Northwest Territories Literacy Council

This Week in Literacy

Friday, May 9, 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.

Elizabeth Hay is Coming to YK
Elizabeth Hay is the winner of the Giller Prize for Late Nights On AirLate 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 – Deadline May 16th
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

Canada Post Community Literacy Award nominations open – Deadline May 23rd
The Canada Post Community Literacy Awards nominations close on May 23, 2008. For the awards booklet, write to: 2008 Canada Post Community Literacy Awards
2701 Riverside Dr Suite N0020, Ottawa ON  K1A 0B1 or go to

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.  Information and the nomination form are attached.

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In the News

Remarkable Results for Canadian Students in Reading, Communiqué, April 28, 2008
The Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC), released their first report today from the Pan-Canadian Assessment Program (PCAP) on the evaluation of 13-year-old students across Canada in Reading, Mathematics, and Science.  Results gathered in this report indicate that most students across Canada are reading at or above the expected level of performance for their age group.

Canadians have long been interested in how well their education systems are meeting the needs of students and society.  PCAP was created in 2003 by CMEC following the decision of the ministers of education to replace the School Achievement Indicators Program (SAIP) with a new evaluation more consistent with international ones such as the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA).  PCAP is also designed to complement existing assessments in each Canadian jurisdiction, providing nation-wide data on the achievement levels attained by students across the country.

“The results released today will provide ministers of education with a basis for examining their curricula, as well as their policies and practices for the learning environment of their students,” said the Honourable Kelly Lamrock, Minister of Education for New Brunswick and current Chair of CMEC.   To read more go to

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Resources and Websites

Education Matters: Insights on education, learning and training in Canada
This issue of Statistics Canada's free online publication Education Matters: Insights on Education, Learning and Training in Canada contains two articles.

The article "Adult learning in Canada: Characteristics of learners" summarizes findings of a recent report that examined characteristics of adult learners in Canada, including links between participation in adult education and training and literacy skill levels, education, family background and age. One key finding is that people with the highest levels of literacy participate in adult learning at much higher rates than those at the lowest levels. Thus, those most in need of learning to enhance their skills to be able to compete in the labour market are least likely to take advantage of training opportunities.

The second article "Why are the majority of university students women?" summarizes results of a recent report that set out to explain the gender gap in university participation. Women continue to outnumber men in university, and the gap is widening. Key factors include differences in school marks at the age of 15; standardized test scores in reading at 15; study habits; and parental expectations. Data came from the Youth in Transition Survey, Cycle 3, which collected information from participants in 2003, when they were 19 years old.

Understanding Income Tax: Learning Materials for Literacy and Basic Skills, Revised July 2003, Ottawa-Carleton District School Board

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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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