Calgary Learns - newsletter
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October 25, 2016

Connecting our Adult Learning & Literacy Community


In This Issue

Mark Your Calendar

December Networking
December 1, 2016

Deadline Program Grant Applications for July 2017/June 2018 programming
January 16, 2017

Final report due for 2016 programs
January 23, 2017

Request for Proposals

You may have noticed that Calgary Learns was much slower in releasing our request for proposals this year. This was due to the fact that we needed to shift our granting from the calendar year to align with our funder, Alberta Advanced Education July 1 - June 30 funding year. Our application process is now open for both new programs and programs that we currently fund. Please note the different applications and the specific process for Indigenous programs (see next article below). 

Calgary Learns is open to and strongly encourages you to contact us about your program and application. This is especially critical for new programs. Jeannie Finch, Grants Coordinator or Monique Fry, Indigenous Liaison welcome your calls and questions.

We look forward to partnering with organizations to help address the foundational needs of adult learners in Calgary. 

Please go to our website to learn more.
Application Deadline: January 16, 2017 at 4 pm

Note: We will be announcing our Initiative Funding Cycle in Spring 2017

Research report on Indigenous Literacy

Our partner Métis Calgary Family Services and lead researcher Suzanne McLeod worked for nearly a year with Indigenous community members, literacy practitioners and an Elders Council to create a strategy and framework for Calgary Learns to better serve our granting process. In the end, this body of work will make a tremendous impact on the quality, integrity and authenticity of Indigenous programs that we support, and it will directly reach our Indigenous learners.

We are grateful to the Elders Council - Reg Crowshoe, Rose Crowshoe, Doreen Spence and Florence Kelly - for their time, knowledge and support of this ongoing work. We are also grateful for those of you who shared your thoughts and best practices in the many focus groups that helped shape the work.

This work is not owned by Calgary Learns. It belongs to the community and is intended to support all programs and agencies that wish to work successfully with Indigenous learners. While a big part of this research does focus on the strategy for Calgary Learns, it is shared so that others can reflect on the process and determine if it can be adopted for their growth. We have also shared it in an effort to be transparent in the process, and as a way to model traditional Indigenous practices.

Moving forward we have made some immediate changes to our process as a result of this research in the following areas:
  1. Addition of an Expression of Interest for funding that can be submitted orally or in written form.
  2. Formation of an Elders Council that will among other tasks, assist in the review of proposals before they go to the Board of Directors for approval.
  3. New Application and Ranking Tool to reflect the Indigenous specific criterion. 
  4. Inclusion of an Oral presentation between proponents and our Indigenous Review team to compliment the written application form.
The Elders have offered us a challenge. They have provided us with the necessary components to co-create with them strong, culturally safe and appropriate Indigenous literacy programs. It is up to you and your agency to decide if you are up to the challenge. Please take your time with this work. Take time to pause, reflect on the calls to action, and have patience in your process. Please do your best to take a step back, think outside the box, and inside the circle.

We are very excited to continue our learning journey. We look forward to seeing who will join us and where we all interconnect. Please know that we are here to help. We strongly encourage that you take every opportunity to meet with us, network with us, and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Here is the full un-edited report for your use. Please note that all proponents should become familiar with the report and at a minimum be able to cite the work in their proposals: 
Indigenous Literacy – Literacy & Foundational Learning for Indigenous Adults: Investment Strategy & Framework to Guide Calgary Learns.

Please regularly check our website as we update and upload our new forms for the next funding cycle and move forward on our long term goals.
All my Relations,
Monique Fry
Indigenous Liaison

December Networking event

  • Do you want to find out what all the buzz is about with IFL (Integrated Foundational Learning)?
  • Have you taken any of our IFL workshops and  want to share (brag about) how you have implemented your learning into your program or further your learning? 
  • If your organization received mentorship, can you come and share how your programs and learners are benefiting from this experience?
Join us at our networking event on December 1 from 2 to 4 PM and listen to wonderful stories of success (and challenges) or share your own experiences with IFL. Find out about how IFL can teach how to identify and include literacy and essential skills in your everyday programs.

We welcome all IFL alumni and I-want-to-know-more-about-IFL enthusiasts!!

Date: December 1, 2016
Time: 2 - 4 PM
Location: CNIB, 15 Colonel Baker Pl NE, Calgary (map)
RSVP: click HERE 

Congratulations BVC!!

The Bow Valley College Adult Literacy and Essential Skills team at the Centre for Excellence in Foundational Learning received the Outstanding Contribution to Community Adult Learning Award.

Berniece Gowan and Darmody Mumford accept the Outstanding Contribution award
on behalf of Bow Valley College, presented by Terri Peters.

CLN has been presenting the Outstanding Contribution to Community Adult Learning Award to individuals in recognition of their contribution to community based learning in Alberta since 1996. This was the first year they recognized a team and they were delighted to celebrate the positive impact the BVC team has made in their community. 

LOLA Profile - Learning Champion: Nabila Ghaffar

(photo: Nabila (left) with nominator Maria MacMinn Varvos)
Nabila Ghaffar is the kind of team member that most organizations can only dream of. When Nabila joined the Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association as a teacher assistant in 2012, her bold, enthusiastic talent for teaching and commitment to foundational learners quickly shone through. She was soon promoted to literacy teacher, and she’s been propelling her students to success ever since.

Having immigrated to Canada from Abu Dhabi Nabila knows first-hand of the struggles and stresses newcomers face as they adjust to life in Canada. New students arrive timid and afraid of failing. After a few short weeks in Nabila’s welcoming class, they are comfortable and confident, excited to try out new skills.

Nabila pours her own passion for learning into experimenting with new approaches. She makes learning fun, designing each lesson around practical needs. Her students learn how to phone the doctor’s office or call Calgary Transit to find out when their bus will arrive. They open g-mail accounts so they can chat with other students. They create personalized books with sentences that match photos they’ve snapped in grocery stores. In every case, these new skills make their daily lives in Calgary easier.

Nabila works tirelessly, in and out of the classroom. She recently completed a collaborative two-year action research project aimed at supporting low-literacy learners who experience the most difficulties. She has since shared her work and strategies through presentations, workshops and conferences.

Nabila’s faith in her students’ abilities has shaped her into a truly exceptional learning champion. Nabila’s students have equally high faith in her, describing her as, “The best of all teachers in life… wonderful…special and unique.” We couldn’t agree more!
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