Northwest Territories Literacy Council

This Week in Literacy

Friday, May 23, 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

It is never too early to start planning.  We encourage you to start planning for NWT Literacy Week now.  We will be organizing a NWT Literacy Week committee for Yellowknife in the next couple of weeks.  Some of our plans include bringing up an author and distributing resources for NWT Literacy Week to all NWT communities by the end of August.

How is the changing workforce and labour market affecting you?
Dr. Linda Duxbury will be giving a presentation about the changing workforce and labour market.  This talk will focus on a few of the key disconnects between the way we manage and the needs of today’s employees. 
When:             Monday, May 26th
Time:              7:30 pm
Where:           Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre
Cost:               FREE
Tickets are free and are available from the Indian and Northern Affairs Canada Leadershop, 1st Floor of the Bellanca Building (4914 50th Street).  You must have a ticket to get in.  For more information, contact Trudy Samuel at 669-2581. 

Family Literacy Funding
The NWT Literacy Council has family literacy funding available for communities.  Communities are eligible for $3,000.  Projects must have trained staffed to run the programs.  For more information contact Jill and Marianne at the NWT Literacy Council - or

Premier’s Council of the Federation Literacy Award – Deadline May 30th
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.  Email for more information.

Ministerial Literacy Awards – Deadline May 30th
Do you know an educator or an organization in your community that has excelled in promoting literacy and helping others to improve their literacy levels in any of the NWT’s official languages? Email for more information.

In the News

Evening course promotes literacy through storytelling, Karen Mackenzie, Northern News Services
Published Monday, April 28, 2008
SANIKILUAQ - A group of Sanikiluarmiut is breathing new life into a very old story, with the help of local elders and a handful of puppets. Participants in the Story Sack evening program at the local Arctic College are working to immortalize the legend of Kingngaaluk in Inuktitut. The story has been told around the community for many generations, according to instructor Annie Cookie.  "My grandmother's sister who is alive, that story was even before she was born," she said. "It's a very old story of the big mountain near the community, which when we grew up, we saw every day."  To read the whole article go to services/stories/papers/apr28_08ec.html

Reading First Needs Parents' Support
ProLiteracy: U.S. must address adult literacy to improve children’s literacy , May 6, 2008, Syracuse, NY
The leader of the largest adult literacy organization in the United States said today that President Bush’s $1 billion a year Reading First program failed because “it does not take into account the literacy skills of parents.”

“Learning to read doesn’t take place in the classroom alone. It begins before a child enters school and continues at the end of the school day when parents and caregivers reinforce the reading and comprehension skills developed in school,” said David C. Harvey, president and CEO of ProLiteracy. “And in many cases, the children who need special reading programs have parents who are struggling readers.” A report issued by the Department of Education last week determined that Reading First did not help low income students in grades one, two, and three better understand what they had read as it was expected to do when it was created as part of the 2002 No Child Left Behind law. Several lawmakers and federal investigators claimed the failure was due in part to reports of potential conflict of interest and management problems in the program.  To read more go to

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Resources and Websites

Free reproducible language and early literacy activities, Developed by Angela Notari-Syverson, Ph.D. and colleagues
To download materials go to and click on the purple button that says "Free Parent Education Handouts" on the home page.  Just posted are a new set of free parent-child early literacy materials, titled "On the Go".  These materials include 14 activities designed to be used outside the home:  in the car, while walking, during bus rides, etc.  The activities encourage early language and literacy development from birth through preschool.  They are appropriate for children with disabilities as well as children who are developing typically. 

Research in Practice in Adult Literacy: What does a Longitudinal Model look like?, Margaret Herrington, June 2008

Research by practitioners within their own practice is a long established tradition in parts of UK adult literacy practice (e.g. the RAPAL network) and increasingly within teacher education programmes (Barton, 1999; Tracey, 2006). Most recently, programmes of Research in Practice (RIP) have been funded by the NRDC (Hamilton & Wilson, 2006; Hamilton, Davies & James, 2007; etc.), by the LSC (West Midlands, Herrington, 2006) and by specific universities (McLachlan, Glasgow, 2006). Similarly, colleagues overseas - in Canada, Australia and the USA - have also sustained extensive Research in Practice programmes. All of this work - undertaken by individuals and by collaborative groupings - has revealed major gains at individual, community, institutional and field levels.

Though these gains are clear, there remain important obstacles to RIP being taken seriously by professional researchers and practitioners. More work, for example, is still required in relation to:

  1. Making more explicit the place of such a research stance in relation to other research traditions - the overlaps, the distinctive advantages etc.
  2. Unravelling the epistemological implications - the valuation and status of new knowledge generated in this way.
  3. Articulating the significance of such work for professional roles over time, in this field.
  4. Removing the barriers preventing practitioners and literacy learners from developing confidence in their role as knowledge makers, and affirming the case for the reconceptualisation of the adult literacy educator role to include a research in practice dimension.
To download this paper go to

The World Of Words: Any Parent Can, S. Celia Jaipaul , 2003

The purpose of this book is to help parents become more aware that reading with their children, even babies, is important. By reading with their children, they are giving them the most wonderful gift that no amount of money can buy. Parents are preparing them for success in school, and success in life.  The other purpose of this book is to give parents encouragement and support. Many parents question their ability to help their children. But it does not matter if you are a teen parent, single or divorced, have a low income or low education, or speak English as your second language. Parents can still support their child’s literacy development. This book will show parents ways to do so. To download a copy go to

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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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