Northwest Territories Literacy Council

This Week in Literacy

Friday, January 11th, 2008

Community Events and Information

January 27th is Family Literacy Day

  1. Family Literacy Resources
    Check out our website at for new resources for Family Literacy Day.

    • Literacy Survivor How-to-Kit
    • Baby Book How-to-Kit
    • Supporting Literacy Development from Birth to 6 years
    • Family Literacy Ideas for Your Community
    • Fun Family Activities for Family Literacy Day

    These resources have been mailed to every school, adult education program, early education program and friendship centre. If you do not receive them in the next week or so please give us a call and we will mail a package to you.

  2. Family Literacy Day at the Yellowknife Public Library
    When: Sunday January 27, 1:00 ‐ 2:30pm
    Where: Library Meeting Room
    Families with children of all ages are invited to celebrate Family Literacy Day on Sunday January 27. This free program will include stories, games, crafts and prizes! You can register your family beginning January 14th, 2008.

  3. Your Family Literacy Day Events
    Please let us know what you have planned for Family Literacy Day in your community. We will include the information in our weekly enews.

Literacy Matters: Understanding the Impact of Literacy Levels in the NWT

When:           January 29 – 30, 2008
Where:          Explorer Hotel, Yellowknife, NT
Time:             January 29th – 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
                        January 30th – 9:00 am – noon

The Literacy Matters workshop will be facilitated by Mr. T. Scott Murray, an international expert in youth and adult literacy. The workshop will bring together representatives from governments, industry, Aboriginal training organizations, education and the voluntary sector. Participants will learn about the NWT results from the recent International Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey (IALSS) and will have in-depth discussions about how to best respond to the challenges raised by the results. For more information go to our website at or contact Aggie Brockman, Workshop Coordinator at or 873-4588.

The Original People and their Relationship with Canada Workshop

When: January 29, 30, 31 & February 1, 2008
Time: 8:45 am – 4:30 pm Daily
Place: Northern United Place

The Original People and their Relationship with Canada Workshop - hosted by the Centre for Northern Families - is designed by First Nation Facilitators to generate discussion about the history of the Original Peoples of Canada, their status as independent nations and relationship to Canada, the impact of colonization as it relates to historical circumstances and current socio‐economic conditions facing the North. The purpose of the workshop is to explore the establishment of bi‐cultural partnerships between Aboriginal and non‐ Aboriginal people/communities and to develop tools that will facilitate that process.

This workshop is geared towards those who are working in a cross‐cultural environment and would like to improve their understanding and working relationship with aboriginal people. It is also open to community members.

There is a registration fee of $250.00 to attend the workshop. The fee of $250.00 can be waived on a case‐by‐case basis. In order to attend this workshop there is a requirement that interested participants make a commitment to attend the full four days in order to obtain the full benefit and learning from the workshop. There will be no reimbursement of registration fees, except in personal emergency circumstances.

For further information regarding this workshop, please contact Debra Buggins at 873‐2566 or 446‐1370(cell) or by email at

A National Creative Writing Contest

Write and illustrate a story, and you could become a published author! Winning stories will be selected from each participating province and territory. The stories will be then published together in an exciting book and shared with kids in other places throughout Canada and the world. This year’s theme is “In the News.” Put you spin on a newsworthy story. You can base stories on events, legends or people in your community. Children must be in grade 4 or 5 at the time of entry. For more information go to this website:

Dene Language Conference

July 2‐6, 2008 in Cold Lake, Alberta. More information will be available soon.

top of page

In the News

International Survey of Reading Skills 2005

Canada has very few people who exhibit a really limited capacity in reading skills, according to a new follow‐up study to an international literacy survey. The study suggests that the approach to improving reading levels for people with the lowest proficiency will likely have to vary from individual to individual. That is because their specific reading skills differ widely and thus, the teaching methods will vary according to learnersʹ needs. The study was based on results from the International Study of Reading Skills (ISRS), conducted in 2005. It was a followup survey of the Canadian component of the 2003 International Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey (IALLS) that measured literacy skills among individuals aged 16 to 65 in Canada and six other countries. To read the complete article go to

NWT author launches new book in YK from CJCD‐FM's website

Richard Van Camp is the author of several books for adults and children. Heʹs also a professor of creative writing at the University of British Columbia. The Fort Smith native was in Yellowknife yesterday to share his new book with a group of parents and their young children. Van Camp says he grew up with a tradition of storytelling. ʺWe were never once turned away from the supper table. We had visitors at night and were always told, ʹOh, you boys, we have company coming to listen.ʹ It was very important to my parents. We listened to stories of how the world really stories, medicine stories, stories of redemption. Beautiful stories in Fort Smith.ʺ Deanna Geraghty was at the reading with her two kids. She says her family also focuses on sharing stories. ʺMy goodness, we must read 10 books a day and we read at night. We love it...reading is our world. Weʹve done it since we were young. Weʹve chosen not to have TV in the house so we can advocate reading.ʺ The NWT Literacy Council sponsored the event and will distribute 500 of Van Campʹs books to parents around the territory. He will visit Fort Smith and Behchoko this week before coming back to Yellowknife on Friday to share his stories with students at St. Patʹs High School.

top of page

New Resources and Websites


RiPAL‐BC is a grass roots network of individuals and organizations committed to research in practice in adult literacy in BC. We have three main objectives:

  • to support research‐related professional development among BC practitioners;
  • to promote research in practice and create opportunities for BC practitioners to participate;
  • to develop a plan to sustain research in practice in BC over the long‐term.

The call for increased accountability and results in the Canadian public sector affects the literacy field. Literacy programs need to be able to demonstrate their success in terms of the changes they bring about. But how to assess this change? From the Ground Up is an innovative project that is employing an outcome measurement approach in answer to that question.

Practitioners in five Community Literacy programs received training on outcome approaches to monitoring and reporting, developed frameworks and monitoring tools. The tools were field-tested, reviewed and are now available online.

Free & Inexpensive Adaptive Technology Database

One concern that has been repeated throughout all of our studies has been the issue of the high cost of adaptive software and hardware. In response to this, we have undertaken the compilation of a list of free and/or inexpensive hardware and software alternatives that might be useful. Some of these are long‐running demos, while others are fully functional. We in no way are suggesting that these replace the higher end hardware and software currently on the market. However, as a short‐term solution, or for the purposes of trying out different adaptive technologies, we think they are a good place to start.

How can you help? If you use or know of software that is either free or inexpensive ($200 or less) that you feel would be beneficial to students with disabilities, we want to hear about it. Please send the name of the software and, if you have it, the name of the company which makes it and a web site to

The Directory of Canadian Adult Literacy Research in English – Back in action

Kirstie Blackmore, who is working with Dr. Linda Phillips at the Canadian Centre for Research on Literacy at the University of Alberta, would like to inform you that after a break since late 2005, they have recently taken up the project of The Directory of Canadian Adult Literacy Research in English once again. She is hoping that by making contact with each of you they can fill in the space from September 2005 to now with any Canadian research done in the field of adult literacy and of course, continue on from this point with any research in progress and any research completed in the future.

If you have research you would like considered for the directory please send it to Kirstie via email at or if you prefer, by mail at Room 640, Education Building South, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 2G5. She can be contacted with any questions or concerns through the same email address or, by phone, at (780) 492‐9253. To learn a little more about the Directory and see the kinds of research they have included up until this point please visit them online at

top of page

NWT Literacy Council Membership?

Have you renewed your membership with the NWT Literacy Council? If not, why not take a moment and do so right away ‐ that way you can stroke it off your New Yearʹs resolution list! Donations are also gratefully accepted. A membership application form is posted on our web site at: Itʹs halfway down the right hand column under ʺAbout Us.ʺ Memberships are $10 for an individual, $20 for families, and $25 for organizations and businesses. You can print a copy of the form from our web site and mail in your cheque or money order. Or you can drop by our office at 5122 ‐ 48th Street in Yellowknife.

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

top of page