TRACK A Sessions

Date: Wednesday, September 29

Time: 9:00am – 10:00am

Choice of 4 sessions:

  1. Trauma Informed Care and Adult Foundational Learners (A1-B1) - 2-part Breakout Session (Part 1 of 2)
  2. CALP - Connected in Community (A3-B3) - 2-part Breakout Session (Part 1 of 2)
  3. Let's Talk About Inclusive Language (A4-B4) - 2-part Breakout Session (Part 1 of 2)
  4. Tell Me a Story (A5) - 60-minute Breakout Session

Trauma Informed Care and Adult Foundational Learners (A1-B1) - 2-part Breakout Session (Part 1 of 2)

Trauma Informed Care and Adult Foundational Learners (A1-B1) - 2-part Breakout Session

Have you ever been nervous about public speaking? Does your voice shake when you talk? Maybe your hands shake as well and you turn red in the face? This is your hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis (HPA axis) which essentially is your body responding to the effects of stress. Understanding Trauma-informed Care and the physical, cognitive and behavioural effects in our learners can impact how we meet, intake, support and teach our learners. Knowledge of trauma-informed practices can help us to be more empathetic, leaving the “door open” to reluctant learners. As Adult literacy practitioners, instructors and coordinators, our biases or "blind spots" are often a barrier to accurately supporting an Adult Foundational Learner. Trauma education assists us in not passing judgment about learners who miss appointments, who call in “sick” before a first meeting and often miss several sessions throughout their learning journey. Being trauma-informed also impacts referring agencies who may be reluctant to refer their clients to a CALP program if they are not trauma-informed. We can better support a learner with intake, retention and learning by being Trauma-Informed.

Presenter: Rochelle Galeski is the Coordinator of Adult Basic Literacy Education – Medicine Hat College – Brooks Campus, a Red Cross Certified Psychological First Aid (PFA) Facilitator and she is Trauma-Informed. Her experience working with Trauma Affected Adult Foundational Learners has helped her to better intake, support and retain Adult Foundational Learners. She believes trauma-informed care can better bridge and build a strong and supportive Adult Foundational Learning program in our communities.

Purpose: To understand the conscious and unconscious behavioural and physical effects of trauma on an Adult Foundational Learner. Build better community partnerships by being Trauma-Informed. Intake, retain and support trauma-affect learners by looking at our own bias.

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will learn Principles of Trauma Informed Care and how to apply them to building community partners, intake and retention of Adult Foundational Learners. Implicit Bias and removing our "blind spots" by being Trauma-Informed
  • Participants will learn about a simplified version of Trauma-Informed Care, Implicit bias: “blind spots” related to trauma affected adult foundational learners. Building strong community partnerships who make accurate referrals to your CALP because you are trauma-informed
Session Threads: CALP Staff and Volunteer Development - Trauma-Informed Practices, Mental Health & Learning

Intended Audience:

  • Adult Literacy Practitioners
  • Any level of experience

CALP - Connected in Community (A3-B3) - 2-part Breakout Session (Part 1 of 2)

CALP - Connected in Community (A3-B3) - 2-part Breakout Session

CALPs can be linchpin organizations in communities across the province. Through community mapping, needs assessments and building strong connections to other learning and service providers CALP staff create seamless pathways for learners and promote the concept that ‘any door is the right door.’ This session will provide you with tools and practices that can increase your confidence to become a strong connector in the community.


Berniece Gowan is the Literacy and Poverty PD Specialist for Calgary Learns. She has been a practitioner with the adult literacy community for many years. 

Dorte Weber has been team lead and advisor in the Rural Routes program since 2017. Before starting in this role, Dorte taught ESL and managed ESL programs at NorQuest and MacEwan University. Dorte is currently supervising several needs assessment projects for CALPs.

Wendy Peverett has been working in the literacy field for over 20 years. During that time, she has done frontline delivery, program planning, facilitating, training and is currently the Professional Development Specialist for ECALA. Having the right tools for the right job is one of her passions and being part of a vibrant, well-informed community is another.

Purpose: A well-connected community establishes pathways to the services and supports adults who are returning to learning may need, whether through direct programming at funded organizations or indirectly through coordinated knowledgeable referrals.

Learning Objectives:

  • The difference between community mapping and needs assessments and why both are valuable for CALP. New ways to think about your role in your community. Simple ways to co-identify the gaps and challenges in your community
  • Increased confidence to become a strong connector in the community. Increased understanding of the value of community connections. Strategies to strengthen knowledgeable referrals to and from your community
Session Threads: CALP Staff and Volunteer Development - Inclusion, Diversity and Safer Spaces 

Intended Audience:

  • CALP Staff / Adult Literacy Practitioners / Family Literacy Practitioners / Board Members
  •  Any level of experience

Let's Talk About Inclusive Language (A4-B4) - 2-part Breakout Session (Part 1 of 2)

Let's Talk About Inclusive Language (A4-B4) - 2-part Breakout Session

The presenter of this session, B Adair, uses his fun and relaxed personality (and ridiculous sense of humour) while sharing parts of his own personal journey to truly connect with the audience in a relatable way. B strives to maintain a safe space where attendees feel welcome and encouraged to ask questions and share their own stories throughout the presentation. Participants will review common terminology and have the opportunity to review case studies and strategize improvements for real-life examples of exclusion and/or discrimination. Attendees will also work together in breakout groups to find solutions for situations from their own lived experiences. 

Presenter: B Adair (he/him) is a diversity & inclusion consultant based out of rural Central Alberta. B works with groups of all kinds to help embrace diversity, dismantle stereotypes and acknowledge privilege using customized training that is specific to the needs of each organization. 

Purpose: Learning inclusive communication skills will help attendees acknowledge the difficulties and disparities experienced by underrepresented individuals and how they can provide support and make others feel welcome by validating and valuing each other's uniqueness.

Learning Objectives:

  • In this presentation, we're going to talk about... talking. We're going to review important elements of inclusive language and discuss why it's critical to have uncomfortable conversations instead of avoiding them
  • Participants will leave this session with a better understanding of important inclusive vocabulary, new skills to apply to their work, home, and socially-distant lives, as well as actions they can take to better support marginalized individuals
Session Threads: CALP Staff and Volunteer Development - Inclusion, Diversity and Safer Spaces

Intended Audience:

  • CALP Staff / Board Members / Volunteer Tutors
  • Any level of experience

Tell Me a Story (A5) - 60-minute Breakout Session

Tell Me a Story (A5) - 60-minute Breakout Session

This workshop demonstrates how capitalizing on personal experiences of adult literacy learners are a rich source of authentic material. Creating a simple visual story leads to story retelling, and gives students opportunities to share experiences. Participants will view samples of storytelling techniques using visual prompts and participate in how-to-learn-a-story activities. 


Elsie Johnson has worked in the field of adult second language literacy for 25 years and is currently teaching in the Foundations Program at Sacred Heart School. Elsie is also a Portfolio Based Language Assessment lead.

Karen Bradley has worked in the LINC program at the Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers. She has also been involved in the First Steps to Integration Program at Multicultural Health Brokers developing material for EAL learners in the workplace and co-facilitating job training. 

Purpose: Storytelling generates genuinely rich and productive language practice.

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will learn how to integrate the four language skills within a storytelling context
  • Participants will take away storytelling techniques and materials that are suitable for ESL literacy learners
Session Threads: CALP Programs and Activities - Learning Activities, Newcomer Supports for English Language Learners, Tutoring for English Language Learners (ELL) 

Intended Audience:

  • Adult Literacy Practitioners / Volunteer Tutors
  • Any level of experience