Northwest Territories Literacy Council

This Week in Literacy

Friday, June 20, 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

Great Canadian Literary Hunt
The deadline for This Magazine's Great Canadian Literary hunt is only two weeks away! Power up your laptops, typewriters and pencil sharpeners to produce the best original and unpublished fiction and poetry that this 12-years-running contest has ever seen. If you get it in by the July 2nd deadline, you'll be in the running for a $750 grand prize, not to mention the chance to have your work reviewed by some of Canada's top editors, publishers and writers.  You'll also receive a one-year This Magazine subscription with your entry fee, so you can keep up to date on Canadian journalism and fiction. Full contest rules can be found here:

Circumpolar Young Leaders Programme
The Circumpolar Young Leaders Programme aims to give young people from the North the opportunity to improve their leadership skills, gain international work and domestic experience with institutions working on Northern issues, enhance their understanding of sustainable development, and join a unique network of young leaders who are working towards ensuring sustainability in the North. They are looking for 5 Canadian Northern youth (age 19-30) from the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Yukon, northern Quebec and Labrador to undertake up to 6 month internships in other circumpolar countries and in Southern Canada. The positions are posted online at

In the News

Summer Learning Loss

June 12, 2008

The Canadian school year reflects the historical demands of the agricultural cycle. Students attend school in the winter and spring but not during the summer harvest. Despite the shift from a rural and agrarian society to one that is primarily urban, this academic calendar remains dominant across the country.  Under the current calendar, the summer vacation creates a gap in the learning cycle during which students forget some of that they have learned, requiring teachers to devote significant instructional time to reviewwhen students return to school. The summer break also contributes to an achievement gap between students from higher socioeconomic backgrounds and their less-advantaged classmates. To read more 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

Listen to your kids Laugh Out Loud with the 2008 TD Summer Reading Club

More than 2,000 libraries across Canada will help children retain
or improve their reading skills this summer with the free reading program

HALIFAX, June 16 /CNW/ - The TD Summer Reading Club is encouraging kids to take a break from school but not from the fun of reading books this summer.For the 13th year, TD Bank Financial Group is partnering with Library andArchives Canada and the Toronto Public Library to bring the award-winning reading club to more than 250,000 children across the country. TD has alsopledged a three-year, $2.7 million investment to help Library and Archives Canada and the Toronto Public Library run the TD Summer Reading Club through 2011. To read more go to

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Resources and Websites

Right From the Start: Literacy and Families
First published in the summer of 2007, this issue of Transitions contains a number of interesting articles on literacy. The first article, ‘How Literacy Supports Families’ is an interview with Donald G. Jamieson of the Canadian Language and Literacy Research Network (CLLRNet). Understanding how literacy supports families requires us to recognize that literacy is fundamental for people to develop their full potential in our society. To see the real impact of literacy, we need only look at those who lack literacy skills. Their lives tend to be much more marginal, more troubled and more dependent. Dr. Jamieson discusses a number of the factors that low literacy brings, from dependence on social assistance to criminal activity. And since families are foundational social units, these impacts are felt in families.

Share the Road:  A world of possibilities through learning
Canadian Commission for UNESCO, 2008
Adult learning takes in all of our life experiences – how they have enriched our lives and how we have learned from them. Lifelong learning keeps our hearts and minds engaged as we actively pursue knowledge and personal growth. And as we grow, we share our ideas and knowledge with our families, friends, colleagues and our community. But for many adult learners in this country and countless numbers around the world, there are huge challenges and roadblocks. Often adult learners must pursue knowledge by juggling multiple responsibilities. They must deal with career changes, learning problems, physical challenges, family changes, violence, trauma or resettling in a new country.  To find out more go to

Environmental Scan: Literacy Work in Canada Summary Report
Movement for Canadian Literacy , December 2007
During the fall of 2007, Movement for Canadian Literacy (MCL) conducted an environmental scan of the Anglophone literacy field in Canada. Data was gather through the use of key informant interviews (19) and a literature review. A crossnational working group guided the development of the scan. The intent of the environmental scan of the literacy field or sector was to set the stage for a larger study of the sector. The need to conduct a scan prior to the study was necessary because much of the knowledge about literacy work in Canada is informal and anecdotal. There is very little research that provides a comprehensive picture of the literacy field suitable to our purposes.

LINKAGES: Connecting Literacy and English as a Second Language:  What do we know about the Connections between Literacy and English as a Second Language in Canada?
Sue Folinsbee , November 2007
The purpose of the discussion paper is to highlight and summarize current Canadian research over the last five to seven years in terms of key themes, issues, gaps and needed strategies on connections between literacy and ESL. The paper will also reflect the perspectives of a small number of key informants from the literacy, ESL, and settlement fields on key themes. The paper will be distributed to all delegates prior to a national symposium on ESL and literacy to be held in November 2007.

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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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