Eleanor Kingston – New Brunswick
Assisting adults with literacy skills can be a challenge, however, assisting adults who have suffered a mental illness to obtain literacy skills can be even more challenging. However, this is not the case for Eleanor Kingston, who championed a unique program that helps this group acquire literacy and life skills. In 2003, Eleanor, having devoted her life to working with the Schizophrenia Society, realized a more comprehensive program was needed. She partnered with the New Brunswick Department of Education to develop the first literacy class in the province for people with mental illness. The impact of this program is overwhelming in that over 40 learners have completed this class, have moved on to college or other areas of training, become employed either full or part-time or become volunteers in the community.
Frenzada Mallet – New Brunswick
Frenzada Mallet has taught for 35 years in Quebec and New Brunswick schools as well as in community colleges in the Acadian Peninsula. As a volunteer, she taught French grammar courses at the local library for 15 years and, in addition to revising texts, has helped out at the local seniors’ home for approximately 10 years. Ms. Mallet has a passion for the French language, and no matter how great the challenge, she wanted to ensure that literacy would be a learning solution that could open up opportunities for people of all ages, levels of education and from all walks of life. In addition, she made it possible for some of her learners to challenge themselves by getting them to participate in regional and national dictation competitions.
Robin Grant – Newfoundland and Labrador
Ms. Robin Grant is a professional writer, researcher, producer and editor, perhaps best known as founder and Executive and Artistic Director at For the Love of Learning Incorporated, an alternative education organization serving young Newfoundland and Labrador adults. Guided by the belief that too many individuals were being held back by a lack of education and literacy, through circumstances often beyond their control, she made the development of reading and writing skills an integral part of her organization’s curriculum. In May, 2008, Ms. Grant was shortlisted as one of three national finalists in the Social Action category of Canadian Living magazine’s “Me to We” awards for her work with For the Love of Learning. Ms. Grant was also profiled in the January 2009 issue of Chatelaine magazine. The article entitled “How One Woman Made a Difference” focused on Canadians working to help improve literacy skills in Canada. Ms. Grant has a B.A. (English) from Memorial University of Newfoundland, a Journalism degree from King’s College, and a never-ending passion to bolster and encourage literacy and creativity in those who need it most.
Noreen Morin – Northwest Territories
Noreen Morin is an adult learner who grew up on the land and had little formal schooling. Her first language is South Slavey. When she was a teenager she moved to Fort Liard where she learned to speak English but did not learn how to read or write. After experiencing numerous personal hardships, at age 26 Noreen decided to go to Aurora College to improve her literacy skills. Over the past seven years Noreen has worked with determination and passion while keeping her traditional culture strong. Her attendance record is outstanding, and “her optimism is indestructible.” Noreen is now an avid reader and writer, and a role model for adult learners in the community.