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Descriptions of selected Weaving Literacy community projects

Terrace, British Columbia

After-school homework and community writing projects and community kitchens
Brenda Sissons of the Terrace Family Place and Jess Dafoe of the Terrace Library collaborated to offer a series of family literacy nights focused on families cooking together in the community. This led to an after-school homework club (Dig In, Get Set) and community kitchen with new community partners.

For more information contact Brenda Sissons terrace.osa@telus.net or
Jess Dafoe at jdafoe@telus.net


The Cariboo region, British Columbia

Capacity building, workshops on raising awareness of literacy issues and new funding proposals
Shelley Joyner and Rebecca Bueschel held meetings with new community agencies in the BC Cariboo communities of Quesnel and Lac La Hache to extend existing literacy collaboration. They developed eight funding proposals written for new projects to support literacy work in the BC Cariboo region. This team continues to support established literacy activities and encourage new ones.

For more information please contact Rebecca Beuschel at beuschel@mailscan.ca or Shelley Joyner at secondnature@bcinternet.net


Breton and Drayton Valley, Alberta

Book bags and home visit support
Based on the results of a need assessment carried out by Carla Babiuk at the Drayton Valley Adult Learning Resource Centre, we decided to support an existing home visitation programs by purchasing family literacy materials that home visitors could use during home visits. This helped them encourage literacy development in everyday situations. From our needs assessment we also determined that families who would benefit the most from literacy programs and activities were not always accessing them or attending. We developed book bags for families participating in the home visits program and these were very popular. They contained alphabet tracers, books, finger puppets, book marks and stickers purchased with the Weaving Literacy funding. Community agencies also donated materials and we included information about their local services as well as information from the public library. The response to the book bags has been very positive.

Pattie Sutherland, Services for Challenged Children EIP
David Thompson Health Region, Alberta

Carla Babiuk, Drayton Valley Adult Learning Resource Centre


Whitehorse, Yukon Territory

A literacy project inventory and family literacy summit in the Yukon
Prema Ladchumanopaskeran of the Victoria Faulkner Women's Centre and Beth Mulloy of the Yukon Literacy Coalition conducted an inventory of the existing family literacy and literacy-related activities taking place in the Yukon Territory and discovered many new ways to link family support and literacy work in order to share travel, combine workshops and connect literacy into existing community events. They used this information for the Yukon Literacy Coalition to facilitate a Yukon-wide family literacy summit. The summit was three days and included networking, focus groups, community consultations and practitioner training workshops. It was wonderful and an outcome of this summit was a very strong and united group of family literacy workers.

For more info contact bmulloy.literacy@northwestel.net or
Prema Ladchumanopaskeran at cpnp@yknet.ca


Selkirk, Manitoba

Community planning workshops, family literacy events and school-based workshops on community literacy activities
Weaving Literacy has woven its way into Family Literacy programming in Selkirk, Manitoba! Highlights of our Weaving Literacy project included: two shared “Bag a Book” workshops (September/04 and May/05); a workshop for family-focused organizations and parents about the Weaving Literacy projects happening across Canada and more ideas for integrating literacy in Selkirk; a workshop for school principals on the literacy work taking place in the Selkirk community and approaches to integrating literacy in other parts of the country; and the Manitoba/Ontario planning session in May/04 in Toronto. Such events have raised awareness of family literacy both locally and provincially, and we look forward to further shared projects/events as time (and funding) allow.

Waltraud Grieger gryears@mts.net
Shirley Skogan skogan@mts.net


Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Community literacy planning workshops and integrating literacy into parenting education
READ Saskatoon in partnership with Parenting Education Saskatchewan hosted a one day Weaving Literacy workshop for representatives from twenty five organizations and agencies in Saskatoon and surrounding area on February 3, 2005. This was a good building block for looking at how the work of different organizations in our community connects to literacy.

In addition to the workshop, the concept of literacy was incorporated into the work of Parenting Education Saskatchewan with the goal of making literacy one component for consideration when designing, developing and delivering parent support workshops. A section on literacy was added to the website of Parenting Education Saskatchewan
highlighting tips and suggestions.

READ Saskatoon
This is a community based non-profit volunteer organization that provides free literacy services to adults and their families and promotes literacy awareness, partnerships and development. A visit to the website at http://www.nald.ca/readsask/ will give an excellent overview of our organization.

Parenting Education Saskatchewan
We are a project of Family Service Saskatchewan that provides support and information to those working in the field of parent support and education. The overall objective of the project is to increase the awareness of the benefits of effective parenting practices within families and communities in general. The website address is www.parenteducationsask.ca.

Bev Digout, Parenting Education Saskatchewan
Mavis McPhee, READ Saskatoon


Toronto, Ontario

After-school and summer reading and homework projects for new immigrant children and youth
Dave Page of Frontier College and Yasmin Khan of the Aga Khan Education Board for Canada developed weekly reading circles involving forty new immigrant families at the Flemingdon Community Centre in Toronto. They also held summer reading tents in Flemingdon Park, Toronto, and developed a school-aged children’s buddy reading program (Reading to Excel) held on Saturday evenings at Gateway Public School in Toronto, involving forty-five students and twelve reading buddies.

For more information please contact Dave Page at dpage@frontiercollege.ca
or Yasmin Khan at ymbkhan@rogers.com


Thunder Bay, Ontario

Workshops and networking with community workers on strategies for supporting early literacy
Brenda Rikkonen and Myrna Anderson developed and delivered a series of eight workshops in the Thunder Bay region. The audiences included community groups working with new mothers, teachers, parents and child care workers. Based on specific ideas for integrating early literacy into every day activities with children, a total of 125 individuals attended these sessions. For more information about their project, and for details on the workshop series “Books for Breakfast” developed by Myrna Anderson, contact:

Brenda Rikkonen at brikkonen@confederationc.on.ca
Myrna Anderson at andersom@shaw.ca


Sudbury, Ontario

A training, professional development and parent education project in collaboration with education researchers in Rimouski, Quebec, and with community groups and parents in Sudbury, Ontario
Afin de réaliser notre projet et offrir le service à notre communauté, nous travaillons en collaboration avec les écoles primaires et les centres de la petite enfance pour lancer le programme On découvre l’écrit, je t’aide pour la vie ! Il s’adresse à des intervenants en alphabétisation qui souhaitent travailler avec des parents peu scolarisés pour développer leurs compétences à éveiller leurs enfants d’âge pré-scolaire à l’écrit. Nous sommes en train d’intégrer ces apprentissages à la démarche de formation de tout parent qui s’inscrit au Centre Alpha-culturel de Sudbury.

Lianne Bergeron : Directrice, Centre Alpha-culturel, alphaculturel@on.aibn.com


Fredericton, New Brunswick

Promoting awareness of literacy in the community, working toward an integrated family resource and learning centre
The Fredericton Regional Family Resource Centre and the Saint John Learning Exchange worked toward the development of a "Hub": an integrated family resource and learning centre in their community. To this end they developed a literacy promotion package and delivered workshops to educate community agencies and local government institutions about literacy issues in New Brunswick For more information or to request a copy of their work contact:

Carla Hitchcock of the Fredericton Regional Family Resource Centre, frfrc@rogers.com or 506-474-0252
Sally Crawford at the Saint John Learning Exchange, craws@nb.sympatico.ca.


Nova Scotia

Building a M’ikmaq family literacy network in Nova Scotia
Barbara Johnson and Nora MacDonald-Plourde collaborated to build a M'ikmaq literacy network for the Atlantic Region. They encountered numerous challenges along the way, and did receive overwhelming support from the Nova Scotia Native Women and the all Chiefs Committee of Nova Scotia. The biggest challenge is securing funds for start-up costs; however, there is nothing
on the horizon about giving up!

For more information please contact:

Barbara Johnson, M’ikmaq literacy educator: barbjohnson@hotmail.ca
Nora MacDonald-Plourde, Mi’kmaq Community, Skills and Learning Branch
Nova Scotia Department of Education, plourdnj@gov.ns.ca


St. Anthony’s, Newfoundland

Community learning conference and literacy network
Our project involved a Life, Literacy & Laughter Conference. A number of workshops were set up where parents could choose the workshop of choice to participate in. Participants were bussed into St. Anthony from the surrounding communities of Roddickton, St. Lunaire-Griquet, Flowers Cove, Raleigh, Plum Point, Main Brook, Englee. Approximately 100 participants came together for a Saturday of literacy, learning and, of course, laughter. This generated a new literacy network in the region and plans to further develop the connections between literacy, learning, health and wellness, in our communities.

For more information, contact Hope Colbourne at Northern Peninsula Family Resource Centre, npfrc@nf.aibn.com.


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