Lifelong Learning:

It’s Essential



February 14, 2018 - 2:12pm

Adult literacy and basic education (now known as Developmental Studies) at the NWT’s Community Learning Centres can be an important stepping stone for adults who left school early. The centres can help adults feel successful about learning and get the foundational skills they need to go on to further education and/or employment.

Despite many challenges — financial issues, family responsibilities and fear of failure — adult learners have many reasons to continue their education. Most often they want to:

February 7, 2018 - 10:23am

Is there a bookworm in your life that makes your heart skip a beat? Skip the roses this year and say “I love you” with a book! While Valentine’s Day may be just around the corner, it’s not the only holiday we’ll be celebrating here at the NWT Literacy Council.

February 14 also marks International Book Giving Day.

January 31, 2018 - 3:43pm

Bushkids, a forest and nature school pilot program offered through the City of Yellowknife started last Tuesday. Children ages 6-10 will participate Tuesdays — all day — until early May.

Bushkids follows a forest and nature school approach. It is run by two Yellowknife women, Wendy Lahey and Chloe Dragon Smith, who are trained forest and nature school practitioners and teacher trainers with Child and Nature Alliance of Canada.

About forest and nature schools

January 24, 2018 - 1:20pm

This year marks Canada’s 19th year of celebrating National Family Literacy Day each January 27. Family Literacy Day is a national initiative of ABC Life Literacy Canada to raise awareness of the importance of reading and engaging in other literacy-related activities as a family.

Family Literacy Day reminds us to take time to learn together for the benefit of both adults and children. It helps us spread the word that learning can take place through a variety of different activities — reading and telling stories, playing games, going for a walk, on-the-land activities, or any quality time families spend together.

January 17, 2018 - 6:14pm

During the long, cold winter months it can be hard to find the motivation to get outside and stay active. While we definitely approve of staying cozy indoors and catching up on a good book, here are some suggestions to keep your physical literacy sharp as well.

Get out in your community:

January 10, 2018 - 8:09am

For the second year in a row, the sun didn’t rise for the Inuvik Sunrise Festival.

The annual celebration signals the return of the sun after almost a month of only twilight and night. It’s a full weekend of traditional dancing, a bonfire and fireworks, ice sculptures, and hot drinks, and is a staple activity of life in Inuvik. But this past Saturday, at 1:40 pm, when the sun was scheduled to peep above the horizon, we instead saw more blue-gray sky, fog, and dim light. An entire festival organized to celebrate sunlight, and we didn’t have any.

December 13, 2017 - 6:01pm

The staff at the NWT Literacy Council has some help with your Christmas giving. Here are the books that we’re giving, hope to receive as gifts, or plan to curl up with over the holidays. Our executive director, Kathryn Barry Paddock, couldn’t choose just one!


Drive, by Daniel Pink and Voice in the Wild, by Laurie Sarkadi.

December 6, 2017 - 5:21am

Inclusion makes people feel like they belong. Having a sense of belonging means people feel accepted and supported. This can help people understand each other better, and that helps build respect. All of these positive feelings can make people happier and healthier.

The NorthWest Company is setting a positive example of inclusion in their northern grocery stores. They are translating the names of everyday grocery items into the Indigenous languages of local communities across northern Canada.

This can help keep Indigenous languages alive in traditional territories. It can encourage elders to use their traditional language every day, and help youth learn their traditional language. This kind of project helps build a sense of pride in a person’s culture and ethnicity.

November 29, 2017 - 9:30am

My job at the NWT Literacy Council is to set up informal literacy programs for Permanent Residents (newcomers to Canada). I was inspired by my recent tour of programs for Permanent Residents in Calgary and Edmonton. There was something for people of all ages and interests.

Programs include employment programs, after school programs, seniors’ coffee times, parenting programs, conversation circles, and more. I am excited about plans here at the NWT Literacy Council to create a global music program and for global cooking, where a different person will lead each cooking session, featuring foods from their culture.

November 22, 2017 - 1:17pm

“What are essential skills?” That’s how a recent training session for NWT Literacy Council staff members began. The answer turns out to be much more complex than any of us thought.

Pat Salt is a Calgary consultant. She challenged us to consider definitions that go beyond the Government of Canada's definition of essential skills. The Government of Canada defines essential skills as "the skills needed for work, learning, and life... they provide the foundation for learning all other skills and enable people to better prepare for, get, and keep a job, and adapt and succeed at work."

The Government of Canada identifies nine essential skills.


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