Northwest Territories Literacy Council

This Week in Literacy

Friday, March 17th, 2008

In this E-News

At the end of this week there will be no "This Week in Literacy" as it is Good Friday.

Community Events and Information

PGI Fundraiser for Literacy

Tickets for our two fundraiser evenings, April 14 and 15, 2008 at the Northern Arts and Culture Centre are on sale now at the Yellowknife Book Cellar. Starting at 6:00 pm come on out and putt against your favourite celebrity for a donation or buy a raffle ticket and win a great prize! The celebrity concert hosted by Shelagh Rogers will start at 7:00. Our performers are the Four Leaf Clover Jazz Combo, Murray McLauchlan, Ian Thomas, Connie Kaldor, Mike Stevens, Jonathan Torrens, and home grown celebrity Godson. Tickets are $30 for adults and $15 for students.

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.

Celebrate National Volunteer Week
The deadline to nominate an NWT outstanding volunteer is March 17. There are elder, youth, group and individual categories. For a nomination form and brochure go to What’s New at or Winners are announced during National Volunteer Week April 27-May 3. Volunteer NWT has National Volunteer Week posters and balloons from Volunteer Canada available on request. Contact or 873-4588

The Great Northern Canada Writing Contest
Do you have a story about the North? The NorthWords Writers Festival and Above & Beyond, Canada’s Arctic Journal invite you to enter the Great Northern Canada Writing Contest. To enter, write 1000 words about life in northern Canada. Cash prizes, plus publication in Above & Beyond. For more information and contest details go to

The 2008 Canada Post Community Literacy Awards!

That’s right, the Canada Post Community Literacy Awards are just around the corner with the opening of the 2008 Call for Nominations period on March 24, 2008. The Canada Post Community Literacy Awards is a national awards program dedicated to celebrating the achievements of adult learners and of educators who have helped them learn to read and write. Nominations close on May 23, 2008.

Winners in the Individual Achievement Award category will receive a cash award of $300 and a personalized Certificate of Achievement. Educator Award category winners each receive a cash award of $500 and a personalized Certificate of Achievement.

To obtain your free copy of the 2008 Canada Post Community Literacy Awards booklet, write to:

2008 Canada Post Community Literacy Awards
2701 Riverside Dr
Suite N0020
Ottawa ON K1A 0B1


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In the News

Literacy Council Gets New Director
CJCD-FM Yellowknife

The NWT Literacy Council welcomed a new executive director last month. Mandie Abrams moved to Yellowknife from Inuvik, where she worked for the Department of Education, Culture and Employment managing community and career development programs. Abrams says she wanted to work for the council because she says literacy has a vital role in our society. "I think literacy is important in that literacy affects how successful we'll be in every aspect of our life or our community. We know that low literacy has implications for the economy, for people's health and well-being, for their access to justice, for their access to programs and services." Kathryn Carriere is the President of the Board of Directors for the Literacy Council. She says the executive director plays an important role for the council, and helps ensure the funds keep flowing. "We are a project-based organization. So the money we get is for the programs we deliver, so we're hopeful that the programs we deliver we remain in tack. But yes, Mandie will work with the Department of EC and E to make sure that that happens." The new director will be kept busy in the next little while organizing a fundraiser in April, when some big name celebrities will be in town to help the council raise money.

Reading your way to better health
Toronto Star
Mar 06, 2008 04:30 Am, ROY ROMANOW

Read every day. The prescription almost seems too simple, yet its potential impact for Canada's health-care system could be sizable. What's the connection? It is well known that the determinants of health include things like income and the environment. Education, including early childhood learning, is also high on the list of those things that affect one's health and well-being. Obviously, reading is key in this regard. As well, when we need to use the health-care system or "illness system," our ability to participate in making good decisions rests, in large part, on communication – and reading is, again, key. Read more about this at the link above.

How low literacy can affect your health, March 6, 2008

“By understanding what influences our health, we can take action for ourselves and for our communities” -- Canadian Health Network

Learning about health-related issues allows individuals to gain control over their own health by helping them make educated decisions to improve their health outcomes. Attaining any control over health outcomes requires the ability to find reliable and up-to-date health-related information, the ability to understand that information, and the ability to apply the information to specific life situations. Literacy skills are a critical component in this equation and too many Canadians lack strong health-literacy skills. Read the whole article here.

N.B. ranks near bottom in health literacy – report, By Marc Hudon
Published Tuesday March 4th, 2008

OTTAWA - An advocate for New Brunswick seniors says the findings of a health-literacy report released Monday has prompted his organization to better inform its members about communication challenges between doctor and patient.

"I think (this report) is a wake-up call for us," said Alban Landry, vice-president of the New Brunswick Senior Citizens' Federation.

Health literacy is a patient's ability to ask for, understand, evaluate and communicate information as a way to promote and maintain good health. This includes understanding the potential side-effects of a particular medication or knowing what questions to ask when faced with a medical condition. To read the whole article go to

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New Resources and Websites

Adult Literacy Resources: Best books and links for tutors to try!
Halifax Learning Network, 2007

Learning from the Experts: A Qualitative Report
by Brenda Wright for the Saint John Learning Exchange, August 2007

Practitioners as Learners: A Professional Development Project, Saskatchewan Literacy Network, 2006
The central goal to this project was to research, develop, implement and evaluate a professional development plan for literacy practitioners in Saskatchewan. To download the report go to

Family Literacy in Ontario: The State of Family Literacy Programming – Executive Summary of a Provincial Survey, Ontario Literacy Coalition, 2006

Adult Learning in Canada: A Comparative Perspective (results form the Adult Survey and Life Skills Survey) by Kjell Rubenson, Richard Desjardins and Ee-Seul Yoon

Bridging the Gap Between Literacy and Technology

The Bridging the Gap curriculum guides will assist practitioners in teaching the skills required in the workforce, as outlined in the Conference Board of Canada's document on the Critical Skills Required of the Canadian Workforce:

  • Understand and speak the languages in which business is conducted
  • Read, comprehend, and use written materials, including charts, graphs, and displays,
  • Write effectively in the languages in which business is conducted,
  • Use technology, instruments, tools, and information systems effectively.

This easy-to-follow curriculum is broken into two components, the Education Component and the Computer Component. To find out more about this go to

Celebrating Languages Week Kit

A classroom kit showcasing the importance of learning languages and embracing other cultures through a series of multilingual posters and an accompanying teacher’s guide with classroom-ready activities. Price: $15.00 CDN for the kit, which includes 4 posters and a teacher’s guide of suggested Language Week activities. Please note that the Teacher’s Guide is written in English.

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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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