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MCL Factsheet

New Classroom on Wheels (C.O.W.) Bus Joins the Herd

Some countries launch ships, in Edmonton we launch C.O.W.s. On June 4, the Centre for Family Literacy put the old 1981 C.O.W. bus out to pasture and launched a new C.O.W. onto the streets of Edmonton.

The old bus had been on the road since September 2000 as a C.O.W., delivering family literacy programs to over 6,000 children and adults in Edmonton. It was an initiative of Success by 6®, with the program provided by Centre for Family Literacy.

Donors, partners, families and friends attended the official launch at ATB Financial, Manning Crossing Branch with the Honourable Dave Hancock, Minister of Alberta Education, as the master of ceremonies. Minister Hancock emphasized how important Family Literacy programs are in encouraging the development of language and other basic skills of pre-school children and stated, “That’s why the Centre’s Classroom on Wheels program is so important in this province.”

The Bus is a drop-in bookmobile that offers an opportunity for families with few resources to borrow from a collection of children’s books for free. Through informal programming, parents are provided with literacy support for their pre-school children and learn how to carry on literacy activities in their homes.

Ilene Fleming, Director of Success by 6®, thanked the Centre for its ongoing delivery of this program noting that the C.O.W. program “focuses on raising awareness of the importance of the early years in children’s development – building a strong environment to support children in these critical years.”

Kimberley Onclin, Associate Executive Director of the Centre, thanked those who had funded the purchase of the bus: ATB Financial, Phyllis A. Arnold Learning Fund, Jim Hutton and An Evening of Wine and Words fundraising event. She explained that “Through family literacy programs, like the C.O.W. Bus, all parents can provide their children with the early language and literacy foundations essential to success in school and in life. We are grateful to Success by 6® and all of our funders who support the work of the Centre.”

Back row: Kim Irving, ATB Financial; Phyllis A. Arnold; Minister Dave Hancock; Jim Hutton. Front row: Ilene Fleming, Success by 6®; Jonna Grad, Centre for Family Literacy; Kimberley Onclin, Centre for Family Literacy.

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