of Alberta literacy learners and leaders by nominating an individual, business or organization to be honoured at the 3rd annual Leading with Literacy Breakfast in January 2009.

There are two award categories – Lois Hole Adult Learner Award and the Lois Hole Community Leadership Award. Eligibility criteria and nomination forms are available on our website at famlit.ca. The nomination deadline is Thursday, October 30, 2008.

Previous Award Recipients

Adult Learner Award
2008 – Dave Chorney
2007 – Linn Pascal

Community Leadership Award
2008 – Edmonton Journal – Raise a Reader
2007 – Dr. Ruth Hayden

New C.O.W. Joins the Herd

The current Edmonton Literacy C.O.W. bus is over 27 years old and needs to be put out to pasture. A much younger version has been purchased and is awaiting a retro fit so that it can join the herd and continue to deliver the highly successful program to communities throughout Edmonton.

Staff Update

Maureen Sanders will continue to serve the family literacy community in the coming months as Co-Coordinator of the national Foundations in Family Literacy Project. Maureen, along with Kimberley Onclin, now Associate Executive Director of the Centre, is also coordinating a National Family Literacy Conference to be held in Edmonton in 2010.

Raise a Reader - Wednesday, September 24

The CanWest Raise-a-Reader campaign raises awareness, funds and resources for family literacy programs across Canada.

The Centre for Family Literacy is one of 6 local literacy programs that receives funding from this campaign.

On Wednesday September 24, look for our volunteers with a special edition of the Edmonton Journal and make your donation in support of family literacy in Edmonton.