Canada’s Premiers Announce 2021 Literacy Award Recipients

Summer Burton – Ontario
Summer Burton began her career in adult literacy in 2013 at Literacy Link South Central, a Literacy and Basic Skills Regional Network in London, Ontario. She has developed a reputation for innovation, developing curriculum and going above and beyond to meet the literacy needs of the adult learners, practitioners, organizations, and communities that she serves. Her love of play and game-based learning have driven her practice, such as using SMART basketballs to teach youth about math and statistics, applying Maker philosophy and tools to adult literacy, and developing soft-skills curriculum based on the principles of gamification. Summer is a skilled communicator, an outstanding webinar developer and presenter, and was instrumental in supporting the transition to on-line instruction at the onset of the pandemic.

Ian Carr – Prince Edward Island
As an educator and lifelong learner, Ian Carr has devoted his career to education. Retiring early from the classroom, Ian has worked with Workplace Learning PEI (WLPEI) for over twenty years. Since 2016, Ian has been an instructor at WLPEI’s Workplace Essential Skills Program. The success of this program is in no small part due to Ian. When asked what he does, Ian responds that he “teach[es] people confidence”. Ian’s incredible skills as an educator, wisdom, professionalism, and sense of humour make him an effective learning coach and role model within the classroom. Ian’s ability to accurately respond to individual learning needs has helped many learners reach their goals. From Ian’s perspective, the world is a classroom rich with opportunities to make learning come alive.

Yelli Coulibaly – Québec
Yelli Coulibaly is a pre-secondary student at the LaSalle Adult Education Centre. Ms. Coulibaly, a 42-year-old mother of four, is an example of courage and perseverance. For two years now, she has successfully combined a return to school with full-time employment. Thanks to her efforts, Ms. Coulibaly has made progress in reading and writing, which has allowed her to increase her personal and professional autonomy and to better support her children in their schooling. Her continued commitment to her plan to return to school demonstrates she can achieve all her goals.

Family Resource Centre Swift Current Inc. – Saskatchewan
Family Resource Centre Swift Current Inc. (FRC) is a non-profit community-based organization with a mandate to support families and ensure that children are getting the best possible start in life. In collaboration with many community organizations, including the Southwest Literacy Committee in Swift Current, the FRC offers holistic programming which incorporates literacy development within their various programs.  In the fall of 2020, the FRC expanded their programming to offer the 5-week Southwest Literacy Family Literacy Program which provided parents with specific strategies to support their child’s literacy development and introduced them to the resources available at their local library. The FRC was innovative in their support of families during COVID-19, including dropping off kits which included books, craft supplies and puzzles.