Northwest Territories Literacy Council

This Week in Literacy

Friday, May 2, 2008

Community Events and Information

The Land is our Storybook – Book Launch
Mindy Willet and First Nation Storytellers have written a series of books about northern culture and tradition.  There are 10 books in the series and the first 2 books will be launched on May 4th – We Feel Good Out Here and The Delta is My Home.  Click here for information about these books and the series.

When:             May 4th
Where:            Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre
Time:               2:00 pm

Book signing – Monday, May 5th at noon at the Yellowknife Book Cellar.

Elizabeth Hay is Coming to YK
Elizabeth Hay is the author of the recently awarded Giller Prize – Late Nights On Air. Late Nights On Air is set in a small Yellowknife radio station in 1975, where two young women are learning on the job as novice broadcasters reading the news during the slow hours of the night. 

Elizabeth Hay was born in Owen Sound, Ontario, the daughter of a high school principal and a painter, and one of four children.  She attended the University of Toronto, then moved out west, and in 1974 went north to Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories. For the next ten years she worked as a CBC radio broadcaster in Yellowknife, Winnipeg, and Toronto, and eventually freelanced from Mexico. In 1986 she moved to New York City, where for a time she taught creative writing in the continuing education department of New York University. In 1992, with her husband and two children, she returned to Canada, settling in Ottawa, where she has lived ever since.  She has written several books both fiction and non-fiction.

Schedule for Yellowknife

May 12           Brown Bag Lunch at the Library     noon – 1:00 pm
Come and hear Elizabeth read from her new book.

May 13           NACC Presentation   7:30 – 9:30 pm
Elizabeth and other local authors and musicians will give a presentation.  Admission by donation.

May 14           Baker Centre              2:00 pm

Elizabeth will share her stories with the seniors during coffee break.

United Way call for proposals
The United Way of Yellowknife has $35,000 to invest in Yellowknife area human service agencies working to reduce the effects of poverty. Deadline for proposals is May 16, 2008. For information, go to or email

Human rights discussion at May 6 Brown Bag Lunch
Join Therese Boullard, of the NWT Human Rights Commission, Tuesday, May 6 at the Volunteer NWT Brown Bag Lunch at noon at the Yellowknife Public Library. Volunteers have the same rights as employees. Services provided by voluntary groups face the same rules as private and government services. What else should you know about the voluntary sector and NWT Human Rights legislation?  Out of town people can contact for a summary of the discussion. For more information, contact Aggie at 873-4588.

Free meeting space available
The Government of Canada's Greenstone Building in Yellowknife has three meeting rooms which may be available for use by voluntary organizations. Rooms seat 12-25 people. These rooms are free of charge between 8 am and 5 pm Monday to Friday.  A fee is charged for evening or weekend use to cover security overtime costs.  Your federal host department can provide additional details or arrange a booking.

NWT Trail Building Fund accepting proposals
The NWT Recreation & Parks Association Trail Building Fund provides funding to all NWT communities for trail development.  Grants of up to $10,000 are available.  Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis. For details go to or contact or 867-874-2595.

Volunteer opportunity with new Canadians
Interested in other cultures? Help newcomers to Canada adjust to life in Yellowknife. Volunteers are needed for a program that connects newcomers to Canada with community members for 1-2 hours a week for six months. Please call 920-3279 with your interest or questions or email

Summer Institute 2008: ESL and Literacy
June 26 - 28, 2008
Recent studies acknowledge that many second-language learners, including some who lack mother tongue literacy, enroll in adult literacy programs. The 2008 Summer Institute will bring together participants to meet with organizations and individuals who have done the early research. We will explore the implications of what we know for practice and policy, and propose strategies to bridge the traditional gap between ESL and literacy providers. Go to this website for more information and a registration package:

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In the News

Education Ministers unleash national literacy agenda
The Pan-Canadian Literacy Forum planned by the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC) was held on April 14 and 15 at various venues across Canada. The forum linked conference sites in Saint John, Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg, Regina, Edmonton, Vancouver, Arviat, and Whitehorse. Through real-time webcasting, more than 3,500 participants heard from literacy and education experts, entertainers, and business and media leaders on a variety of literacy-related themes.

Canada's ministers of education released "Learn Canada 2020", a joint declaration on education, on April 15, during the second day of their Pan-Canadian Interactive Literacy Forum. The Honourable Kelly Lamrock, Chair of CMEC and Minister of Education for New Brunswick, spoke about the declaration during a press conference of the Council of Atlantic Ministers of Education and Training (CAMET) being held in Saint John, New Brunswick.  Get Learn Canada 2020 materials here:

Increasing literacy is a defining challenge, by By Kelly Lamrock, Minister of Education
Can literacy be a defining national issue?  My colleague, Ed Doherty, minister of post-secondary education, training and labour, and I spent two days with hundreds of people who believe it can -- and must. The Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC) hosted a literacy summit last week, linking 3,500 participants in 10 cities across Canada.  As the chair of CMEC it was my honour to close the national summit by talking about where we go from here. I'd like to share with you what my colleagues and I learned from Canadians.

We know that thousands of Canadians can't read well enough to perform tasks many take for granted -- such as reading this newspaper, a workplace training manual or a simple bedtime story to their kids. In New Brunswick, there are around 300,000 adults who can't read well enough to learn a new skill if their job changed.
There is a moral element to this challenge. In a nation as prosperous as Canada, it is surely a moral failing that we have failed to provide the most basic opportunity to so many. Equally so, if we fail to answer the challenge of universal literacy we may risk the very prosperity that lets us solve the problem.  To read the whole article go to

Study: High school dropouts returning to school
Fewer young women than men quit school without their high school diploma. And female dropouts are also more likely than men to return to class to finish their high school education, according to a new study.  The study, "High school dropouts returning to school," based on data from the Labour Force Survey and the Youth in Transition Survey, found that a significant number of high school dropouts take advantage of the "second chance" system that offers them another opportunity to get their diplomas.  In 2004/2005, nearly 3 in every 10 high school dropouts (29%) aged 20 to 24 had returned to school. The proportion for women was about 35%, and for their male counterparts, about 26%.  The study found that only a few factors had an impact on a young woman's decision to return. These were mostly personal, such as the circumstances under which they left school in the first place. Young women who left school because of personal reasons (often, pregnancy) were 30% more likely to return than other female dropouts.  To read more go to

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New Resources and Websites

Publication: Getting the Blokes on Board
Family Literacy often focuses on the important role a mother has in sharing literacy with her child. However, as family dynamics continue to change, fathers are more often the primary caregivers of children.   "Getting the Blokes on Board" looks at involving fathers and male carers in reading with their children. This new National Literacy Trust magazine, aimed at professionals who work with parents, contains lots of ideas for getting fathers and male care givers reading with their children. If you've never worked with dads before, or would just like a few extra ideas, "Getting the Blokes on Board" is for you.   To read this magazine go to

Online Resource: The Canadian Literacy Thesaurus
The Canadian Literacy Thesaurus contains terms which describe literacy both as a field of knowledge and as an application. Developed in consultation with the Canadian literacy community, both the terminology and structure of the Thesaurus reflect the diversity of regional literacy practices and activities across Canada.
The Thesaurus can be used to index documents, whether they are print, audiovisual, or electronic. It can also be used to organize reading lists and bibliographies. People can consult the Thesaurus when searching in existing databases such as library catalogues. Finally, the Thesaurus will be helpful to people who wish to familiarize themselves with terminology or emerging concepts in the Canadian literacy field.  Go to http://thesauru title="xxxxx website"

2005 Resource Guide for ABE, ABE Florida 2005

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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.

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