Canada’s Premiers Announce 2020 Literacy Award Recipients


2020 Council of the Federation Literacy Award Recipients

Portage College’s Community Adult Learning Programs (CALPs) – Alberta
Portage College’s Community Adult Learning Programs (CALPs) offer learner-centred foundational learning programs that allow adult Albertans to develop the necessary skills for further learning, employment and/or increased quality of life. The programs serve the communities of Bonnyville, St. Paul, Elk Point, Frog Lake First Nation, Cold Lake First Nation, WhiteLake/Goodfish First Nation and Kehewin Cree Nation. CALPs work closely with community leaders and partner agencies to identify and address learning needs in ways that are accommodating and respectful of each learner.

Story Studio – British Columbia
Story Studio is a non-profit, literacy-focused organization that inspires, educates and empowers youth to become great storytellers. Starting in 2011, Story Studio facilitators and volunteers have worked with almost 10,000 youth, taking a fun and creative approach that improves literacy skills and builds self-confidence. Bringing together kids of all ages with authors and illustrators, they produce nearly 1,500 youth-authored books annually. Working at the community level, 80% of their programming is directed towards meeting the needs of vulnerable youth and lower-income families to transform lives and strengthen communities. Story Studio partners with a broad range of community organizations to maximize their accessibility. They also lead workshops for teachers, parents and other adult learners, inspiring others to support youth writing and storytelling.

Awet Biagaber – Manitoba
Awet Biagaber is a determined and resilient learner with a passion for mentoring youth. Having overcome painful and challenging life experiences including traumatic injuries, Awet is determined to succeed in his education and commitment to helping others. Through volunteering with organizations such as the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization of Manitoba (IRCOM), he shares his life experiences to assist and motivate others. Since beginning to attend literacy classes through the Elmwood Group of Adult Learners (GOAL) program in September 2019, Awet has made remarkable gains in literacy and numeracy. Awet’s goal is to become a Social Worker to help at-risk youth.

Elaine Johnson-Chafe – Newfoundland and Labrador
In 2019, Elaine Johnson-Chafe made the life-changing decision to obtain her high school diploma. After leaving school at an early age and working the same job for over twenty years, Elaine became unemployed and saw an opportunity to fulfill the dream of improving her education. Her positive attitude, passion for learning, hard work and determination to succeed have allowed her to improve her literacy skills and progress though the Adult Basic Education program at a rapid pace. She describes the experience as having improved her confidence and preparing her for success. Today, Elaine is close to achieving her high school diploma and plans to enroll in a post-secondary education program. She is excited for the future and the possibility of a career, not just a job.