Northwest Territories Literacy Council

This Week in Literacy

Friday, April 18, 2008

Community Events and Information

Fundraising Campaign for Samuel Hearne Secondary School (SHSS)
The 21 Challenge is a fundraising campaign for Samuel Hearne Secondary School's library. SHSS is a northern high school serving the town of Inuvik, NT, and its Inuvialuit and Gwich'in Aboriginal communities. The concept is simple: they are inviting community members and builders to help raise $21K in the first 21 days of April and become a Top 21 Challenger! You can pledge money to the campaign by contacting Erica Sum @ 1-867-777-7387 and  All the funds raised will help rebuild the library collection and restore the interior of the library. For more information check out their website:

Good News for SHSS
First Air has agreed to ship books to SHSS free of charge. First Air has been a long supporter of literacy in the NWT. We commend them for once again supporting the literacy needs of the NWT. 

Nominations open for Commissioner’s Awards
NWT Commissioner, Tony Whitford, has re-established the Commissioner’s Awards.  Nominate someone in your community or group who has contributed to our social, economic or cultural life. The deadline is June 13, 2008.  Contact or call 1-888-270-3318 or in Yellowknife 873-7400.

May 15 next deadline for Yellowknife Community Foundation
The next deadline to apply for a Yellowknife Community Foundation grant or scholarship is May 15, 2008. Visit

Canada Post Community Literacy Award nominations open
The Canada Post Community Literacy Awards nominations close on May 23, 2008. For the awards booklet, write to: 2008 Canada Post Community Literacy Awards
2701 Riverside Dr Suite N0020, Ottawa ON  K1A 0B1 or go to

Premier’s Council of the Federation Literacy Award
Literacy skills are crucial to daily living, employment, citizenship, personal advancement and enjoyment. In order to bring recognition to literacy achievements, the premiers of Canada created the Council of the Federation Literacy Award. The 2008 Northwest Territories Council of the Federation Literacy Award will honour the achievements of a learner, who has overcome obstacles and demonstrated outstanding progress in the pursuit of literacy skills in any of the NWT official languages.   NWT learners of all ages, who have excelled in literacy achievement, improved personal literacy levels and helped others to improve their literacy levels, are eligible for nomination. The learner must have been enrolled in classes within the past 18 months.  More information and the nomination forms are attached.

World Heritage Youth
The Government of Canada is pleased to include a significant youth component as part of the 32nd Session of the World Heritage Committee taking place in Quebec City. The youth program is being organized with the assistance of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO.  For more than two weeks, a number of young Canadians, between the ages of 18 to 25, and other youths from countries representing the five geographical regions of UNESCO will come together in Canada to learn about world heritage and the Convention. Working in close association with each other, participants will explore the following themes:

  • UNESCO and mechanisms for the implementation of the Convention;
  • Common Heritage of Humanity;
  • World Heritage and Responsible Tourism;
  • World Heritage and the Environment; and
  • World Heritage and a Culture of Peace.

For further information regarding the youth component at the 32nd session, please communicate with:
Cynthia Lacasse
350 Albert Street, P.O. Box 1047  Ottawa, Ontario  K1P 5V8 CANADA
Tel: 1-613-566-4414, Ext. 4550

True Sport Community Fund deadline is May 31
The True Sport Community Fund helps improve access and inclusion to sports programs for low income, Aboriginal and new Canadian children and youth.  The grants are $5,000 or $25,000.  For guidelines go to or contact

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In the News

State of Learning in Canada: Unlocking Canada's Potential
Canadians recognize the value of adult learning and training to their personal, social and economic lives. Lifelong learning is an essential ingredient of a vibrant democracy.It is also our greatest safeguard against an uncertain future as we face the challenges of increased globalization, including rapid advancements in new technologies and demand for innovation and higher productivity.  Despite a high level of educational attainment in Canada, nearly half of Canadians lack the skills they need to participate fully in today’s complex society. In 2002, only one-third of Canadian adults participated in some form of learning or training activity—and over the last decade their rate of participation has stagnated.  To read more go to

A matter of urgency:
Message Raise Canada's literacy rates by one per cent and the national income could rise by as much as $32 billion: McKenna
Michelle Porter
Published Wednesday April 16th, 2008
SAINT JOHN - Frank McKenna's message was direct: Canada's low literacy rates hurt the nation's productivity.  "I'm not entirely convinced that Canadians understand what is at stake for them if we don't raise literacy levels. Rising productivity is the ultimate source of improvement to the standard of living in Canada. Low literacy rates cost us, according to one estimate, $6 billion," he told a national audience of politicians, business leaders, education professionals and community members Tuesday afternoon, near the end of a two-day Pan-Canadian Interactive Literacy Forum.  He spoke from Saint John, where provincial key players gathered to discuss New Brunswick's role in improving literacy across the country and where The Council of Atlantic Ministers of Education and Training announced a regional literacy initiative.  To read more go to

Education Ministers Release "Learn Canada 2020"
A bold new vision for learning in Canada was released today by the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC), to address the education needs and aspirations of Canadians. The statement comes on the second day of CMEC's innovative Pan-Canadian Interactive Literacy Forum, which is being held in nine different locations across the country.
"Learn Canada 2020 is a framework document that serves as the centrepiece of the new CMEC," said the Honourable Kelly Lamrock, Chair of CMEC and Minister of Education for New Brunswick. “We recently celebrated our 40th anniversary, and what better way to reflect on years past and plan for the future than with a collective statement of our responsibilities in education and our goals for the coming decade.”  The joint ministerial statement underscores provincial and territorial responsibility for the four pillars of lifelong learning — early childhood learning and development, elementary and secondary schooling, postsecondary education, and adult learning and skills development — and proposes working collaboratively with key partners and stakeholders to ensure that all Canadians benefit from the strength and diversity of provincial and territorial education systems.  To read more go to

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New Resources and Websites

Living and Learning: Essential Skills Success Stories
The Conference Board of Canada, 2006
Taking time to work on Essential Skills often leads to success in the workplace and at home. It offers workers a bright future, while greatly improving day-to-day life.
Essential Skills help people to carry out different tasks, give them a starting point for learning other skills, and help them adjust to change. The nine Essential Skills are:

  • Reading: understanding materials written in sentences or paragraphs (e.g. letters, manuals).
  • Document Use: using and understanding labels, graphs, signs and other similar materials.
  • Numeracy: using and understanding numbers.
  • Writing: writing text or typing on a computer.
  • Oral Communication: using speech to share thoughts and information.
  • Working with Others: working with others to complete tasks.
  • Thinking: reviewing information to make decisions.
  • Computer Use: using computers and other technical tools (e.g. word processor, fax machine).
  • Continuous Learning: participating in an ongoing process of gaining skills and knowledge (e.g. workplace training).

This booklet includes six real stories about Canadian workers who have taken time to work on their Essential Skills.They show that by improving their skills, they were more successful at work and at home. Hopefully these stories will inspire you to work on your own Essential Skills.A guide to improving Essential Skills is included. It is based on what was learned from the workers’ stories.To download a copy go to

Numeracy Indicator:  A Guide for Employers, Human Resources and Social Development Canada, 2005
This tool can be used by employers to learn more about the Numeracy skills of their employees. To download a copy go to

Document Use Indicator:  A Guide for Employers Human Resources and Social Development Canada, 2005
This tool can be used by employers to learn more about the Document Use skills of their employees.  To download a copy go to

Reading Indicator:  A Guide for Employers, Human Resources and Social Development Canada, 2005
This tool can be used by employers to learn more about the reading skills of their employees. To download a copy go to

All these tools give an indication of skill levels by providing examples of Level 1 and Level 2 assessment questions. Using these tools allow employers to:

  • obtain useful information about the skills employees bring to the workplace;
  • identify current employees’ training needs;
  • and improve workplace training to target specific skill areas for improvement.

The questions duplicate actual workplace tasks performed in a variety of occupations but they do not require specialized knowledge to be correctly answered.

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Lisa Campbell

Community Literacy Coordinator
NWT Literacy Council
Box 761
Yellowknife, NT X1A 2N6
Toll Free: 1-866-599-6758
Phone: (867) 873-9262
Fax : (867) 873-2176
Web Site:

The NWT Literacy Council is a non-profit, non-government agency dedicated to supporting the development of literacy in all official languages of the NWT.

NWT Literacy Council logo

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