Ruth Hayden Memorial Family Literacy Practitioner Award
The Centre for Family Literacy established the Ruth Hayden Memorial Family Literacy Practitioner Award to recognize the accomplishments of individual practitioners in the family literacy field.
The late Dr. Ruth Hayden was an influential leader in the areas of emergent and family literacy in Alberta. Ruth worked tirelessly to advance the field of family literacy in Alberta and beyond.
Dr. Ruth, as those in the field knew her, spent many hours researching, developing and evaluating family literacy programs. She developed numerous training manuals for the Centre for Family Literacy and co-authored many resources used in the family literacy field and in other disciplines as well. Dr. Hayden was instrumental in building community capacity across the province.
Dr. Hayden spent a great deal of time training front-line practitioners across the province, as well as mentoring and coaching policy-makers and funders. She shared her deep knowledge and helped others build the principles of family literacy into their everyday practice. She also instilled the importance of working with the whole family in her dealings with practitioners, funders and community members. She believed that parents, given the right support and strategies, could be more confident in their role as their child's first teacher.
Dr. Hayden further believed that family literacy is as much about adult literacy and learning as it is about early and emergent literacy. She saw family literacy as an opportunity to re-engage parents in their own learning environments, where they see themselves as competent learners who can better their own lives, that of their families and their communities.
The Ruth Hayden Memorial Family Literacy Practitioner Award will be presented to an individual who has excelled in the field of family literacy, maintained a high quality of service to participants in their programs and the community and shown a commitment to their own learning.
The award will be presented each year at the Literacy and Learning Symposium.
To be eligible, the nominee must be at least 18 years of age, be a resident of Alberta, consent to their nomination and not have been a previous recipient of the award. The nominee must have at least two years experience working with families in addressing the literacy needs of the family.
Deadline for 2016 nominations: Wednesday, September 7.
Donna Arnold: 2015 Second Annual Award Winner
Donna Arnold is the Executive Director of the Henday Association for Lifelong Learning in Innisfail, Alberta. Until recently, she also was the Central Alberta Family Literacy Regional Network Coordinator for the Centre for Family Literacy (CFL) and the Region 5 Co-Regional Resource Leader for the Community Learning Network (CLN).
Donna’s commitment to family literacy is seen in her innovative approach to programming. She and her team developed a number of Storysacks (a large cloth bag with a good children’s book and lots of activities to bring reading to life) that are being used in the health centre, doctors’ offices and libraries in her community.
Donna’s open and caring nature makes her an excellent trainer and facilitator. She loves sharing her passion for family literacy and collaborating with groups and organizations to build capacity in her community. Like Dr. Hayden, Donna Arnold works tirelessly to advance the field of family literacy.
Lil Radley: 2014 First Annual Award Winner
Lil is the Literacy Services Coordinator at the Lethbridge Public Library. Ms. Radley’s commitment to literacy in the Lethbridge community is demonstrated in the Read On program she administers. With the help of countless volunteer tutors and library staff, Read On has achieved great success for families, immigrants and individuals facing barriers.
“Family Literacy is powerful … A climate of love of learning, and the fun of learning becomes the norm in so many families. These achievements will never make headlines. But they should as they are huge!” said Ms. Radley upon hearing she had received the award.
“If we are to raise literacy standards in any significant way, we need to do more to ensure that all parents have the confidence to support their children's developing literacy and in so doing are encouraged to develop their own literacy.”