Guest Blog By Cathy Jewison “I had no idea this festival was so big,” a friend said, as we stood in front of the book table at the NorthWords gala. My friend is right.  The NorthWords Writers Festival covers a lot of ground in four short days. Now in its ninth year, NorthWords brings together celebrity authors from across Canada, along with local writers and people who love to read.  The… Read more.
What can you do with pipe cleaners, drinking straws, dice, wooden beads and paperclips?  Build a brain, of course!  My brain building exercise was part of a great workshop that I attended called “Let’s Talk About the Early Years – Early Brain Development & Family Literacy” at the Centre for Family Literacy’s Family Literacy Training Institute in Calgary in May.  The workshop helped us… Read more.
Week one as the Literacy Council executive director was a whirlwind. My first impression was gratitude.  I am thankful that the Council is a well-oiled machine with competent, dedicated staff members.  All the staff members, as well as contractors, know what they are doing and work incredibly hard from what I have observed so far.  They will carry on while I get myself up to speed. I‘m also… Read more.
These were the words of one of the people who came to our Aboriginal Languages in the Home workshop last week in Yellowknife. We discussed possible ways to mobilize, motivate and inspire people to learn and speak their Aboriginal language.  We organized the workshop to get direction on how we could best meet our mandate to support Aboriginal language and literacies development.  People at the… Read more.
There was a buzz of excitement at Yukon College in late April that I’m not sure we’ve heard before in the adult education world up north.  Innovative, transformational, successful – these were all words I heard repeatedly when I was lucky enough to attend the tri-territorial symposium on adult education in Whitehorse, Yukon.  And I’m proud to say that the NWT Literacy Council was a part of some… Read more.
Over the last two years we travelled around the NWT to talk to communities about financial literacy and I have learned so much! One thing I have been most excited to hear about is the Canada Learning Bond.  As a recent university graduate who left school very much in debt, I know how much this free money could help our northern students. This is a federal government program to help lower-income… Read more.
We’re hiring a summer student.  I worked at the Council for four summers and highly recommend this summer job.  Here are my top four reasons why. The job has lots of variety My responsibilities changed from summer to summer as the literacy council starts and finishes new programs.  I created How To Kits and resources that have been distributed to communities throughout the north.  I packed… Read more.
Free money with no strings attached doesn’t happen very often.  So when it does, we want the people who need the money the most to get the windfall.  The Canada Learning Bond is a national program to help lower-income families save for their child’s education.  We found out about the program and the low uptake while doing research and delivering financial literacy workshops.  Only about 8% of… Read more.
A new northern network is becoming a force to be reckoned with. In October 2012, the NWT Literacy Council, the Nunavut Literacy Council and the Yukon Literacy Coalition hosted the successful symposium on skill development, Made in the North. We wanted to focus on literacy and skill development issues specific to the north. We brought together 140 people with an interest in skill development:… Read more.
Adult education is an important, but often misunderstood part of the education continuum.  Here’s why we’re happy there’s a week to celebrate adult learners. Adult education programs give people a second, and sometimes a third or fourth chance to develop the skills they need for today’s world.  The programs are usually community-based and target youth and adults who were not successful in the… Read more.