Registration Now Open - “Let’s Roll With It! – Take TWO”, New and Upcoming Training Events and Connections Cafés and more...
Literacy is the great enabler and the foundation on which you build more sophisticated skills. We are living in a world where skills are constantly changing and people with higher literacy skills can adapt more easily to these changes. There are people without jobs and jobs without people and in my opinion, literacy is the root of prosperity and economic growth. It is not the only solution but what is so beautiful about the work we do is that it impacts not only our learners but their children or families and the future.
I often call this work “The Silent World of Literacy”. To be completely honest in some ways it must remain silent. Many Canadians with proficient or higher literacy skills, couldn’t imagine Canadian-born adults who have low literacy skills. However, I also believe that much of what we do must remain silent because Canadian-born adults have low literacy skills. In our work, the importance of privacy and confidentiality is, in my opinion, the most important aspect of our jobs. Especially for those of us that work in small towns and rural areas. While we strive to shine the light on our services, we are required to maintain confidentiality to ensure dignity for our learners.
Our learners whether immigrant or Canadian-born, take a risk in being vulnerable when accessing help. This vulnerability can be honoured through our professionalism and commitment to show our learners that the risk is worth the reward. The vulnerability will pay off in personal growth, confidence and development of skills.
In November 2021, I challenged myself and a group of local community service providers to take note of every time they accessed their digital skills, reading skills, and numeracy skills as they went about their day.
What we found is that everywhere we went we encountered the need for literacy skills. The Covid-19 pandemic has exponentially increased the need for basic literacy skills. The areas that were identified after brief discussion were as follows:
meetings/job requirements moved online
vaccination bookings online
health updates on social media
downloading/printing your vaccine passport from the AHS website
standing in line at the grocery store appropriately
spacing yourself between other people (at least 6 feet)
masking rules/spacing while attending events
supporting our children with online school
navigating Zoom and Google meet
It is a daunting task when you consider yourself somewhat skilled in digital, numeracy and literacy skills. Our learners often have basic knowledge and lack tremendous confidence in their abilities.
I encourage you to reflect on the work that you do as a leader to build trust, to provide a safe and welcoming space, professional working relationships and develop honest communication.
I would say that this is not a small task, this is powerful work. There’s not one of you reading this today that doesn’t have a story of witnessing incredible growth and success in a learner. We might not get to see the impact of change this week or this year, but I will tell you that the countless hours and commitment to each learner have lasting effects on generations to come.
As we enter 2022, I would like to thank you for working through 2021 and courageously encountering every change, every challenge and every joy.
Thank you for holding space for your learners, thank you for referring your learners to community service providers, for being a shoulder to cry on and for adjusting your personal schedules to accommodate your learners' needs.
It does not go unnoticed when you recognize the needs your learner has when they need childcare in order to concentrate or if you are calling a taxi for your learner on those cold winter days.
Thank you for curiously engaging with your learners, for providing the very best instructional materials, for caring for yourself so you can better care for others and for silently celebrating with your learners while keeping their dignity and vulnerability at the front of your thoughts each day. Thank you for being a lifelong learner. The choices we make in our daily work are what change our learners’ lives and the generations to come.
My wish for you in 2022 comes from Mandy Hale:
Trust the wait, Embrace the uncertainty. Enjoy the beauty of becoming. When nothing is certain, Anything is possible.
Happy New Year! May you find peace and calm in the year to come.
Rochelle Galeski, CLN Board Secretary ABLE Coordinator, Medicine Hat College A.B.L.E. Program – Brooks Campus
New and Upcoming Training Events and Connections Cafés
Check out and register now for the PD that is coming in March!
March 8 – Reading Strategies– learn the 5 components of reading and explore different instructional strategies to support learners in building skills in each of the components.
March 9 – CALP Essentials for Family Literacy Programs - In this participatory training, CALP-funded staff will learn what family literacy programming is, how well suited it is to the needs of adult foundational learners and their families, and which practices support effective CALP-funded family literacy programs. This is a CALP required training.
March 24 - Introduction to Adult Foundational Learning - This CALP required training aligns with the Government of Alberta Community Adult Learning Program (CALP) Guidelines and is intended to give CALP-funded practitioners fundamental knowledge for supporting adult foundational learners in communities across Alberta.
March 30 – New CALP Staff Webinar -If you are new in your role in CALP, and still looking to get the lay of the land, please join us to connect with your colleagues from across the province.
Don’t miss out on registering for the trainings of your choice. Registration closes as early as January 7 for some upcoming events.
Upcoming Training Events:
January 13th - New CALP Staff Webinar - If you are new in your role in CALP, and still looking to get the lay of the land, please join us to connect with your colleagues from across the province.
January 18th - Introduction to Adult Foundational Learning - This CALP required training aligns with the Government of Alberta Community Adult Learning Program (CALP) Guidelines and is intended to give CALP-funded practitioners fundamental knowledge for supporting adult foundational learners in communities across Alberta.
* This session is now full. January 19th - Tech Talk - This training is for CALP staff to gain the understanding they need to be flexible and adaptable when training others in technology and to enhance existing classes or design new ones that better address the rapid changes occurring in the world of technology. The instructional approach is transferrable across digital devices and applications.
January 20th - Bits & Bytes: CALP Portal Updates- This December, the CALP Portal is getting a makeover. This will be the first “refresh” of the site’s look and feel, since first launching in 2015. Don’t worry, you will still have access to all the great features you’ve come to rely on, but things might look a little different later this month. Join us for a tour of the refreshed site, and check out the upgrades to some of our most popular modules, like the CALP Forum discussion boards and groups.
January 21st - Unity of Belonging - The purpose of Unity of Belonging is to bring awareness of oppression and to create opportunities for meaningful change. Societal change begins with individuals, their knowledge, choices, values and attitudes which impact future generations' beliefs. This course will provide participants with the opportunity to be empowered to become a voice for societal change.
January 27th - Guidelines 101 - This introductory workshop demystifies the CALP Guidelines to give you clear information about CALP programming, operational and financial requirements. For new CALP staff, board members and staff looking for a refresher in the CALP Guidelines.
January 27th - Creating Learning Partners - In this 4-week series, learn the key steps, activities, and strategies for delivering effective, engaging, and relevant training to staff and volunteers in your CALP using the Creating Learning Partners training guide. For new and experienced contracted instructors, facilitators, and volunteers.
February 7th - Bits & Bytes: CALP Portal Updates - This December, the CALP Portal is getting a makeover. This will be the first “refresh” of the site’s look and feel, since first launching in 2015. Don’t worry, you will still have access to all the great features you’ve come to rely on, but things might look a little different later this month. Join us for a tour of the refreshed site, and check out the upgrades to some of our most popular modules, like the CALP Forum discussion boards and groups.
February 9th - Writing Out Loud - Writing Out Loud (WOL) is an approach to literacy development that uses freewriting and sharing writing as the core. As a result of participating in this training, participants will be able to initiate and support one-on-one or group writing using the principles and practices of the Writing Out Loud approach.
February 10th - Staff Picks – In-Home Family Literacy Units - Come learn about this collection of family literacy program activities that provide explicit instruction and language to demonstrate how facilitators can work with families to intentionally build adult foundational skills.
February 11th - Holding Safer Spaces - Holding Space, as defined by Heather Plett, is “Being willing to walk alongside another person in whatever journey they are on without judging them, making them feel inadequate, trying to fix them, or trying to impact the outcome.” Discover approaches and practices for holding space for your own personal and professional growth.
February 16th - Engaging with Indigenous Learners (Maskwacis Cultural College) Learn about local, regional, and national issues of relevance to adult Indigenous learners to help you create a supportive and welcoming learning experience for Indigenous learners in your community. Connect with and build relationships with community members from your local First Nations Colleges/University.
Regional Connections Cafés
Grab a coffee, bring a question, share a success or challenge, stay for five minutes or settle in for all sixty. These monthly Connections Cafés are an opportunity for you to connect with CALP staff in your region.
Courtesy of Decoda Literacy Solutions. Click here to download.
Literacy In Action
Let’s have a conversation!
What do you do when your car needs a boost on a cold winter morning? You might call AMA, but you most likely call a family member or friend. So, what do you do when an adult literacy learner walks through your door and you have some questions? You can call your friendly literacy specialist, Rebecca Still, and have a conversation about adult literacy.
We can talk about finding adult literacy learners, sharing what is working for you, and exploring ideas on where to start or support an adult literacy learner. The conversation can be with just yourself or include other staff in your office and your tutors or facilitators. You may even be interested in an Exploring Literacy workshop where we look at what literacy means, who adult literacy learners are, and a few strategies on how to support them.
Send me an email email@example.com or give me a call at 780-554-6376 if you would like to have a conversation.
Rebecca Still, Literacy Specialist Community Learning Network
This Month's Spotlight
This month's spotlight is Family Literacy Day - January 27, 2022.
Family Literacy Day takes place every January 27th to raise awareness about the importance of reading and engaging in other literacy-related activities as a family. Since 1999, thousands of schools, libraries, literacy organizations and other community groups have taken part in the initiative.
Theme: Learning in the Great Outdoors
Spending time in nature provides many benefits, not just for bodies, but for minds too. This year, get outside and exercise both your mind and body together as a family. You can make outdoor time fun family learning time all while enjoying the wonders of Canada’s Great Outdoors!