Calgary Learns - newsletter
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November 24, 2014

Connecting our Adult Learning & Literacy Community


In This Issue

Mark Your Calendar

December Networking
December 9, 2-4 pm

Calgary Learns casino
Volunteers needed
January 1 & 2, 2015

Program Funding 2014
Final report deadline
January 23, 2015

December Networking - Measuring Learner Progress

Join the Adult Learning Community at Calgary Learns' annual holiday gathering for stimulating conversation, learning, food and a bit of shopping (CIWA will be bringing their beautiful crafts).

This year, following your requests for more discussion about measurement and evaluation, we  have invited Marnie Schaetti and Candice Jackson to share their work on Bow Valley's recently released Learner Progression Measures. Marnie and Candice look forward to facilitating an interactive session to delve into the complexities of measuring progress in adult literacy and essential skills in community. 

Date: Tuesday, December 9, 2014
Time: 2 to 4 PM
Location: CNIB, 15 Colonel Baker Pl NE, Calgary (map)

We hope to see you there!!

Integrated Foundational Learning (IFL) workshops - you can still register!!

Our IFL workshops are in full swing, but you can still register. 
  • Nov 26 from 1:30 to 4:30 pm at CNIB
Cost: $20/workshop for members or $30/workshop for non-members. Not sure if your organization is a member? Check our list of members.
To sign up for the workshops, please click HERE.

What is IFL?
  • Integrated Foundational Learning (IFL) is a great PD opportunity for educators who work with adult learners at diverse learning levels, especially with learners who struggle in typical classrooms. 
  • IFL makes the content of your learning programs more accessible by helping instructors understand better how to match learning tasks to learners’ current capacity. 
  • To date, fifteen agencies and well over 100 staff have seen gains for their adult learners as a result of IFL. 
This program is funded by

The LOLAs - Nominate your Star in the Adult Foundational Learning Community

Do you admire someone who excels as
an adult learner or adult educator?
Is there a learning program or project out there
that deserve extra recognition?
How about an extra-ordinary funder?

Consider this opportunity to honour these hardworking and enthusiastic people and send in your nomination form for the
Life Of Learning Award (LOLA)!

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

The Life of Learning Awards will be presented at Calgary Learns’ award ceremony on Wednesday April 22, 2015.

Calgary Learns presents awards in the following categories:
  • Adult Learner for a learner at a foundational level who loves learning, stands out in his or her efforts to keep learning and inspires others by example.
  • Learning Champion for an educator/facilitator or program designer who makes a great contribution to community-based adult foundational learning and supports the essential skills development in learners.
  • Learning Communities for a learning program/project that stands out in innovation, effectiveness and breadth of reach into the adult foundational learning community.
  • NEW! Thanks A Bunch showcases a funder (individual or corporation) who’s commitment and financial contribution help support the needs of adult foundational level learners.
Go to our website for more information and nomination forms: 
Nomination deadline is February 14, 2015.

Volunteers needed

Dear Calgary Learns members, supporters and partners,

Calgary Learns is holding a fundraising Casino on Thursday January 1 and Friday January 2, 2015 at Elbow River Casino.

The proceeds from the Casino help Calgary Learns further support the Adult Foundational Learning Community.

We still need several volunteers to fill day & night shifts on January 1. If you are able to donate some time, please go to our website to volunteer. If you have any questions or concerns, email Nicky

Thank you in advance!!

Literacy, Essential Skills and Foundational Learning: Are They All The Same?

by Lorene Anderson, Literacy & Essentials Skills Specialist and Calgary Learns Board Member
We often hear these three terms used to describe our work in adult learning. Literacy, essential skills and foundational learning are closely related, but they are not the same thing. Here is a quick primer to the show how they are connected.

The Alberta government report, Living Literacy: A framework for Alberta’s next generation economy, gives a good definition of literacy in its broadest scope: 

“Literacy is not just about reading and writing. While reading and writing provide the necessary foundation for learning, literacy is fundamentally about an individual’s capacity to put his/her skills to work in shaping the course of his or her own life. Literacy involves ‘reading the word and the world’ in a variety of contexts. Individuals need literacy skills to obtain and use information effectively, to act as informed players and to manage interactions in a variety of contexts (ex. Making decisions about health care, parenting, managing household finances, engaging in the political process or working).”

Essential Skills
While the above definition gives us a description of literacy, it doesn’t break it down into specific components or skills. That’s where the Human Resources and Skills Development Canada Essential Skills Framework comes into play. These nine skills are like Velcro—the skills to which all other learning sticks. They are the skills we need for learning all other skills in the workplace, our communities and in life. They enable us to evolve and adapt to a changing world. Here the nine essential skills:
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Numeracy
  • Oral communication
  • Working with others
  • Document use (e.g. forms, maps, tables, graphs)
  • Digital literacy
  • Continues learning (knowing how to learn)
  • Thinking skills (problem solving, decision making, critical thinking, task planning and organizing, significant use of memory and finding information)
How many of these skills did you use today? How many do you use every day? Each of these skills can be used in many different contexts at different levels of complexity.

Foundational Learning
The term foundational learning refers to the nine essential skills at their lower or foundational levels of complexity. Just as the word ‘foundational’ suggests, this is where the building of skills begins. Calgary Learns supports foundational learning for adults - that is our core work.

Calgary Learns works to meet foundational adult learners wherever they appear in our changing learning landscape - parenting programs, citizenship education, computer training. We do this through our funding and through building the capacity of community educators to meet learner needs.

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