Literacy awareness events and resources

Find out how to celebrate and learn about the importance of literacy throughout the year.

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Adult language and literacy


Albertans take part in national and international literacy events throughout the year. These events help reinforce the importance of literacy in our lives.

To learn more about these and other literacy events in your area, contact your:

Image of the logo for The Council of the Federation Literacy Award

The Council of the Federation Literacy Award

The 2024 call for nominations is now open.

The annual Council of the Federation Literacy Award was created in 2004 by Canada's premiers to recognize literacy achievements in every province and territory. The award recognizes:

  • outstanding achievement
  • innovative practice
  • excellence

This year, individuals or organizations in Alberta can be nominated to honour their work helping adults gain and build on the literacy and foundational learning skills needed to enrich their lives.

Alberta has celebrated learners and educators in community, Indigenous and family literacies.

Help us celebrate and recognize the work and leadership of an individual or community literacy organization by completing and submitting a nomination package.

For more information, visit the Council of the Federation.

Nominations close Friday, May 10, 2024.

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2022 Literacy Award Recipient – Alberta

Prospect Human Services Society

Operating in Calgary for over 20 years, Prospect Human Services offers language training, employment training, and supports new immigrants and people with homelessness, disability and mental health condition or challenge. Prospect Human Services Society also offers programs that have made a positive impact on the literacy, foundational learning and essential skills of adult learners. Prospect Human Services Society has consistently raised awareness about literacy and foundational learning in its community and served as a collaborative and resourceful information centre. Prospect Human Services Society is committed to reduce barriers and facilitate learners to access program and services, and it partners with other community organizations to better address learner needs in the community.

See all of the 2022 award winners across Canada.

Previous award winners include:

  • 2021 Literacy Award Recipient

    The Immigrant Education Society (TIES)

    Operating in Calgary since 1988, The Immigrant Education Society (TIES) offers language training, employment training, and settlement assistance. TIES also offers many programs that have made a positive impact on the literacy, foundational learning, and essential skills of adult learners. TIES has consistently raised awareness about literacy and foundational learning in its community and serves as a collaborative hub and information centre. TIES is committed to reducing barriers so that learners can access programs and services, and it partners with other community organizations in order to provide the best service to learners in their community.

    See all of the 2021 award winners.

  • 2020 Literacy Award Recipient

    Portage College – Community Adult Learning Programs

    Portage College’s Community Adult Learning Programs (CALPs) offer learner-centred foundational learning programs that allow adult Albertans to develop the necessary skills for employment and increased quality of life. The programs serve the communities of Bonnyville, St. Paul, Elk Point, Frog Lake First Nation, Cold Lake First Nation, White Lake/Goodfish First Nation and Kehewin Cree Nation. Portage College’s CALPs work closely with community leaders and partner agencies to identify and meet learning needs in ways that are accommodating and respectful of each learner.

  • 2019 Literacy Award Recipient

    P.A.L.S – Project Adult Literacy Society

    Since 1979, the Project Adult Literacy Society (P.A.L.S.) has brought together adult learners and volunteer tutors to form a foundational learning community in Edmonton. P.A.L.S. supports adult learners in reading, writing, math, English language and digital skills. The impact of P.A.L.S.’ work is far-reaching as they empower students to improve daily living, build social support networks and reach further learning and employment goals.

    As a strong advocate for adult literacy, P.A.L.S. actively engages with community partners, local businesses, post-secondary institutions and policy makers to raise awareness for the importance and potential of literacy to change lives.

  • 2018 Literacy Award Recipient

    Red Deer Public Library Adult Literacy Program

    The Red Deer Public Library Adult Literacy Program has served English language and adult literacy learners in the community for over 30 years. The adult literacy program is currently providing learning opportunities to approximately 360 adult learners through volunteer tutoring. With 215 tutors, the Adult Literacy Program has the largest volunteer pool in the region.

    Staff and volunteer tutors are committed to helping adult learners:

    • improve their reading and writing skills
    • become more confident
    • improve their lives

    Learners in this program are able to continue in further learning and/or gaining meaningful employment. The adult literacy program has responded to the needs of the community by adapting its programs to meet Syrian refugees and other newcomers learning needs.

    In addition to breaking down barriers to learning, the adult literacy program offers newcomers the opportunity that facilitate to participate in the larger community. By connecting learners to other service organizations and residents, the program is a community leader that provides adult literacy learners in Red Deer with equal opportunities to learn and join society.

    See all of the 2018 award winners.

  • 2017 Literacy Award Recipient

    The Lethbridge Public Library - Read on Adult Literacy Program

    The Lethbridge Public Library has provided family and adult literacy programs for over 30 years. The organization’s capacity and ability to respond to current community literacy and foundational learning needs is reflected in its program growth.

    During the past 13 years, through its volunteer-supported Read On Adult Literacy Program, many adult learners have increased their literacy and essential skills levels, and have continued on to post-secondary learning.

    To connect with and better serve First Nation, Métis, and Inuit peoples living in Lethbridge and area, the library engaged in partnerships with a number of organizations, including Indigenous partners, to develop and deliver three Indigenous programs designed to improve literacy skills and celebrate Indigenous:

    • traditions
    • language
    • culture

    See all of the 2017 award winners.

  • 2016 Literacy Award Recipient

    Blue Quills Literacy Centre at University nuhelot’įne thaiyots’į nistameyimâkanak Blue Quills

    The Blue Quills Literacy Centre, housed at the University nuhelot’jne thaiyots’j nistameyimâkanak Blue Quills on the Blue Quills First Nations Reserve in northeastern Alberta, provides unique programs and services that are embedded in the traditional worldviews of its seven governing Nations.

    The Literacy Centre demonstrates outstanding:

    • achievement
    • innovation
    • excellence in literacy and essential skills

    The Blue Quills team works to increase literacy and essential skills in response to community needs. The team:

    • travels to deliver literacy and foundational learning off campus
    • offers tutorial and academic support
    • provides essential skills workshops and summer literacy camps
    • partners with community or other First Nations Colleges
    • contributes a local voice to national initiatives, such as the National Aboriginal Literacy Strategy

    See all of the 2016 award winners.

Family Literacy Day

January 27 is Family Literacy Day across Canada

Family Literacy – it only takes 15 minutes of fun!

Doing an activity together as a family for just 15 minutes a day can help develop long-lasting literacy skills in children and strengthen the literacy skills of adults.

Family Literacy Day was created in 1999 by ABC Life Literacy Canada. The day raises awareness of:

  • the importance of reading
  • doing other literacy-related activities as a family

Activities can be as easy as:

  • reading or making up a story together
  • playing a board game
  • singing a song while cleaning the house
  • reading signs while riding in the car

Events take place in communities across Alberta. Visit ABC Life Literacy Canada to learn how you can celebrate Family Literacy Day.

International Literacy Day

International Literacy Day is on September 8.

One in five Albertans aged 16 and older struggles to understand and use information from books, news stories and instruction manuals.

International Literacy Day raises awareness of and concern for literacy issues around the world. The day was adopted in 1965 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Find more about International Literacy Day.

Literacy awareness videos

Use these videos to explore and share the importance of literacy, programs that help Albertans build their literacy skills and where to find information about available programs in your community.

Benefits of literacy

Reading and writing are important for you and your family in these ways:

Literacy success stories


  • Jennifer who went back to school and got her General Equivalency Diploma (GED)
  • Danny who learned how to read and is now a champion for literacy
  • Pedro who became the first person in his family to graduate from high school and post-secondary
  • the Siksika Nation and how they’re building a love of learning in their community

Promoting literacy learning

These short videos promote literacy learning in communities throughout Alberta:

Explore literacy learning at community adult learning programs near you.


Connect with the Foundational Learning and Skills Development Unit:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Email: [email protected]