Northwest Territories Literacy Council

This Week in Literacy

Friday, July 4th, 2008

Community Events and Information

Literacy Dates for Next Year

International Literacy Day                           September 8, 2008
NWT Literacy Week                                     September 29 – October 3, 2008
National Family Literacy Day                     January 27, 2009
Aboriginal Languages Month                      March 2009
International Children's Book Day              April 2, 2009
World Book Day                                           April 23, 2009

Read all over the Map
The Yellowknife Library is hosting a summer reading program for children this summer called Read all over the Map.  You can register your children at the library and it’s free!
Ages 3 – 5      Wednesdays from 10 – 11 am
Ages 6 – 9      Thursdays from 10 – 11 am
Ages 9 – 12    Thursdays from 1:30 – 2:30 pm

Summer Café
The Yellowknife Association for Community Living is pleased to announce the opening of the Summer Café again this year.  The Summer Café is open from 11: 30 to 1:30 each week day.  They have a new cook so you can expect your old favourites as well as some new dishes. Come join the old gang for great food and sun on the outdoor patio. For a reservation please call 873-2218 or just go to the Abe Miller Building  4912 – 53rd Street.

Health and Literacy: Constructing Curriculum for Health Care Providers:  A Learning Institute
When:             October 16 – 18, 2008
Where:           Calgary
For more information go to

NWT Literacy Council Resource Centre
The NWT Literacy Council Resource Centre will be closed over the summer. We hope to reopen in early fall. Keep watching! We will let you know when we’re ready to open again.

In the News

Summer Learning Loss

Integrating Technology into Your Literacy Practice with Moodle

By Nancy Friday, AlphaPlus Centre, June 8

Moodle is an open-source online learning resource used for creating online courses, meetings and discussions and it is increasingly moving into the mainstream education environment in Canada. AlphaPlus has been using Moodle for the past two years to host a number of learning opportunities for practitioners and learners. We have trained practitioners how to use Moodle to create their own courses and we have also used it to develop a number of new AlphaRoute courses for learners. 

An eight-week Moodle training course will be offered during the months of October and November. Training spaces are limited to 50 practitioners. If you are interested, please contact Nancy Friday.  To find out more about Moodle go to

The word on literacy

The Ottawa Citizen Published: Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Despite the gloomy language in a new report on literacy in Canada, we are not becoming a nation that can't read.
"Canada's literacy future does not look promising," says the Canadian Council on Learning. It predicts that by 2031, the number of Canadians with low literacy will be much higher than it is today. The number of seniors with low literacy will double.  That's not good news, but it's not as scary as it sounds. The main reason the numbers are going up is simple: Canada's population is growing. In fact, the council predicts that the proportion of Canadians with low literacy will hold steady or even decline slightly.  To read more go to

More Action Must Be taken on Low Literacy Rates in Canada:

Frontier College responds to new literacy report Reading the Future, Toronto, June 12
Frontier College calls for more effort and resources – from government, educators, agencies and the private sector – to address Canada's low literacy levels in light of the Canadian Council on Learning's report Reading the Future, that indicates nearly half of all adult Canadians (48%) have low literacy skills and forecasts the number of Canadians with low literacy skills will increase by more than three million to 15 million by 2031.

“The report's findings should be of concern to everyone who cares about Canada's future,” says Sherry Campbell, President of Frontier College. “Low literacy skills not only hurt Canadians' economic prospects but numerous studies have shown that people with low literacy levels suffer greater health and social problems because they cannot read drug prescriptions; cannot read a newspaper headline or understand a bus schedule; do not know how to access community services and are not as engaged in their community.”  To read the whole article go to

Groups discuss ways to address literacy issues
Daily Gleaner, By Jennifer Dunville, June 25
Lynda Homer wants to change the way New Brunswickers think about literacy.  The family literacy program co-ordinator said reading problems in the province can't begin to be solved until attitudes change.  "Literacy isn't just taking a book and reading to your child. Even though that's important, it's much more than that," Homer said.  "Literacy is part of our daily lives; it's how we function. We need to embrace that and use it in our programming if we're going to reach children and get them excited about literacy."  To read this article go to

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Resources and Websites

Report of the Pan-Canadian Education Indicators Program, 2007

PCEIP’s mission is to publish a set of statistical measures on education systems in Canada for policy makers, practitioners and the general public to monitor the performances of education systems across jurisdictions and over time.  This edition has:

Chapter A:  A Portrait of the School-Age Population

Chapter B:  Financing Education Systems

Chapter C:  Elementary-Secondary Education

Chapter D:  Postsecondary Education

Chapter E:  Transitions and Outcomes

To download this document go to

Toward a Labour Force Strategy for Canada’s Voluntary & Non-profit Sector

HR Council for the Voluntary & Non-profit Sector, 2008

The intent of this first report is to provide an introduction to the Labour Force Study. What you’ll find in this initial report is a framework for understanding the sector’s labour force as well as the trends and demands that contribute to the sector’s labour force challenges:

  • Section 1 defines and classifies the sector.
  • Section 2 describes what is meant by a labour market.
  • Section 3 outlines what is already known about paid employment in the sector.
  • Section 4 looks at the labour market trends affecting the sector, the changing demands placed on organizations and emerging strategies to strengthen the sector and its labour force.

What you won’t find in this report are solutions. At this stage in the process, it’s about laying the foundation for a labour force strategy for the sector. Upcoming reports will feature the findings from the surveys of employers and employees (July 2008) and recommendations for follow-up action (March 2009).  To download go to

The Interplay Between Formal and Informal Learning for Low Skilled Workers:  Project Description and Methods
Partnerships in Learning, Ottawa, January 2008
The main objective of this two year project was to trace the learning paths, trigger events and decisions that lead basic level workers to become engaged in both formal and informal training in the workplace.  The second related objective was to document the range of workplace education programs, the incidental or tacit knowledge and skills that are acquired outside of the formal training program and how these pieces fit together as a strategy for lifelong learning and work.  To download this document go to

Family Literacy Resources and Links
Check out this link of great family literacy resources and family literacy links:

Connecting the Dots…Linking Training Investment to Business Outcomes and the Economy

Canadian Council of Learning, Allan Bailey, 2007

This paper addresses a rising chorus of national and international studies that have singled out some pervasive and fundamentally unhealthy trends in the Canadian economy. Specifically, Canada’s preparedness to compete in the increasingly competitive, knowledge-based, global marketplace is in jeopardy. For some years, Canada’s economic growth has been lagging precariously behind that of its major competitors such as the United States. From the research, it seems clear that this downslide is rooted in a chronic national blind spot—a lack of awareness that investing in the human capacity of Canada’s workforce is paramount to success.

This is regrettable because much of the research literature on training’s impacts on business performance suggests that firms which invest more in training typically report higher productivity and wage levels. A recent World Bank study of 1,500 enterprises, for example, found that the return on training investment was 24%. It found that an increase in training of 10 hours per year per employee was associated with a 0.6% increase in productivity. Such results suggest that the level of investment by Canadian firms in skills development may have an important bearing on economic performance and will become especially critical as we advance further into the knowledge economy. This paper reviews some of the key issues relating to Canada’s economic performance and explores critical linkages between weak national productivity growth, business performance and underinvestment in training and skills development.   To download go to

Literacy and the Labour Market:  The Generation of Literacy and  Its Impact on Earnings for Native Born Canadians

David A. Green and W. Craig Riddell, November 2007

In this paper, they first examine the distribution of literacy skills in the Canadian economy and how they are generated. In large part, the generation of those skills must have to do with formal schooling and parental inputs into their children’s education. The paper examines those issues, though not as completely as would be possible with a longitudinal dataset that includes literacy type questions, such as the NLSCY. The paper also investigates the nature of literacy generation in the years after individuals have left formal schooling and are in the labour market. To download this document go to

The Colour of Peace
The Colour of Peace is for colouring, thinking, singing, drawing, teaching and learning about peace. It’s for children – pre-school to elementary. Sixteen children, teens and adults from two countries and seven towns and cities put their ideas into this book. These people include Carolyn Pogue and Marty Brown—former Yellowknifers—and Andrea Czarnecki, Denise Bicknell McCann and Samantha Sanderson who still live in Yellowknife. Books are $9 each. For the price of two good cups of coffee, people receive a colouring/story book, list of peace resources, information about kids changing the world and a song. Their $9 also helps support peace camps for kids and UNICEF. Copies are available from Playing for Life, 918 Seventeen St., Calgary, Alberta T2N; or from Andrea Czarnecki at 873-9689; or through Group discounts are also available.

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Lisa Campbell

Resource and Information Sharing 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.

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