Calgary Learns - newsletter
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February 11, 2014

Connecting our Adult Learning & Literacy Community


In This Issue

Mark Your Calendar

Deadline LOLA nominations
Feb. 14, 2014

Annual General Meeting
April 9, 2014, 3pm, The Elks

Life Of Learning Award
April 9, 2014, 4pm, The Elks

Tell Us Who You Love!!


February 14 is Valentine's Day. It is also the last day to nominate someone for our Life Of Learning Awards!! Let us know by then who you love ... an outstanding adult learner, an exceptional facilitator, or a fantastic group of learners or program.

Use this opportunity to honour the individuals or programs who deserve extra recognition. Nominate your learning champion(s) for a Life Of Learning Award.


The LOLAs celebrate and honour the contributions and accomplishments in the Calgary's adult learning field. The LOLAs are presented to outstanding educators and learners to recognize their dedication and spirit. They highlight the value of foundational learning and the differences education makes in our community.

Calgary Learns presents awards in the following categories:
  • Adult Learner: for a learner who stands out in his or her efforts to learn, loves learning, and inspires others by example.
  • Community Learning Champion: for an educator, community leader or strategist who has made a great contribution to community-based adult foundational learning.
  • NEW! Learning Communities: for a group or foundational learning program that stands out in innovation, effectiveness and breadth of reach into the adult learning community.
The individual award recipients will receive a unique, hand-carved stone sculpture and a $500 cash prize. The group award recipients will be recognized with a commemorative plaque and indisputable bragging rights for one year!

Anyone may nominate residents of Calgary who are  foundational learners or education innovators. Simply submit a completed nomination for your nominee(s) and include support letters from others to provide further information about your nominee(s)’ character and accomplishments. Let us know what makes them special!

The Life of Learning Awards will be presented at Calgary Learns’ award ceremony on Wednesday April 9, 2014. The nomination form is available on our website at: For more information email us at

Nomination Deadline is February 14, 2014

You Are Wanted!!

Do you believe in the power of education? Are you interested in being part of an organization which helps build capacity of adult learning programs across Calgary? If the answer is YES, consider becoming a Calgary Learns’ Board Member!*

Our Board Members consistently comment on the value they receive as a board member. They not only learn more about the broader needs in our community and the great programs offered across the city. The Board comments on:
  • the dynamic conversations at meetings,
  • being part of inclusive, results oriented team,
  • valuable networking opportunities gained
If you are interested in learning more about the role and Calgary Learns, please contact Nancy Purdy, Executive Director 403-266-6444 ext. 1 or

* To avoid conflict of interest, Board Members do not work for organizations who receive Calgary Learns funding.

IFL Conversation Café - review

On February 4th we held the reprise of our IFL Conversation Café. Our first attempt in December was hampered by a nasty blizzard, resulting in just a small gathering. For you new readers, IFL is our Integrating Foundational Learning Project, a multi-year initiative to help organizations better serve adults learning at a basic level.

Over 40 educators attended our Feb 4 event, which showcased the experiences of four IFL participants: The Drop-In Centre, MS Society, Canadian Mental Health Association and Calgary SCOPE Society. IFL learning specialist, IFL learning specialist, Terri Peters, laid out the project’s framework and tools: explicitly integrating Canada’s essential skills, group facilitation strategies and clear language—all  for greater learner success. Staff of the participating IFL organizations then showed how they applied IFL principles in a wide range of learning situations to meet the needs of their learners.  

“As a teacher, my best ideas were those I stole from other people,” Calgary Learns’ E.D. Nancy Purdy confessed in the afternoon’s introduction. Although her remark was tongue-in-cheek, we love that humble approach to sharing and collaboration. In this same spirit, we want to continue sharing the IFL learnings and to keep the conversation going—including learning and sharing how you help learners find success.

Please stay tuned. We will roll out the IFL final case studies (plus ‘steal-able’ materials) this spring and are currently exploring funding sources to expand our professional training opportunities in this area.

Program Funding 2014

Calgary Learns was pleased to allocate $1,028,300 for 2014 to a diverse range of programs offering foundational learning. Congratulations to the following successful applicants.

Adult Basic Literacy – Total ABL funding: $264,021

  • Bow Valley College – Adult Basic Literacy Education (ABLE)
  • Bow Valley College – Lifeline to Literacy
  • Bow Valley College – Speech-Assisted Reading and Writing
  • Calgary John Howard Society – Literacy Program
  • Calgary John Howard Society – Words to Success
  • Further Education Society of Alberta – Family Literacy Program
  • Mount Royal University – Transitional Vocational Program, Adult Basic Education
  • Youville Recovery Residence for Women – Youville Literacy Program

Community Issues – Total CI funding: $207,000

  • Association of the Inside Out Integrated Theatre Project – Inside Out Integrated Theatre
  • Calgary SCOPE Society – Integrated Community Kitchen
  • Canadian Mental Health Association – Peer Options Workshops
  • Centre for Newcomers Society of Calgary – Women’s Life Skills Program
  • Deaf & Hard of Hearing Society – Family-focused Sign Language Instruction
  • Families Matter Society – Community-Based Family Education
  • Immigrant Services Calgary – Citizenship Learning Project

English Language Learning – Total ELL funding: $308,794

  • Bow Valley College – Computer Enhanced ESL Literacy
  • Bow Valley College – ESL Volunteer Tutor Program
  • Bow Valley College – Volunteer ESL Tutor Training Project
  • Calgary Chinese Community Service Association – Stepping Stones: Forward into the Community
  • Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association – Pebbles in the Sand
  • YWCA of Calgary – English for New Canadians

Employability Enhancement – Total EE funding: $248,485

  • Calgary Catholic Immigration Society – Computer Training for Employment
  • Calgary Immigrant Educational Society – Computer Combo Program
  • Calgary John Howard Society – Learning Education Enhancement Program
  • Calgary Public Library – Digital Literacy in the Community
  • Momentum – Business Development for Foundational Learners
  • Vecova Centre for Disability Services and Research – Digital Literacy Program
For more detailed information, please visit our website.

To All Programs Receiving Funding
The provincial ministry funding these programs has a new name. Please make sure you use the correct logo on all your promotional material. Download the new, easy-to-use “combined” logo here.

ESL Learning Support Service

Most adult learners in English as a Second Language programs, including basic literacy, LINC and bridge to work classes manage the assigned coursework and show expected progress. There are those, however, who struggle to acquire a new language within the contexts of their classes and require some form of individualized support to make gains in their language acquisition.  For these individuals, the learning of English language and/or literacy skill development is and continues to be extremely difficult.  

With help, support and accommodation, even struggling learners can succeed but they need specific strategies both inside the classroom and in their everyday lives. CIWA’s learning support service provides struggling learners with strategies to enhance their language learning and makes recommendations for instructors for rethinking their teaching practices in order to accommodate these learners and ensure their success.

To learn more about this service or to book a consultation, contact Theresa Wall at 403.263.4414 ext. 152 or

Member Profile: CIWA

Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association (CIWA) is a culturally diverse settlement agency that recognizes, responds to, and focuses on the unique concerns and needs of immigrant and refugee women, girls and their families. They have developed innovative programs, entered into partnerships and become an organization that is truly responsive to the unique and diverse needs of its constituency. They have made the transition to Canada a more comfortable, pleasant and successful one for more than 60,000 immigrant women.

CIWA offers 36 programs and projects that use a holistic approach to service delivery in the areas of settlement and integration, literacy and language training, employment support and bridging programs, family violence, parenting, individual counselling, in-home support, civic engagement, health, housing and community development. All clients coming to CIWA, for group session or individual appointments, have access to childcare support.  They provide customised programs for youth and seniors. One of the most distinguishing features of their service delivery approach is community-based programming. They work in collaboration with community partners and offer programs and services in more than 100 locations around Calgary.

For more information, visit

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