Council of the Federation Announces Literacy Award Winners for 2010

Marcia Jeffers – Nova Scotia
Marcia Jeffers has every reason to be proud of herself. She returned to school after ten years and has excelled both academically and personally. When an opportunity arose to enrol in the Link Continuing Care Assistant (CCA) Program, she did so, not expecting to succeed. However, that first month she decided to change and attributes this desire to change, to a handful of teachers who believed in her. Marcia approached school work with a determination she had never experienced before and her marks soon reflected her abilities. Her volunteer work includes the Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) Student’s Association, the Breakfast Program, Student Success Banquet and Orientation Committee, in addition to tutoring at a community learning program. Marcia graduated in June 2010 with a Nova Scotia High School Graduation Diploma for Adults and a Continuing Care Assistant certificate from NSCC Truro Campus through the Link CCA Program. She is very proud to have been chosen to be Valedictorian at her graduation ceremonies.

Elisapee Flaherty – Nunavut
Elisapee’s career in the field of literacy began as a teacher in the community of Kimmirut where she taught primary grades for eleven years. Having moved to Iqaluit in 2006, Elisapee became a Consultant at the Department of Education’s Teaching and Learning Centre. As a further example of her commitment to higher learning, she received her Master’s of Education in 2009. Elisapee continues to promote literacy in her community by working as a Consultant at the Teaching and Learning Centre and through her dedication as the Friends of Iqaluit Centennial Library’s Inuktitut Literacy Coordinator. Elisapee plays a key role in the success of the Literacy program, encouraging literacy by targeting school-aged and early learners. The ability to offer literacy programs in Inuktitut is vital to the goal of serving all Iqaluit families, and as a result, many parents have commented on their children’s improvement with the language. Elisapee is an outstanding role model for children and the local community. She is both safeguarding the Inuktitut language for the future, and providing children with the tools they will need to succeed in a rapidly-changing territory.

Leah Morris – Ontario
Leah Morris has shown herself to be a passionate, visionary and engaging person, who has inspired her community toward action on literacy. Under her leadership, the Adult Basic Education Association of Hamilton has become a well-established regional literacy network and community resource. Ms. Morris was instrumental in educating the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce about the relevance of literacy and essential skills as a business imperative. In 2004 Ms. Morris set out to create Lifelong Learning Week, without any dedicated funding, staff or partners. Her dream is now a reality and the Lifelong Learning Week will be celebrating its sixth anniversary this year. This is just one of many other examples demonstrating the singular success of Ms. Morris as a networking leader.

Trout River Industries Inc. – Prince Edward Island
Trout River Industries Inc. in Coleman, PEI manufactures uniquely designed live bottom trailers. In March of 2009, this company initiated a workplace education program at the plant. Workplace Learning PEI Inc. assessed the workers to determine what they felt they needed to be successful in their day-to-day work. Staff suggested General Education Development (GED) preparation to earn the PEI Grade Twelve Equivalency certificate, basic computer, communications and leadership training. To date, ten of the forty-one employees have written and passed the 5 GED tests and have received the grade 12 equivalency diploma. Many other employees have taken computer skills training at work. Trout River Industries Inc. introduced a unique in-house program called “Trout River 101”. Production was shut down for a week while all employees took part in training to enhance teamwork, attitude, communication and essential skills. By investing in their employees, Trout River has seen increased confidence among their employees and they have decreased their trailer production time from 4 days to 1½ days. Trout River Industries Inc. is truly a literacy leader and a company that fosters a learning culture at work.

Danielle Beaudry – Québec
Danielle had to drop out of school at the end of Grade 7. Despite her mother’s support and encouragement, she had a hard time integrating in her first school experience. Several years later, she decided to register in a literacy program in order to improve her writing and reading skills. “I decided on my own to go back to school and I’m very proud of it.” Her literacy training gave her additional skills to communicate with her peers, increasing at the same time her self-confidence and independence. She is now a member of several women’s associations and is involved with helping the elderly. All her life Mrs. Beaudry has met challenges, both the ones presented to her and those she gives herself. “I haven’t always been lucky, but today I want to go forward and I’m motivated to do so.”

Kim Newlove – Saskatchewan
Demonstrating a commitment to literacy leadership, innovation, research, promotion, advocacy and professional knowledge exchange throughout her 29 years at Saskatoon Public Schools, Ms. Newlove has served as an elementary teacher, vice-principal, consultant, coordinator and Superintendent of Education. Kim Newlove was instrumental in Saskatoon Public Schools adopting early learning and literacy as a learning priority and establishing the multi-faceted Literacy for Life program. Now in its fifth year, the program’s overall goal is to have all K-12 students reading at, or above, grade level. According to the Deputy Director of Saskatoon Public Schools, Kim Newlove’s legacy “has had a resounding positive impact on our school division, our community, and our partners. It has also had a positive impact throughout our province and even onto the national and international scene.”