It just seems like yesterday, but it was 10 years ago this coming January, on Family Literacy Day, that the Centre for Family Literacy was officially launched with our patron, the Honourable Lois Hole, Lieutenant Governor of Alberta. Along with more than 150 guests, Mrs. Hole and Minister of Justice Dave Hancock were treated to a demonstration of our Rhymes that Bind program by young moms and their babies from the Terra Association.
The Centre’s history goes much further back than 2001. We began as an organization called Prospects Literacy Association in 1980. Prospects delivered the first volunteer adult tutor program in Alberta. In addition to this program, Prospects supported the development of training for literacy practitioners and helped to set up a provincial development organization, Literacy Coordinators of Alberta.
Prospects piloted its first family literacy program in 1983. Within five years it had begun to deliver a wide range of family literacy programs that helped parents support their children’s literacy development, while also assisting parents with their own literacy skills.
In 1998, in partnership with Success by 6®, University of Alberta, United Way of Alberta Capital Region and Alberta Learning, Prospects undertook a needs assessment with the literacy community. From this extensive consultation came the recommendation that a centre for family literacy be created with a provincial mandate to provide family literacy training, information, promotion, resources and research.
Prospects Literacy Association transferred all of its assets, staff and programs to the Centre for Family Literacy Society of Alberta in January 2001 and a new era began.
The Centre was, and still is, seen as a pioneer in developing innovative programs that focus on the positive, on expanding the abilities of parents and children to build their confidence and skills. We are at the forefront of training and recently spearheaded the development of a curriculum for a Certificate program in Family Literacy in partnership with Vancouver Community College and Conestoga College.
Pursue Your Dreams is the theme of the year-long celebration the Centre has planned for 2011. This is a golden opportunity to celebrate our accomplishments over the past decade and to look forward to the next ten years.
Our vision is of a healthy, literate society where all are able to contribute and succeed. Pursue Your Dreams is much more than a theme; it embodies our belief that the holistic approach of family literacy is the foundation of fulfilling one’s dreams.
A Few of Our Accomplishments
2001 – Established the Centre For Family Literacy
2002 – Created family literacy resources including videos, promotional kits and how-to guides for family literacy practitioners
2003 – Developed literacy training for workers in child care centers, family day home providers and frontline agencies
2004 – Launched the Alberta Prairie Classroom on Wheels (C.O.W.) Bus and distributed thousands of books through the Aboriginal Family Resource Project
2005 – Celebrated the 25th anniversary of the founding program, the Adult Tutor Program
2006 – Added Book Buddies and Multicultural Book Buddies as new programs
2007 – Established the Lois Hole Memorial Literacy Awards and the Family Literacy Regional Network
2008 – Developed Aboriginal Storysacks and Multicultural Rhymes that Bind programs to support and reflect our community’s diversity
2009 – Piloted two Workplace Family Literacy projects and a 36-week Learning Together program
2010 – Hosted Cultivating Connections, a national family literacy conference
National Family Literacy Day® Celebrations
Make grocery shopping fun for the whole family! Join us at four Sobeys stores and participate in the Great Grocery Scavenger Hunt.
Date: Saturday, January 22, 2011
Time: 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 – 3:30 p.m.
Locations: Check our website for store locations
Exploring Family Literacy
Visiting a museum, the zoo, an art gallery or taking a walk in your neighbourhood are great ways for parents and children to practice their literacy skills. The Exploring Family Literacy Activity Booklet is full of ideas you can use in the community or at home.
This booklet is part of the Centre for Family Literacy’s 10th Anniversary Celebrations and will be available at the National Family Literacy Day® celebrations as well as other events throughout the year.