Calgary Learns - newsletter
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February 27, 2015

Connecting our Adult Learning & Literacy Community


In This Issue

Mark Your Calendar

IFL workshops
March 31, April 7, 14, 21 & 28

Annual General Meeting &
Life Of Learning Awards

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Community Consultation
Tuesday, May 12, 2015

And our LOLA Keynote Speaker is ...

We are thrilled to announce that this year's Life Of Learning Awards (LOLAs) keynote speaker is Life Literacy Ambassador Lesra Martin

"... it's important to learn not just
with your mind, but with your heart.
Only one heart can teach another heart
what the written word doesn't say."

As a child Lesra Martin was trapped in the harrowing, violent streets of Bushwick, Brooklyn NY. Illiterate and poor, he lived a life of little hope or promise.

A simple subway ride changed his life -- and others -- forever. Lesra was befriended by a group of Canadian entrepreneurs. Attracted to his "....spark and light and curiosity..." they saw a bright kid bursting with potential who had few real opportunities in life. Their unexpected friendship sparked an incredible saga that would take Lesra out of the inner city and into a new life in Canada.

Lesra found the courage to face his fears, inspired in part by the book "The Sixteenth Round" by Rubin "The Hurricane" Carter, the searing account of his wrongful imprisonment for several murders. Taking heart from Carter's spirit in the face of extreme adversity, Lesra wrote the boxer, setting into motion a friendship between himself, Carter, and the Canadians that led to a five year fight that helped win Carter's release from prison in November, 1985. By then, Carter had spent nearly 20 years in jail. That unique, fateful friendship between Carter, Lesra, and the Canadians resulted in the book "Lazarus and The Hurricane." In turn, the book inspired the Universal movie "The Hurricane." starring Denzel Washington as Rubin Carter and Vicellous Reon Shannon as Lesra.

Along the way, Lesra fought to change his own life, undergoing his own miraculous transformation into a university honour student, law school graduate, attorney, and inspirational speaker.
If you received a ticket (members, volunteers, invited guests) please RSVP to activate your ticket.
If you don't have a ticket, you can buy one at the door ($20) but you need to let us know in advance that you're coming, so please RSVP.

Register today for the IFL workshops!

Including literacy and essential skills practices in your adult learning programs will help learners understand and use your program content better. Calgary Learns is pleased to assist organizations by offering the Integrated Foundational Learning (IFL) workshops and mentorship opportunities again through funding from The Calgary Foundation.

Here's some feedback from several IFL workshop participants (Fall 2014):
"It's great to reflect on work you do & have a new take on materials."

"It is important that we know how best to contribute
in order to improve the literacy level of our community."

"The workshop raised my awareness that clients have
greater barriers than the obvious ones."

"I will review our brochure & website to make it more reader friendly and accessible."

"It helps to look at what is presently delivered & how to incorporate
more activity & complexity levels & differentiating learning styles."

The program includes:
  • Training Workshops: (taking place from 9 AM until noon at CNIB
  1. March 31 - Introduction to Literacy & Essential Skills
  2. April 7 - Introduction to Facilitation Skills
  3. April 14 - Advanced Facilitation Skills
  4. April 21 - Plain Language for Clear Communication
  5. April 28 - Measurement & Evaluation of Learning
  • Mentorship from a literacy specialist (limited number available). Check our website for necessary requirements.
  • Customized workshops on literacy and essential skills for your organization, if you are chosen to receive a mentor.
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.

Run - Calgary Learns - Run!!

Calgary Learns is once again running (read: walking) in the Calgary Marathon (read: 10K) and will direct all funds raised to Professional Development for adult educators of foundational learning in Calgary. This way the impact of the funds will continue to benefit learners into the future.

Would you like to join us this year and support further innovations in this field to address the needs of adult learners? 

So, let's have some fun and run (walk) with us (our charity challenge code is 88899) or consider donating directly to this cause.

Please contact Nicky if you have any questions.

From the Margins to Engagement

Calgary Immigrant Women's Association (CIWA) would like to invite you to attend a presentation in which attendees will walk through an employment related Educational Curriculum Manual supporting very low literacy learners. Plan to attend to learn more and ask questions – Thursday March 19 from 1:30 to 3:00 pm at Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association (CIWA), #200, 138 4th Ave SE, Calgary in the 5th fl Boardroom.

“From the Margins to Engagement: Connecting Low Literacy Immigrant and Refugee Women with Community, Employment and Empowerment” project of CIWA examined the unique needs and barriers of immigrant women with limited functional literacy on an individual, community, and business level. Project findings, described in a manual, confirmed that in order to affect change in the lives of the targeted population and to ensure improvement in their economic and social condition, solutions need to be multi-faceted and collaborative. 

The primary product developed through this project is an Educational Curriculum Manual describing a unique training model and curriculum for an immigrant population of women largely unreached by employment training programs. This pioneering approach launched by CIWA has been recognized for its innovative service to a highly barriered population through two national awards: ABC Life Literacy Canada: The Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life Literacy Innovation Award (2013) and the Council of the Federation Literacy Award (2014). This model or framework is very accessible, flexible and supportive of the target population. Workplace success for literacy learners depends on an appropriate curriculum delivered via a model that fits the lives of the literacy learners. 

Although the focus of this project was on low literacy immigrant and refugee women who are under-represented in the labor market, this curriculum and model can be broadly applied to Canadian-born persons with very limited literacy. To learn more please attend. RSVP to Jenny Krabbe, Senior Coordinator, Low Literacy Employment Programs, CIWA, or 403-263-4414 ext. 1118.

"Your Message Here"

If you have any classes, funding, professional development, award opportunities, and/or (non-fundraising) events, that you want us to promote, please fill in our promotion request form.
Please note: we will only promote activities that are relevant to adult foundational learning in Calgary and we will post them at our discretion.

If you have informational article to share in our newsletter that will benefit the adult foundational community, please contact Nicky.

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