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Friday, March 30, 2012

Good Reads

Short books. Easy reading. Great Canadian authors.


What are Good Reads® books?

Good Reads® are original stories by well-known Canadian authors written specifically for adult literacy and ESL learners. Enjoyable and engaging, Good Reads encourage reading practice, develop reading skills, and increase reading confidence. Good Reads also appeal to more fluent readers who enjoy a quick read.


Good Reads are short books—about 85 pages and 12,000 words. Authors follow guidelines to ensure that vocabulary and structure are accessible to adult learners. Reading levels vary with each Good Reads title, ranging from CLB/LINC 4 to 9, and Fry Reading Grades 2 to 6.


Good Reads is an initiative of ABC Life Literacy Canada, a national not-for-profit organization that inspires Canadians to increase literacy skills, and Grass Roots Press, a Canadian publisher of adult literacy and ESL resources. Good Reads is funded by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada.


Who writes Good Reads books?

Some of Canada's bestselling authors wrote Good Reads books published in 2010 and 2011.


Gail Anderson-Dargatz     The Stalker

Deborah Ellis                           In From the Cold

Marina Endicott               New Year's Eve

Joy Fielding                    Home Invasion

Robert Hough                          The Day the Rebels Came to Town

Anthony Hyde                          Picture This

Frances Itani                           Missing

Maureen Jennings           Shipwreck

Rabindranath Maharaj     The Picture of Nobody

Louise Penny                           The Hangman

Gail Vaz-Oxlade              Easy Money


In 2012 and 2013, Good Reads titles by authors Joseph Boyden, Tish Cohen, Trevor Cole and Sandra Gulland will be available.


Where are Good Reads available?

Literacy organizations, libraries and ESL programs can order directly from Grass Roots Press. Good Reads are also available at Indigo, Chapters, and independent bookstores; HarperCollins Canada is the retail distributor. E-books are available on Amazon and Kobo.


Reading guide for each Good Reads title

Reading guides for each title can be downloaded from Grass Roots Press and Good Reads websites. The reading guides include suggestions for educators, discussion questions, and activities to help engage readers in the stories.


Good Reads website

Good Reads website has resources for readers and educators, including video interviews with authors, first chapters, reader reviews, news and events, author photos and biographies, links to authors' websites, and downloadable reading guides.


For more information

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Media Education in Alberta

Alberta Provincial Flag

Media Awareness Network presents curricular overview, as well as information about professional development for media education, and about Alberta's provincial media education association, the Alberta Association for Media Awareness (AAMA).  Also included are curriculum charts for Grades K-12 that feature media education outcomes in the Alberta English Language Arts and Information and Communication Technology curricula, with links to supporting MNet resources and lessons.

Read more about curricular overview and outcomes at

Media Awareness Network releases new program Diversity and Media Toolbox

Media Awareness Network releases new program Diversity and Media Toolbox

Ottawa, March 28, 2012 – Media Awareness Network(MNet) today launched a new suite of digital and media literacy resources to help educate young people about how media representations can negatively influence how we view certain groups in society.

The Diversity and Media Toolbox, a web-based program for teachers, students, law enforcement representatives and the general public, looks at issues relating to stereotyping, bias and hate in mainstream media and the Internet. The program is broken into two distinct but complementary topic areas: online hate and media portrayals of ethnicity and race, religion, disability, sexual orientation and Aboriginal people.

"What young people see and hear in media helps them to understand the world, and who and what are valued in our society. The Internet, in particular, presents challenges to a tolerant, diverse society with its easily accessible messages of hate," said Jane Tallim, Co-Executive Director of Media Awareness Network. "These new resources will help young people – who may lack life experience and critical development – to recognize and challenge stereotyping and hateful messaging in the media they consume".

The Diversity and Media Toolbox, which comprises online tutorials, lessons, interactive student modules, and background articles, is freely available at:

The Toolbox was made possible with financial support from the Government of Canada through Justice Canada's Justice Partnership and Innovation Program.

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Media Awareness Network (MNet) is a Canadian not-for-profit centre for digital and media literacy. Its vision is that young people have the critical thinking skills to engage with media as active and informed digital citizens. MNet's programs are funded by sponsors, donors and partners, who include: TELUS, Google, Canadian Internet Registration Authority, Bell, Shaw, BellMedia, NFB.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

April 23 is World Book and Copyright Day

By celebrating this Day throughout the world, UNESCO seeks to promote reading, publishing and the protection of intellectual property through copyright. 

© UNESCO 2011
23 April: a symbolic date for world literature for on this date and in the same year of 1616, Cervantes, Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega all died. It is also the date of birth or death of other prominent authors such as Maurice Druon, K.Laxness, Vladimir Nabokov, Josep Pla and Manuel Mejía Vallejo. It was a natural choice for UNESCO's General Conference to pay a world-wide tribute to books and authors on this date, encouraging everyone, and in particular young people, to discover the pleasure of reading and gain a renewed respect for the irreplaceable contributions of those who have furthered the social and cultural progress of humanity.

The idea for this celebration originated in Catalonia where on 23 April, Saint George's Day, a rose is traditionally given as a gift for each book sold. The success of the World Book and Copyright Day will depend primarily on the support received from all parties concerned (authors, publishers, teachers, librarians, public and private institutions, humanitarian NGOs and the mass media), who have been mobilized in each country by UNESCO National Commissions, UNESCO Clubs, Centres and Associations, Associated Schools and Libraries, and by all those who feel motivated to work together in this world celebration of books and authors.

The year 2012 also marks the 80th anniversary of the Index Translationum. This international bibliography of translation provides a unique tool for the monitoring of translation flows in the world. UNESCO will celebrate this anniversary by organizing a debate on this instrument. This meeting, which will take place at UNESCO Headquarters on 23 April 2012, will bring together researchers and users of the Index Translationum as well as specialists in the field of translation and book markets.

Consequently, UNESCO suggests that the activities organized in conjunction with this year's World Book and Copyright Day focus on the themes of books and translation.

The Director-General's message as well as a downloadable poster will be available online in a few weeks.

The activities organized around the world to celebrate this Day will be published on this web site under "Initiatives 2012".
Contact: Ms Marlène Zenié Raffin, Division of Thematic Programmes for Diversity, Development and Dialogue (Culture Sector) 
Link World Book Capital City  

Indigenous community statistics

2006 Aboriginal community data initiatives reports for First Nation and Métis settlements in Alberta, These reports provide individual communities with important data for understanding demographic dynamics of the community and the population and around it.

If you are interested in comparing data between aboriginal communities, please refer to

Monday, March 26, 2012

International Adult Learners' Week (IALW) in Canada from March 24 to April 1. 2012 theme is, 'I am still learning.'

The Canadian Commission for UNESCO is again this year inviting Canada's Ministers of Education and its other lifelong learning partners to celebrate International Adult Learners' Week (IALW) in Canada from March 24 to April 1, 2012.

IALW was officially launched by UNESCO on September 8, 2000. Its founders understood that the most effective way to underscore the importance of lifelong learning was to give adult learners themselves the chance to express their views, describe their challenges, and document their success stories. IALW has been celebrated in Canada since 2002.  

The theme for 2012 is I am still learning.  Read more at

Friday, March 23, 2012

An afternoon with Mariana Endicott. Come and learn about how to get your book published and peak a view into a life of a writer

Come and meet an author and learn how to get your book published. Marina Endicott was born in Golden, BC, and grew up with three sisters and a brother, mostly in Nova Scotia and Toronto. She worked as an actor and director before going to England, where she began to write fiction. After London she went west to Saskatoon, where she was dramaturge at the Saskatchewan Playwrights Centre for many years before going farther west to Mayerthorpe, Alberta; she now lives in Edmonton. Her first novel, Open Arms, was short-listed for the Amazon/Books In Canada First Novel award in 2002. Her second,Good to a Fault, was a finalist for the 2008 Giller Prize and won the 2009 Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best Book, Canada/Caribbean region. The Little Shadows, her latest book, longlisted for the 2011 Giller Prize, was a finalist for this year's Governor General's Award and will be published in the UK and Australia in spring 2012. She is at work on a new novel, Hughtopia.

Location: Ermineskin Elementary school, Hobbema
Time: March 28, 1 pm

The event was organized by ABC Life Literacy to celebrate, 'I am Still Learning' and 'Career Week.'  
Pictures are posted on the following page.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Workplace inclusion

March 21

I attended the Workplace Inclusion workshop at the Chamber of Commerce.

I learned about the status and the meaning of ‘Saving Face.’   I listened to the systemic racial discrimination which happens in some workplaces.  I also understood the meaning of the word ‘Culture.’ Culture is the way in which we do things here.

Thank you Chamber and Alberta Employment and Immigration for organizing this workshop.  In particular; Ms. Moyra Kennedy our Business and Industry Liaison.

March 21 the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

March 21 marks the anniversary of the Sharpeville Massacre (1960) in South Africa when police opened fire on hundreds of peaceful demonstrators against Apartheid's passbook laws killing 67 demonstrators and wounding 186. In 1966, the United Nations declared March 21 the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in memory of this tragedy. Read more at

Monday, March 19, 2012

She is working on childhood obesity through puppets, her videos look great, and the kids love her puppets.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Outreach Librarians

Outreach Librarians is a non-profit organization that promotes creative learning through literature.  We have dedicated ourselves to improving the lives of minority and disadvantaged youths, particularly those living in historically impoverished areas. Outreach promotes literacy and library utilization through the development of various programs that focus on creative writing, puppetry, poetry, and computer science. Early literacy changes minds and lives forever, and it is our mission to effect such change in as many children and families as possible.

Outreach Librarians' project entitled, "Creative Learning through the Arts," is based on an established oral tradition that has been used successfully over time to develop children's imagination and creativity through art forms such as storytelling, puppetry, visual aids, and creative writing.


Alberta Arts Days becomes Alberta Culture Days, September 28-30, 2012, Call for applications

Alberta Arts Days becomes Alberta Culture Days, September 28-30, 2012
Based on input from the recent Culture Forum 2012, Alberta Arts Days has been renamed Alberta Culture Days. Participants felt this change would help encourage broader participation and support the efforts of Alberta's arts, heritage, non-profit/voluntary, multicultural and youth serving organizations. It also reflects the importance of increased collaboration and partnerships across the relevant sectors.
Alberta Culture Days runs from September 28 to 30 in conjunction with the national Culture Days movement. To support the province-wide celebration, the Government of Alberta is again making funding available to those wishing to host cultural events and be designated official Celebration Sites. All non-profit/voluntary, multicultural, heritage and arts organizations are encouraged to apply.
Two levels of funding are available: up to $20,000 to be designated a Feature Celebration Site; and up to $5,000 to be designated a Host Celebration Site. Consideration will be given to those who partner with others in their community to present cultural programming. Interested applicants should visit The application deadline is May 8.

LitFest: Edmonton’s Nonfiction Festival Position Available - Volunteer Coordinator

LitFest: Edmonton's Nonfiction Festival Position Available - Volunteer Coordinator
LitFest is an annual celebration of nonfiction literature, focused in downtown Edmonton but with additional events throughout the capital region.  The 2012 festival, October 17-28, will feature more than 40 authors and 25 events.
LitFest relies on the talents and dedication of more than a hundred volunteers each year.  Volunteers sell tickets and books, assist with the setup and teardown at events, drive authors to their events, and contribute to pre-festival marketing and communications efforts.
LitFest is seeking a Volunteer Coordinator.  The position will be part-time in June-September, growing to full time in October. Some of the work can be completed from home, and in the June-September period, there is some flexibility in the work schedule.
The Volunteer Coordinator will connect with our existing base of volunteers, and expand that base through targeted recruitment.  They will secure volunteer recognition and support items from partner organizations.  They will work with the festival producer to schedule volunteers, orient them to the festival and tasks, and supervise volunteers during the festival.  There will be some additional administrative work in the pre-festival period.
The successful applicant will be outgoing, comfortable working in groups, and with experience in scheduling, training and supervision.  The ability to think, speak and write clearly will be invaluable.  Experience with volunteers and with the not-for-profit sector, will be very helpful, but is not a requirement.
LitFest is an equal-opportunity employer, and welcomes applicants of all backgrounds.
Interested applicants should send a resume and cover letter to the email below, not later than April 5th, 2012.
LitFest: Edmonton's Nonfiction Festival / / 780.498.2500

Funding opportunities

Books, Magazines, Music, Film, etc.

Canadian Heritage grant deadline April 16, 2012


Strategic Initiatives provides financial assistance for projects involving multiple partners that will help arts and heritage organizations strengthen their management abilities, make strategic use of new technologies and diversify their revenues. By supporting collaborative projects, Strategic Initiatives encourages knowledge and resource sharing that will improve the business operations of arts and heritage organizations and help them make stronger contributions to Canadian society and the economy; and that will advance cultural development at the local level.

Who can apply

To be eligible an applicant must:
  • be a professional non-profit organization, association, institution, or foundation incorporated under the Canada Corporations Act, Part II or provincial or territorial legislation, or a First Nations, Inuit or Métis organization;
    • administered by an active board of directors, working professionally and continuously for three years prior to the application date;
    • with a mandate related to the arts or heritage sector; and
    • with activities and programs that include the arts or heritage;

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

April 9, Anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge

Dear Educator,

On April 9, 1917, a hundred thousand Canadian soldiers from
coast-to-coast fought at Vimy Ridge in France. Our impressive victory in
this First World War battle helped earn our young country a new respect
on the international stage. This year marks the 95th anniversary of the
Battle of Vimy Ridge and thousands of Canadian students will travel to
Europe to help commemorate this special milestone.

We offer a wealth of information about this important battle and
Canada's role in the First World War:

- Visit the '95th Anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge' Web
feature for historical, remembrance and learning resources to help your
students learn more about this key chapter in our country's history.

- Even if your students won't be in France, that doesn't mean they
can't see the Canadian National Vimy Memorial up close. Check out our
'Experience Vimy' multimedia feature and conduct a virtual tour of
this special place.

- The voices of the past come alive in the 'First World War Audio
Archive' to tell the experiences of those Canadians who served in the

- Our comprehensive data disc-based learning kit on the First and
Second World Wars is available free of charge. Order it today using our
on-line ordering system.

The Veterans Affairs Canada Learning Team

Prairie Tales

Screening of Prairie Tales and film making workshop

Zoe Slusar and Bailey Kerluke, of Untitled Productions ( are young independent filmmakers who have been working at producing our own film projects since High school.  They enjoy the creative freedom of writing, directing, acting in, filming, editing and producing their own films. In recent years they have won multiple 1st place awards, awards for Best Young Director's, and  have  had films screen internationally including New Jersey USA, Dublin, Ireland and Toronto Canada.

They toured with Prairie Tales throughout Alberta Art Days last Fall and loved interacting with youth about the  joy and possibilities of film! They have designed a film making workshop for younger ages is called 'Fun & Basic Pre Production for Kids & Short Film!'

In this workshop they will first talk about our experience as filmmakers; and aim to encourage the children and tell them how we discovered the world of film and how they have been able to create a career for themselves in film.  Then, we move into covering the basic pillars of pre-production for a short film. This includes brainstorming ideas, highlighting the importance of writing a script, picking characters, choosing locations, creating lists of props, and finally story-boarding. This workshop is a fun way to prepare the young participants for going out and making their own films. It gives them interactive instructions on how to plan and consider all the necessary components of creating a short film.

The aim of this workshop is to have a positive influence in encouraging creativity within the students by sharing with them all the possibilities of film making. They hope that the students leave the workshop  feeling inspired about their own story that they can tell through  film.

Watch them facilitating a workshop:

Monday, March 12, 2012

March 20 is World Storytelling Day

World Storytelling Day is a global celebration of the art of oral storytelling. It is celebrated every year on the spring equinox in the northern hemisphere, the first day of autumn equinox in the southern. On World Storytelling Day, as many people as possible tell and listen to stories in as many languages and at as many places as possible, during the same day and night. Participants tell each other about their events in order to share stories and inspiration, to learn from each other and create international contacts.  Read more at

Childrens Book Bank

The Children’s Book Bank (Toronto) is a registered charitable literacy organization that provides free books and literacy support to children in low-income neighbourhoods.

From its store-front location in the Regent Park neighborhood, The Children’s Book Bank collects, recycles and distributes free books to children who need them across Toronto.

Background Paper for the "National Dialogue on Aboriginal Learning" - November 13 and 14, 2005

By: Canadian Council on Learning (CCL), Dr. Marie Battiste

This background paper was prepared for the National Dialogue on Aboriginal Learning conference, held in Ottawa in November 2005. It was prepared in response to a call from the Canadian Council on Learning (CCL) to support the developmental work of the Aboriginal Learning Knowledge Centre.

The authors describe the context for the CCL Aboriginal Learning Knowledge Centre; the principles established to guide the CCL in developing the centre; the learning contexts of each of the First Nations, Inuit and Métis; and potential priorities and directions for an Aboriginal Learning Knowledge Centre.

Redefining How Success Is Measured in First Nations, Inuit and Métis Learning

Redefining How Success Is Measured in First Nations, Inuit and Métis Learning. (2007) Ottawa: Canadian Council on Learning.

The Canadian Council on Learning and its Aboriginal Learning Knowledge Centre, in partnership with Aboriginal organizations in Canada, have developed an innovative approach to measuring Aboriginal learning. Using modern communications technology to present Aboriginal perspectives, this partnership has resulted in three interactive, online learning models that convey how learning occurs throughout all stages of life and in many settings, such as the home, on the land, and in the community.

The report outlines three steps it is felt should be taken in fiscal year 2012-13 in order to alleviate urgent funding pressures, including the need to provide funding increases to First Nations schools equal to the funding increases being provided by provinces to provincial schools. Read more at

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Literacy & Prose Foundation

The Literacy & Prose Foundation works to improve literacy among disadvantaged children and teens in the greater Washington, D.C. area by providing them with books and access to authors and illustrators. Read more at

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Call for Concept Papers – Office of Literacy and Essential Skills

Call for Concept Papers – Office of Literacy and Essential Skills

The Office of Literacy and Essential Skills invites eligible organizations to submit concept papers for projects that address identified priority research themes in the field of adult literacy and essential skills.

Deadline:  April 5, 2012


Monday, March 5, 2012

Community Memories Program Guidelines

Call for Proposals

February 16, 2012

Members of the Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN) are hereby invited to submit proposals for the production of Community Memories exhibits for the Virtual Museum of Canada (VMC). The proposal form is available online in Word format for downloading in the submit a proposal page.

It is important to carefully review the latest version of the Community Memories Program Guidelines prior to completing a proposal.

The deadline for receipt of proposals is March 28, 2012 at midnight Eastern time.

This program is specifically designed to meet the needs of smaller institutions that are either volunteer-run or that have no more than five full-time paid employees. In addition to a software package, successful first-time participants are awarded $5,000 to cover associated production costs. CHIN will also be pleased to consider proposals for subsequent productions—the standard investment for subsequent productions is $2,500. However, only one proposal per institution will be eligible for consideration during any given round.

The VMC will not invest in more than one production at a time from any institution. If your institution is currently working on a VMC production, please do not submit any proposal until the current one has been launched.

Please note that because community participation is essential in the development of Community Memories exhibits, and that calls for proposals are a competitive process, priority will be given to proposals accompanied by letters of support (from community/school groups, individuals, others) received by the deadline date.

Prior to completing a proposal form, it is advisable to confirm your CHIN membership status. If your institution is not a CHIN member and wishes to apply for membership, please access our website under the section Join at least three weeks prior to the deadline date to complete the membership process.


For more information, please contact:

VMC Investment Programs Manager
Canadian Heritage Information Network
15 Eddy Street, 4th Floor (15-4-A)
Gatineau QC  K1A 0M5  


Thursday, March 1, 2012

March 8 is International Woman's Day

Theme: Strong Women, Strong Canada. Women in rural, remote, and northern communities: key to Canada's economic prosperity.