Canada’s Premiers Announce 2017 Literacy Award Recipients

Elizabeth Dean – Nunavut
Elizabeth Dean is a long-term teacher in Nunavut, and has taught in both Gjoa Haven and Iqaluit. A decade ago, Dean began work on implementing a guided reading system. She created a very successful program and took it upon herself to train her fellow teachers on how to plan, keep proper records and implement guided reading. Under her guidance, educators saw students make great progress. Her program also made its way to other communities, where she selflessly shared her knowledge and gave her time. Since moving to Iqaluit, Dean has created an amazing literacy space for the students of Aqsarniit Middle School to read and thrive under the program. All this has happened without expectation of recognition, based on her commitment to improving literacy in Nunavut. Dean was nominated for this award by the principal of her school in gratitude for her perseverance and dedication.

The LearningHUB – Ontario
Since its establishment in 2007, the LearningHUB has provided online Literacy and Basic Skills programming to over 20,000 adult learners across Ontario. This reach includes those living in rural and remote communities where classroom programs are not accessible and those in urban areas who may be challenged with physical, emotional or scheduling barriers that restrict them from attending a classroom program. Over the past decade, the LearningHUB’s catalogue of programming has expanded to over 260 live classes, “anytime learning” courses and interactive tutorials covering a variety of academic and employability topics. The LearningHUB’s staff work out of the Centres for Employment and Learning of the Avon Maitland District School Board, connecting them to the full suite of programs offered and funded by Ontario’s Learning Ministries.

Shawn Stewart – Prince Edward Island
Shawn Stewart was a recent participant in the Workplace Essential Skills Program in Charlottetown who showed an exemplary commitment to the program and its ideals. During his participation in the program, Stewart wrote and passed his General Educational Development math exam. He then became the fourth client in Workplace Learning’s history to complete the Reading Horizons program. Stewart’s incredible focus, wisdom, professionalism and sense of humour made him a natural leader and role model within the classroom. His commitment to the program and his honesty about his own learning struggles made him highly respected and sought after by his classmates who often turned to him for advice and support. His advice to others: “Do the work. Be open to feedback. Stay humble. Never give up.”

La Fondation pour l’alphabétisation (for the La lecture en cadeau program) – Québec
By publicly promoting the importance of introducing books and reading to children from an early age, La lecture en cadeau program contributes significantly to the promotion of literacy among young people from the most vulnerable families in Québec, as well as their family members. Since 1999, the program has distributed thousands of new books to children aged 0 to 12 years living in disadvantaged areas. To date, more than 440,000 books, which are donated by the public and collected each year across the province, have been provided.

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