Canada’s Premiers Announce 2023 Literacy Award Recipients

Louise Lalonde – Ontario
Louise Lalonde is an iconic figure in the field of literacy and basic skills (LBS) in Ontario with a career that spans more than 40 years and includes being the Director of the Moi J’Apprends Centre which proudly has five points of service. As a pioneer in her field, she has made a significant contribution to LBS through her pivotal role in creating Ontario’s adult literacy curriculum framework and her expertise in developing quality resources. In addition to her accomplishments within the Francophone network in the province, Louise has promoted the field by establishing collaborations that have expanded the impact of literacy across the country. Today, Louise continues to leave a lasting imprint that inspires current and future generations of actors engaged in this important field.

Dean Ramos – Prince Edward Island
Dean moved to Prince Edward Island from the Philippines in June 2022. He worked extremely hard on improving his English skills and studying towards his GED which he obtained in March 2023. Dean has overcome many barriers through hard work, determination and personal sacrifice. Dean’s strong work ethic and determination has inspired many of his classmates. While studying for his GED, Dean would always find time to help others, with the concepts that he had already mastered. His instructor would quite often refer to him as “Teacher Dean” and he wholeheartedly embraced this title. Dean plans on continuing his education by upgrading his English at Holland College with the hopes of ultimately attending the Journalism program.

Djénébou Drabo – Québec
Djénébou Drabo is a student at the Centre d’éducation des adultes des Navigateurs, who has shown an exceptional level of commitment to her general adult education studies over the past three years. Despite being uprooted by immigration and having a low level of literacy, this mother of three young children has shown that perseverance and hard work can lead to unexpected levels of proficiency, as well as helping her to better integrate into Québec society. Thanks to Djénébou’s diligence, commitment and the effort she has put into her learning, she has obtained the prerequisites that will allow her to follow vocational training at the Centre de formation professionnelle de Lévis in Care for people in institutional settings and at home that, she hopes, will lead her to a job as a care attendant.

Prince Albert Literacy Network – Saskatchewan
The Prince Albert Literacy Network (PALN), established in 1988, provides community literacy leadership by engaging with others to recognize the many ways that literacy enhances the everyday lives of everyone in the community. PALN has ensured that community events such as parades, family expos and the farmer’s market include a literacy component. PALN distributes Story Sacks, hosts regular StoryWalks®, provides family literacy kits and free little libraries to increase access for families to books. The commitment to adult learners is equally as strong with free and flexible tutoring programs for those new to Canada and support for those where literacy is a barrier. The PALN works tirelessly to create awareness about the positive impact of literacy in unique, inclusive and culturally responsive ways.

Susan McCallum – Yukon
Susan McCallum has dedicated her life’s passion for illustration to helping keep the Yukon First Nations languages strong and thriving. Susan has illustrated dozens of First Nations children’s books in several languages. She has created Native literacy board games, flash cards, curriculum, and a Native language app. Her most recent achievement is having the book, “Shëtsey – My Grandpa”, written by Georgette McLeod and illustrated by Susan, selected for the Dolly Parton Imagination Library. In addition to creating works of art, Susan is also a highly sought-after artist in schools. She has worked with thousands of students at schools in both the Yukon and British Columbia. Her work has opened doors to positive learning for children through creativity, learning and respect for nature and Indigenous Cultures.

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For more information:

Paola St-Georges
Manager, Events and Communications
Council of the Federation Secretariat
(343) 961-5811
[email protected]