Council of the Federation Announces Literacy Award Winners for 2012

Community Literacy of Ontario – Ontario
Community Literacy of Ontario (CLO) is a network of community-based literacy agencies. CLO was created in 1994 and is located in Barrie. They have a passion for literacy, for learning and for the power of community. Their mission is to provide resources, information, and practitioner training. They believe in making practitioner training highly accessible and were an early adopter of online learning. CLO offers face-to-face training, online workshops, webinars, self-study training modules, podcasts, online videos and more. While CLO may be small, they have always dreamed big and worked hard to support Ontario’s community-based literacy agencies in the important work they do in helping adults to improve their literacy and numeracy skills.

Terry Affleck – Prince Edward Island
At the age of 63, Terry Affleck learned to read and today at the age of 66, he is one subject away from achieving his grade 12 equivalency. In the 1950s, early in Affleck’s schooling, low self-esteem and rebellion set in and literacy became problematic. He decided to quit school in order to work and his parents accepted his decision. Affleck was always a good worker and found employment easily. He believed he did not need more education until children arrived on the scene and he could not help them with their homework. For years, Affleck was convinced people thought he could read until a good friend suggested he take advantage of a literacy tutor. After two years with a tutor, Affleck experienced a dramatic change – he could read and enjoyed it, but most of all he realized that with a little more effort he could finally complete high school.

Romain Audet – Québec
When he began his literacy journey at the Saint-Prosper Centre d’éducation des adultes, Romain Audet could read and write a little; his math skills were non-existent. This led him to be extremely shy around others. After a while, his taste for learning grew, as did his self-confidence. His progress now enables him to go to the library, make a budget and use tools such as grammar books, dictionaries and the computer to upgrade his skills. Audet has also formed new friendships and varied his hobbies, which allows him to enjoy life more within his circle of friends. In short, as he himself says, “My life has changed. I’m no longer alone. I feel good about myself!”

Gordon Li – Saskatchewan
When Gordon Li came to Canada more than 20 years ago, he was fluent in Chinese and Russian but had few English skills. He attended community-based literacy programs, including those at the Regina Public Library, Regina Open Door Society, the Lifelong Learning Centre and the Regina Literacy Network. He considers society to be his classroom. Li is dedicated to promoting learning and literacy engagement among adult learners. He is a peer tutor, a volunteer interpreter and assists immigrant entrepreneurs. He is currently a learner leader and the treasurer for the Regina Literacy Network as well as a member of Saskatchewan Literacy Network’s provincial speakers’ bureau and adult learner focus committee. In 2010, Li received Celebrating Seniors, the first provincial senior volunteer award.