Canada’s Premiers Announce Literacy Award Recipients for 2014

Kedgwick Public Library – New Brunswick
The Kedgwick Public Library recognizes that assisting local citizens in developing their literacy skills contributes to improving confidence and quality of life. The Library has been promoting unique literacy learning through play and participation for the last 30 years and has established partnerships with primary and secondary schools that continue to schedule routine visits. Over the past two years, the Library has specifically targeted adult literacy. They host week long literacy games created for the purpose of improving participants’ reading, writing and communication skills. Improving citizens’ French vocabulary and language capacity is of primary concern to the Kedgwick Public Library; however, it also provides an English conversation program to assist learners interested in improving their second language skills.

Linda Anne Richards – Newfoundland and Labrador
Linda Anne Richards attended special education classes at school where she struggled with her reading and writing skills. In 1981, she left high school to care for her nephew before choosing a career in homecare. As a homecare worker, she was challenged by her lower literacy skills. In efforts to secure long-term employment, Richards set a new life goal of completing the Personal Care Attendant program. Richards recognized that improving her literacy skills was critical to reaching her goals and enrolled in Stella’s Circle ABE Level I program. She finished Level I in June 2014 and plans to continue with Level II/III. Her instructor and employment counsellor both note her remarkable accomplishments and positive attitude in the classroom.

Julie White – Northwest Territories
Julie White was born in 1977 in Fort Providence, NT, but she moved to Yellowknife as a 10-month-old after being adopted. She has been enrolled in the Literacy Outreach Centre since 1997. Through her persistence and hard work, White has achieved significant improvement in all academic areas and she is a role model for other students as she encourages them in their learning. After school, White works at the Yellowknife Association for Community Living and volunteers in community events, such as the Gumboot Rally. She is an athlete in the Special Olympics, having won medals in swimming, speed skating and bowling, and she competed in bowling at the 2014 Special Olympics National Summer Games in Vancouver.

Sheila Morash – Nova Scotia
Sheila Morash, a single mother of two, describes returning to school as her “second chance” to be a role model for her children and honour her late father. Although it had been over 12 years since Morash left Grade 11, she worked diligently and completed two years of study in just one year – an accomplishment of which both she and her instructors are very proud. Despite family commitments and a heavy workload, Morash still finds time to volunteer on campus and is also an active member of the PTA at her children’s school. She describes her volunteer work at Habitat for Humanity, the Prostate Cancer Run and the Salvation Army’s Kettle Drive as extremely gratifying. Morash completed the Nova Scotia High School Graduation Diploma for Adults, with honours, at the Nova Scotia Community College in May 2014 and plans to explore post- secondary career options in the near future.