Alberta encompasses over 660,000 square kilometers, and the Centre for Family Literacy’s Alberta Prairie Classroom on Wheels (C.O.W.) bus has traveled to its farthest reaches, from Cardston in the south to Rainbow Lake and Fort Chipewyan in the North.
Now in its fifth year, the “C.O.W. bus” has made over 400 community visits and delivered programming to over
25,000 children and their families. On the bus, staff interact with parents and children to share and model parent-child interaction and activities that support early literacy development.
Over 200 people attended the Centre’s annual Leading with Literacy Breakfast. Manmeet Bhullar, MLA for Calgary-Montrose and parliamentary assistant to the Alberta Minister of Advanced Education and Technology was the keynote speaker. Jim Hole was on hand to congratulate the winners of the Lois Hole Memorial Literacy Awards.
Colin DesJardine received the Adult Learner Award in recognition of the courage he demonstrated in stepping forward to ask for help to improve his literacy skills, and his commitment to staying with the program until he reaches his goals.
Boys can be amazing scholars, especially if they are interested in the topic. This fact is obvious to anyone who has had the pleasure of listening to a young boy recite the statistics of his favourite sports team, the details of natural phenomena or the amazing powers of a video game hero. Yet, even with such marvelous minds and curious instincts, they generally lag behind their female peers in language acquisition, reading scores and early school success. While generalized statistics cannot be applied to all boys, it would be ill-advised to ignore the alarming drop-out rates of boys, the higher number of boys identified as being at-risk of not achieving scholastic success and their tendency, more often than girls, to declare themselves non-readers.
Barry MacDonald, author and founder of MentoringBoys.com, has put serious thought into the issue of boys and literacy. Here are just a few of his suggestions on how to get boys excited about reading:*
Until recently, tutors, students and staff using the Centre’s library signed out books using the old method of stamping cards. This outdated system did not allow students to become comfortable and familiar with the system used at public libraries. There was also no searchable database of library materials; you had to physically search the shelves for items.
A donation from the Rotary Club of Edmonton provided funding to purchase new library software that has automated our system. Patrons will now use a library card and electronic check out. Using any web server, they are able to search for books using our on-line catalogue and access their own account.
We all make annual donations to our favourite charities, but do we think about how we could assist them in the future, so they can continue to address the important issues that mean so much to us?
There are many ways that you can make plans now to provide support to these charities in the future. Consult with your financial planning advisor who can assist you in determining the best way to include charitable giving as part of your plan. Some options you might explore include:
Thursday, May 21, 2009
The Second Annual An Evening of Wine & Words
Fairmont Hotel Macdonald, Empire Ballroom
With guest speakers
Jim Cuddy & Greg Keelor
of Blue Rodeo
• 6:00 p.m. cocktails • 7:00 p.m. dinner
Order early as this event sold out last year.
For more information, call 780.421.7323 or
Thanks to everyone who braved the very cold temperatures Saturday, January 24 to participate in the first-ever Family Literacy Day World Record Attempt!