March 2012

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

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Breakfast Celebrates Literacy

Over 200 people got up very early on January 26th to attend the Centre’s Leading with Literacy Breakfast. Some were first time attendees while others have attended every year since the Breakfast began in 2006. No matter what their reason, they came away with a deeper understanding of the importance of literacy and learning on a personal and global level.

This year the Breakfast event was the culmination of the Centre’s yearlong 10th anniversary celebrations. It was an opportunity to reflect on the significant work that has been done over the past ten years, but, more importantly, it was an opportunity to challenge ourselves to do better.

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New Research Supports the Family Literacy Model

In August 2011, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services introduced the Head Start Parent, Family and Community Engagement Framework. The Framework was developed for Head Start and Early Head Start programs, but its findings and recommendations are applicable to all early childhood programs.

They identify four impact areas that are critical to promote family engagement:

  • Program Environment – families feel welcomed, valued and respected by program staff
  • Family Partnership – families work with staff to identify and achieve their goals
  • Teaching and Learning – families are engaged as equal partners in their children’s learning and development
  • Community Partnership – communities support families’ interests and needs and encourage parent and family engagement in children’s learning

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Dr. Seuss Star of Family Literacy Day

Dr. Seuss and a host of his animal characters came to life for students at St. Benedict Elementary School. Thanks to the generosity of WorleyParsons and CoSyn Technology the entire school was treated to the play Seussical™ at the Citadel Theatre on the afternoon of January 25th.

“This sponsorship enabled so many of our students to experience live theatre, an opportunity that is only available to a small number of families in our school. Not only did our students enjoy the Seussical performance, but they also marveled at being in such a beautiful place,” said Lynne Andrews, Reading Intervention Teacher at St. Benedict.

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Dates to Remember

National Volunteer Week (NVW) – Passion Action Impact
April 15 -21
NVW pays tribute to the millions of volunteers who donate their time and energy to their communities.

Family Literacy Training Institute
May 14 – 18
Annual event that provides professional development focused on family literacy models. For more information, go to our website: www.famlit.ca

Links Fore Literacy Golf Tournament
Wednesday August 29
The Links at Spruce Grove Golf Course
Fund raising event in support of the Edmonton C.O.W. Bus

C.O.W. Keeps Roaming

On a very cold bitter day in January 2004, the Alberta Prairie Classroom on Wheels C.O.W. Bus program was launched at Government House.

Since then the C.O.W. Bus has travelled the length and breadth of the province promoting family literacy to more than 61,500 children and adults in over 700 communities and distributing thousands of children’s books with an emphasis on Canadian authors and Aboriginal stories.

We asked the Alberta Prairie C.O.W. Bus staff to share some of their experiences.

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