June 2010

In This Issue:

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"Mothers who eat well [and] exercise . . . during pregnancy have healthier babies who are more ready to learn."

Canadian Education Association

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An Edmonton Community
Of Lifelong Learners

Adult Program Responds to Student Needs

Eliminating barriers, addressing health and wellness issues, and assisting with everyday challenges are the impetuses behind several additional programs the Centre is offering to adult students.

For three years, Functional Literacy classes have been run at the Mill Woods Family Resource Centre, Millbourne Site. The participants are taught reading, writing, and conversational skills that relate directly to their everyday activities such as earning a learner’s permit, understanding notes sent home from school, or taking children to the library.

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Jim Cuddy & Kathleen Edwards Perform for Literacy

The third annual An Evening of Wine & Words in support of the Centre’s family literacy programs was a smashing success.

Returning for a third year seemed to be a theme with Jim Cuddy, Mark Scholz, and about two-thirds of the audience. The evening began with cocktails in the foyer adjacent to the Empire Ballroom at the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald. The GIO Electric Scooter that was one of several items in the silent auction intrigued guests. Rumor has it that someone was seen driving it through the hotel later that evening.

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The Role of Culture in Literacy Learning

It is becoming increasingly recognized that the cultural environment in which children are raised is of central importance to their literacy development and their experiences at school. Many Pathways to Literacy: young children learning with siblings, grandparents, peers and communities (2004), edited by Eve Gregory, Susi Long, and Dinah Volk, explores the significant role that various literacy practices, parents, friends, and other members of the community play in learning.

The first chapter of this text focuses on the sociocultural approach of the studies. Literacy must be understood within the context of “the complex relationship between culture and cognition”; culture needs to be recognized as having a direct impact on literacy development. “Children learn as apprentices alongside a more experienced member of the culture”, and, while these forms of learning may not resemble those within the classroom, they are central to literacy learning.

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Book Raising Money for Centre

The recently published book Adventures of Edmonton – Your ABC Guide is supporting our work by donating $1 for each book purchased.

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Now you can follow us on facebook!

It’s easy to find our page—just look for the link on our website homepage at www.famlit.ca. Take a look—we hope you like it! We’ve also added a link to our YouTube channel.

Innovative Workplace Family Literacy Project Concludes

The Workplace Family Literacy Project, undertaken by the Centre for Family Literacy, has come to a successful conclusion. In the final phase of this innovative project, employees at Lakeside Packers in Brooks and at Lucerne Foods in Taber participated in pilot programs delivered before work and during the lunch hour. For those employees who took part in the programs, benefits included improved workplace communication, support for family learning, increased literacy self-awareness on the part of workers, a greater understanding of the literacy skills of their children, and enhanced workers’ attitudes toward the importance of family literacy.

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HOG® Chapter Raises Money for C.O.W.

The quiet neighborhood of Richfield came alive when members of the Old Strathcona Chapter of the Harley Owners Group® made a visit to our Classroom on Wheels (C.O.W.) Bus.

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Longstanding Board Member Retires

The Centre’s Annual General Meeting in May saw the end of an era, as Randy Boissonnault retired after 10 years on the Board. Randy contributed immensely to the work of the organization as Board Member, Chair, and Past Chair. “Randy has done so much to support the development of the Centre and to raise awareness of the literacy field,” said Board Chair David Hiebert.

Heather Raymond and Mitch Flaman also retired as Board Members. Heather will continue her involvement as a volunteer on the Leading with Literacy Committee.

Eric Hamilton and Patricia Mackenzie were elected as new Board Members for two-year terms.