Overview

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:

Annual literacy award

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

  • outstanding achievement
  • innovative practice
  • excellence

Every year, an organization in Alberta is honoured for their work helping adults gain and build on learning skills they need to improve their lives.

Alberta has celebrated learners and educators in these types of literacy:

  • community
  • family
  • Indigenous
  • workplace

For more information, visit the Council of the Federation.

Council of the Federation Literacy Award

The 2019 call for nominations is now open!

The 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 and excellence in literacy.

Alberta has celebrated the achievements of learners and educators in the areas of community, family, Indigenous and workplace literacy. This year Alberta will continue to honour the hard work and commitment of a community organization that is helping adults to acquire and build on the literacy, foundational learning and/or essential skills they need to improve their lives.

Help us celebrate and recognize the work and leadership of a community literacy organization by completing and submitting a nomination package (DOCX, 188 KB).

For more information, see the Frequently Asked Questions (DOCX, 180 KB) and visit the Council of the Federation.

Nominations close May 31, 2019.

Award winners include:

  • 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 foundational 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.

  • 2015 Literacy Award Recipient

    Taber and District Community Adult Learning Association (TDCALA)

    For 43 years, the Taber and District Community Adult Learning Association has been providing innovative programs in literacy and essential skills training.

    In the last 15 years, Alberta’s population has changed and so has the association’s programming. Working collaboratively, the association has made a positive impacted on the community by providing family and adult literacy programs and work foundations.

    They also provide English as Second Language (ESL) training, including:

    • an ESL drop-in centre
    • one-on-one tutoring
    • a families learning together program

    The association does its best to provide seamless pathways to learning, exemplifying:

    • outstanding achievement
    • innovative practice
    • excellence in literacy

    See all of the 2015 award winners.

  • 2014 Literacy Award Recipient

    Calgary Immigrant Women's Association

    For 32 years, the dedicated staff and volunteers of the Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association have been helping to improve the lives of immigrant and refugee:

    • women
    • girls
    • their families

    Association programming is increasing their client’s literacy and job skills. Recent immigrants face many barriers to success, and the association strives to assist individuals in breaking through such barriers.

    Working collaboratively with community partners, the association offers 36 community-based programs and projects that use a holistic approach to service delivery in areas, including:

    • settlement and integration
    • literacy and language training
    • employment support and bridging programs
    • civic engagement
    • community development

    Clients benefit from customized programming, and participant success rates are as high as 70-80 per cent. The association exemplifies:

    • outstanding achievement
    • innovative practice
    • excellence in literacy

    See all of the 2014 award winners.

Family Literacy Day

January 27 is Family Literacy Day across Canada

Family Literacy – it only takes 15 minutes of fun!

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

Events take place in communities across Alberta.

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.

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

Literacy learning opportunities are everywhere! Visit ABC Life Literacy Canada to learn how you can celebrate Family Literacy Day.

International Literacy Day

International Literacy Day is on September 8.

International Literacy Day is celebrated around the world every year on September 8.

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).

1 in 5 Albertans aged 16 and older struggles to understand and use information from:

  • books
  • news stories
  • instruction manuals

Find more about International Literacy Day.

Literacy awareness videos

Use these videos to explore and share:

  • the importance of literacy for you and your family
  • programs that are available to help Albertans build their literacy skills
  • where to find information about available programs in your community

Impacts of low literacy

See why it’s important for you or your family members to be able to read and write:

Literacy success stories

Meet:

  • 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.

Contact

To connect with the Public Awareness Branch:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-643-6393
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Email: ae.publicawareness@gov.ab.ca