30 Things I Love About CALPs

Val Rathjen, Community Learning Network

1 2 21 November 2017

2017 has been a great year, as we have celebrated CLN’s 30th Anniversary.

This fall, at the Literacy and Learning Symposium, the Regional Support Staff each provided a gift basket as a door prize. I chose to put together a basket of 30 things that show some of the great things about CALPs.

I think we all need a reminder every now and then about the value of the work we do. So, I want to share my list of the 30 things I love about CALPs along with the “gift” that each represented.

Maybe you could use some of these as a way of showing your appreciation to your board, volunteers, tutors, instructors or the learners themselves. You could even use these to inspire a contest to raise awareness of your CALP in your community. Post some quiz questions on your Facebook page – one each day of the month – and then use these as the prizes. Everyone likes to win something, and if you have them come to your office to collect their prize you have the opportunity to tell them all about what you do. So many possibilities…

  1. CALPs savour the moments, both big and small. (A savoury snack – i.e. nuts…)
  2. CALPs are versatile and provide tools to meet learner’s needs. (Multi screwdriver)
  3. CALPs hold people together. (Duct tape)
  4. CALPs excel at partnerships. (EXCEL gum)
  5. CALPs share the joy of reading as a family. (Children’s book)
  6. CALPs highlight every success. (Highlighters)
  7. CALPs provide positive feedback. (Package of gold stars)
  8. CALPs help recharge and energize learners. (Pack of Energizer batteries)
  9. CALPs leave a mark on their community. (Pack of pens or markers)
  10. CALPs help learners expand their capacity. (Balloons) 
  11. CALPs recognize that everyone has a story to tell. (Stuart McLean book of stories)
  12. CALPs bring people to the table. (Quilted table runner)
  13. CALPs help people reflect on their learning journey. (Journal)
  14. CALPs let learners direct their own learning. (Things to do post it notes)
  15. CALPs fill in missing pieces of the learning puzzle. (Puzzle)
  16. CALPs help learners measure their success. (Measuring cups & spoons)
  17. CALPs love to celebrate. (Sparklers or Confetti rockets from Dollar Store)
  18. CALPs provide endless encourage-mint. (Mints)
  19. CALPs plant seeds of hope, knowledge and possibility. (Packages of seeds)
  20. CALPs let learners march to their own music. (iTunes card)
  21. CALPs appreciate their volunteers. (Set of Thank You cards)
  22. CALPs make learning fun! (I had an I Spy Quilt but you could also use a game or deck of cards)
  23. CALPs welcome people from around the world. (World map)
  24. CALPs light up the learner’s path. (Flashlight)
  25. CALPs remind learners that it’s ok to make mistakes. (Erasers)
  26. CALPs help learners “find joy in the journey”. (Cup with inspirational quote)
  27. CALPs help learners get organized and stay on track. (Note pads)
  28. CALPs give learners wings of hope. (Butterfly ornament)
  29. CALP staff (or – volunteers, board…) are ‘Wunder’-ful. (Wunderbar chocolate bar) 
  30. CALPs welcome “All sorts” of people – every door is the right door. (Allsorts candies)


Val Rathjen
CLN Regional Support Staff
East-Central Alberta


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