September 2009

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An Edmonton Community
Of Lifelong Learners

New Program Making Dollars and $ense

There is a lot of buzz about financial literacy these days, heightened by the current global economy and financial meltdowns of the past year. The term financial literacy covers many different things, including understanding how to navigate financial services and plan for retirement. Like regular literacy, financial literacy is required on an everyday basis to help people make better decisions throughout their lives, and it is key to self-sufficiency and participation in the economic mainstream.

There has been a dramatic realization that many people lack money knowledge and do not have the capacity to manage savings and debt. A 2008 Bank of Montreal survey found that 7 in 10 Canadians did not have a budget and that 80% of the survey respondents did not feel that the current economic downturn was enough incentive to create one.

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Program Shows Marked Improvement for Parents and Children

The Learning Together program wrapped up on June 24 with a celebration for the ten families who attended the 36-week program.

Learning Together is unique in that parents attend school with their children. The children participate in a play and literacy-based preschool program while the parents are involved in an adult class that combines adult literacy with family literacy skills, parenting topics, child development information, and learning about the school system. The program also includes times when parents and children share their learning by participating in activities together.

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Addressing Youth Violence with Early Education

Understanding youth violence requires focusing on children before they become young adults. The Centre of Excellence for Early Childhood Development has released a report, “Early Learning Prevents Youth Violence,” that explores the stages of aggressive acts and how early learning can decrease or prevent violent tendencies later in life.

Aggressive behaviour does not develop at the onset of puberty but is apparent at all ages, if one knows what to look for. Aggression has been reported in infants; their demonstrations of anger emerge as screaming and angry facial expressions. True physical aggression appears for the first time between six and twelve months when babies have developed the motor control they need to make gestures.

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New Executive Director for the Centre

On June 1, the Centre for Family Literacy welcomed Jonna Grad as our new Executive Director. Having worked extensively in not-for-profit organizations in Ontario, she brings with her indepth knowledge and leadership experience. Jonna spent nine years counseling individuals and facilitating programs at the Women’s Centre of Hamilton before moving on to the Marty Karl Centre for five years, where she helped provide employment and training services for people with barriers to employment.

Jonna’s background serving families and communities compliments the Centre’s and has assisted in the transition process. While busy settling in to her new position, Jonna is continuing to get to know the staff and board at the Centre, and the many community organizations who all work in and support family literacy.

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Workplace Family Literacy Project Announces Three Pilot Programs Brooks • Taber • Edmonton

The two-year Workplace Family Literacy project is exploring how family literacy programs can provide additional dimension to workplace literacy and essential skills programs. Building on the research done in the field of workplace literacy, this project is reviewing a range of options for programming and suggestions for adapting current family literacy programs for workplace delivery.

An environmental scan of the business sector was conducted by Leger Marketing to measure the current levels of awareness of the impact of literacy on the economy, the variety of workplace literacy programs being used, and the types of partnerships that exist between this sector and literacy organizations.

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