2018 Council of the Federation Literacy Award Recipients
Red Deer Public Library Adult Literacy Program – Alberta
The Red Deer Public Library Adult Literacy Program has served English language and adult literacy learners in the community for over 30 years. The Program is currently providing learning opportunities to approximately 360 adult foundational learners through volunteer tutoring. With 215 tutors, it has the largest volunteer pool in the region. Because of the commitment of staff and volunteer tutors, adult learners are able to improve their reading and writing skills, become more confident, and ultimately improve their lives by continuing in further learning and/or gaining meaningful employment. The Program has demonstrated responsiveness to the needs of the community, including by adapting its programs to meet the learning needs of Syrian refugees and other newcomers. In addition to breaking down barriers to learning, the Program offers opportunities that facilitate newcomer participation in the larger community. By connecting learners to other service organizations and residents, the Program has demonstrated itself to be a community leader that promotes inclusivity in society for adult literacy learners in Red Deer.
Sara Grant – British Columbia
Sara Grant has championed literacy for over two decades as a children’s librarian, including 19 years as Youth Services Manager for Surrey Libraries. Committed to improving children’s literacy, Sara has helped establish innovative programs like Curiosity Corner, a hands-on station where families can develop their digital literacy skills and Daddy Storytime, a program that supports men to take a more active role in their children’s early literacy. Sara has formed partnerships and advocated for staff training to ensure Surrey’s diverse community needs are met and that families receive high-quality, public library services. Sara and her team continue to help children grow, develop and thrive by supporting creativity, encouraging discovery, celebrating the joy of reading and fostering community connectedness through the public library.
Julie Black – Manitoba
Julie Black, a single mother raising seven children, has overcome many obstacles including low literacy skills. Julie’s life journey includes moving in and out of the Child Welfare system, experiencing abuse, child exploitation, trauma and addiction. Julie was surrounded by adults who had very poor literacy skills. She did not complete elementary school. Julie was determined to be the one to end the cycle of abuse, addiction and lack of education that plagued her family. By attending literacy classes, Julie has made significant skills gains in literacy, numeracy and computer use, which have increased her independence and confidence. Julie’s goal is to become a Trauma and Addictions Counsellor. She has hope for a brighter future for herself, and more importantly, for her family.
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