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Golf Tournament Raises Money for C.O.W.

Left to right: Willem Kellerman, Mike Shankaruk, Cameron Haldane, and Donna Lemieux standing in for Mike Saunders
In August, 112 golfers hit the Links Golf Course in Spruce Grove to raise money for the Centre’s local C.O.W. (Classroom on Wheels) program.

For the second year, the team with the lowest score was presented with green jackets. The winning team, from Qualico, comprised of Mike Saunders, Mike Shankaruk, Willem Kellerman and Cameron Haldane.

We were pleased to have the Honourable Laurie Hawn, MP for Edmonton Centre, and Dr. Eric Newell, Honorary Chair of the Centre, join us again this year at the tournament. Premier Hancock’s busy schedule prevented him from playing, but he did join our guests for the banquet.
The Links fore Literacy Golf Tournament began as a replacement for Premier Hancock’s annual charity golf tournament in support of Success by 6®. His tournament ran for 10 years and raised substantial funds for early childhood programs in Edmonton, a cause he is very passionate about.

The Centre would like to thank everyone who participated in our tournament, especially our sponsors:
Eagle Sponsor:

Banquet Sponsor:
Nearctic Group

Cart Sponsor:
Canadian Western Bank

Flag Sponsor:

Caddy Sponsors:
Ernst & Young LLP
Bryan & Company LLP

Gift Bag Sponsor:

Print Sponsor:

The Centre would also like to thank our Hole Sponsors, Hole-in-One Sponsors, and all of the businesses and individuals who provided prizes and gifts for the tournament.


Celebrating Ten Years on the Road

The Alberta Prairie C.O.W. (Classroom on Wheels) Bus was launched on a bitterly cold day in January 2004 at Government House, with The Late, the Honourable Dr. Lois Hole and Premier Dave Hancock, then Minister of Advanced Education, in attendance.

Over the past 10 years, the C.O.W. Bus has travelled the length and breadth of the province promoting family literacy and providing parents with fun and inexpensive activities to support their children’s literacy development at home. The bus has gone as far north as Rainbow Lake and Fort Chipewyan and south to Milk River, visiting urban and rural communities, Hutterite Colonies, First Nations and Métis Settlements.

In addition to raising public awareness and supporting family literacy, a visit from the C.O.W. Bus leaves a permanent gift for the community in the form of a Legacy Library. Each Legacy Library contains approximately 50 children’s books with an emphasis on Canadian authors and Aboriginal stories.

Here are a few facts about the program’s activities last year:
  • Visited 96 communities
  • Distributed 4,710 books
  • Welcomed 5,307 visitors
Multiply these numbers by ten and you can see what an incredible resource this is for families across Alberta.


I believe it is so very important to promote reading and reading appreciation at a very young age and the COW does that and also involves the parent which is very important as well.” – Town Councillor

I left the bus with so many new ideas to use at home.” – Parent


CanadaHelps Launches New Website

CanadaHelps is a registered charity and nonprofit social enterprise that provides charities across Canada with a safe and secure platform to accept online donations.

They recently launched a new look and feel to their website with the goal of making giving easier for the donor and allowing charities to provide more information about their work.

The Centre’s page has a number of options which include supporting our annual or endowment campaigns, and a special campaign to raise funds for the Alberta Prairie C.O.W. Legacy Libraries. Donors also have the option of donating monthly, or creating their own fundraising page to raise money for the Centre.

Check out our new page here


Family Literacy Programs Support Children's Literacy Development

Building the foundation for lifelong learning occurs between the ages of 0-6, and parents, as their child’s first teacher, play a critical role in supporting their children’s early language and learning skills.

Family literacy programs provide parents with practical information on how to actually support this literacy development. Parents learn that literacy is more than reading, writing and math – it includes communication, cooperation, problem solving and much more. Both parents and children participate in the programs, which provides parents with the opportunity to model new approaches in a supportive group setting.

Oral language is the foundation of all literacy development, so parents are encouraged to sing with their children, tell stories, and recite nursery rhymes. Talking about daily activities, such as folding laundry, cleaning up toys or making cookies, provides parents with an opportunity to expose their children to lanuage and how it is connected to daily life.

Parents learn the difference between reading a book to their children and sharing the book. They learn that sharing involves talking about the pictures, colours, letters, and shapes in the book. Asking children what they think will happen next, or why they think something happened, will help develop problem-solving skills.

They learn the importance of play in building vocabulary, cooperation, and problem solving. The interaction and bonding that happens between parents and children when they do crafts together, play a game or create a grocery list, supports an environment of learning.

Family literacy programs support the entire family’s learning. Parents are made aware of all the learning opportunities and connections around them and how to share and explore these with their children. Parents learn how important they are to the process of preparing their children for success in school and how to actually go about building the foundation for lifelong learning in their family.


Fall Program Season

September saw the restart of the following programs:

  • 3,2,1,Fun! drop-in program at Callingwood School
  • Local C.O.W. Bus visits 10 neighbourhoods on a weekly basis
  • Rhymes that Bind drop-in programs throughout the Edmonton area
  • Books for Babies programs at various locations in the Edmonton area.

October will see the start of:

  • Learn Together – Grow Together at One World…One Centre.
  • More Books for Babies programs in the Edmonton area.

All of the programs are free – some require registration and some are drop-in. Check our website at www.famlit.ca for more information on any of these programs, or call our office at 780-421-7323.


CFL Blog

Are you wondering about the Centre’s programs – what actually happens at Books for Babies, Rhymes that Bind or a visit to the Edmonton C.O.W. Bus? The Centre’s blog provides you with insight into our programs and keeps you up to date on the many literacy activities that our staff share with parents.

Check us out and share with family, friends and colleagues - www.famlit.ca/blog