Contact Us
#201, 11456 Jasper Ave NW
Edmonton, AB T5K 0M1
Toll Free

"Research shows the earlier parents become involved in their children's literacy practices, the more profound the results and the longer-lasting the effects."

Mullis, R.L., Mullis, A.K.,
Cornille, T.A., Ritchson, A.D. and Sullender, M.S., 2004.
Early literacy outcomes and parent involvement.
Tallahassee, Fl: Florida State University.

Travelling Alberta with the Family Literacy Message

Alberta encompasses over 660,000 square kilometers, and the Centre for Family Literacy’s Alberta Prairie Classroom on Wheels (C.O.W.) bus has traveled to its farthest reaches, from Cardston in the south to Rainbow Lake and Fort Chipewyan in the North.

Now in its fifth year, the “C.O.W. bus” has made over 400 community visits and delivered programming to over 25,000 children and their families. On the bus, staff interact with parents and children to share and model parent-child interaction and activities that support early literacy development.

When the Prairie C.O.W. bus comes to town, the visit becomes an opportunity to promote participation in local family literacy programs and to leave communities with a Legacy Library of 50 quality children’s books. The C.O.W. bus visits are coordinated by local organizers, in consultation with C.O.W. bus staff, and involve and strengthen local community partnerships around the common goal of family literacy.

A visit to the C.O.W. bus shows families that literacy is important and fun. On a recent visit a parent commented, “to this day my son still regularly talks about the fun day that he had on the C.O.W. Bus”.

By delivering a family literacy project that travels throughout the province, the Centre is able to provide ideas for homemade and low-cost literacy activities to families and practitioners who often work largely in isolation.

Some of the highlights of the past year have been first-time visits to the isolated Aboriginal communities of Trout Lake, Peerless Lake and Small Boys’ Mountain Cree Camp and to a number of Hutterite colonies in the Brooks area. However, no matter what the size and location of the community that we visit, families leave the bus excited and enthusiastic about sharing the love of learning with each other.

Alberta Prairie C.O.W. Bus is funded by Alberta Advanced Education and Technology, Community Programs and United Way “Working Together in Alberta”

Photo of participants



The C.O.W. Bus advertises literacy in a way that catches everyone's eye.

|x| close