June 2012

In This Issue:

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"Worldwide, some 774 million adults cannot read or write. Two-thirds of these are women."

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Musicians Perform for LIteracy

The annual Richardson GMP Evening of Wine & Words in support of the Centre’s Books for Babies program was a smashing success.

Returning for a fifth year seemed to be a theme with Jim Cuddy, Mark Scholz and about two-thirds of the audience in the room. The evening began with cocktails in the foyer adjacent to the Empire Ballroom at the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald. The silent auction had an eclectic mix of items from a 40-year-old bottle of port to a one-piece two flush Toto toilet.

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Literacy Impacts Your Bottom Line

Edmonton business leaders learned at an Edmonton Economic Development Corporation breakfast that 40% of adult Albertans between the ages of 16 and 65 lack the basic literacy and essential skills to function effectively in the workplace.

“Alberta’s future competitiveness and productivity hinges on the degree to which we can raise literacy and learning levels” said Bob Bowhay in his opening remarks. Jim Carter, former President and COO of Syncrude Canada Ltd. echoed this statement as he described the workplace programs initiated in his company.

The Canadian Task Force on Business estimates that low literacy levels cost businesses $1.6 billion in lost time due to workplace accidents and $2.5 billion in lost productivity. Statistics Canada estimates a 1% increase in literacy skills would yield a 2.5% increase in productivity.

Panelists Dr. Jodi Abbott, from NorQuest College, Dr. Lori Campbell, from Enbridge Pipelines, Jonna Grad, from the Centre for Family Literacy, and Gary Trigg, from PCL, gave their perspective on the issue.

Building on recent research on the positive benefits of implementing basic skills programs in the workplace, attendees were asked to share their ideas on how business and literacy organizations could work together to improve literacy and essential skills in the workplace.

Working together is one of the nine essential skills needed to succeed in the workplace and the partnership of EEDC, NorQuest College and the Centre on this breakfast demonstrated how effective that can be.

Bringing Family Literacy to Belize

Literacy Without Borders has been working in Belize since March of 2011 building relationships with a range of partners to prepare for a program dedicated to literacy development in Belize. 

They successfully secured local partners in Belize to begin the project with a dynamic literacy training institute held in June of this year. The Centre was approached to provide the family literacy training portion of the institute. “Literacy Without Borders is thrilled to partner with the Centre for Family Literacy on our first in-country literacy training in Belize” said Randy Boissonnault, Chair of the Board.

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Dates to Remember

August 29
Links fore Literacy Golf Tournament
For more information or to register:

September 8
International Literacy Day

September 20 – 22
Alberta Early Years Conference

October 1 – 5

We Launched our Blog!

You'll find all kinds of family literacy information, from crafts to research, rhymes to resources. Visit often for new material from our talented and knowledgeable staff! The permanent link can be found near the top of this newsletter with our other social media icons, or from our website homepage. Take a look –

Pitch'N'Putt Game Built on Nine Workplace Essential Skills

What do the nine workplace literacy and essential skills have in common with golf? Employees at Mixcor Aggregrates found out April 10 when they attended their company’s annual general meeting.

The Centre’s Literacy Links staff in partnership with Mixcor Aggregates developed a Pitch’N’Putt course that tested each team’s skill at “golf” and the nine essential workplace skills. The event began with a shotgun start at 1:15 p.m. with each team positioned at one of the nine holes.

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