Canada’s Premiers Announce 2019 Literacy Award Recipients

Danita Curwin – Nova Scotia
Danita Curwin left high school before she could finish her studies. Family life and other priorities soon took over, but finishing school was always at the back of her mind. After losing her son in Afghanistan and her husband to illness, Danita returned to school to set an example for her grandchildren and to fulfill her dream of becoming an education program assistant. Danita completed her General Educational Development tests this year through the Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning with the help of encouraging staff. She has gained the confidence to follow her dreams and reach her full potential. The commitment to learning that Danita has demonstrated is truly an inspiration and she looks forward to giving back to her community.

Monica Ittusardjuat – Nunavut
Monica Ittusardjuat has been working in Inuktut education for over 50 years. She has worked as a teacher at every level, from early childhood education to the
Interpreter/Translator Program at Nunavut Arctic College. She served for two years as the National Inuit Language Coordinator at Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, leading a working group to study and make recommendations for orthography standards that could accommodate all dialects of Inuktut. In her current role as Senior Inuktitut Editor at Inhabit Education, Monica oversees all Inuktitut-language materials for an Inuktitut first-language literacy program for Nunavut. She plays an indispensable role in creating materials that will help young Nunavummiut learn and practice their language. She inspires everyone around her to use Inuktut every day.

Katharina Peters – Ontario
Katharina Peters grew up in a community in Belize where education for women was discouraged. She moved to Canada with her husband and had three children. When she and the children experienced family violence, she made the difficult decision to become a single parent. She set a goal to earn her high school equivalency certificate and become a doula so that she could help other women from her community who feel alone and isolated, as she did as a young mother. Katharina achieved a significant milestone in June 2019 when she passed the General Educational Development tests. She will begin Doula Studies at Fanshawe College in September.

Andrew Harbord – Prince Edward Island
Andrew Harbord is an inspirational young man who entered the Workplace Essential Skills Program in Summerside, PEI in September 2017 and completed the program in April 2019. Andrew completed his work with his signature outgoing and positive approach. He also served as an inspiration to others in the class who came forward to join in his nomination and share their positive interactions with Andrew as a class leader. Andrew refuses to let physical challenges with mobility and vision stand in the way of his ultimate goal of being active in the workplace. It is with this objective in mind that he approached his studies with vigour and determination. His multiple nominations from classmates, instructors, and support staff make Andrew a deserving award recipient.