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Friday, June 29, 2012

2012 Stars of Alberta Volunteer Awards! deadline for nominations is Friday, September 25, 2012


Do you know local heroes who are making a difference in your community? Consider putting their names forward for the 2012 Stars of Alberta Volunteer Awards!


The search is on for Alberta's outstanding volunteers as nominations for the Stars of Alberta Volunteer Awards are now open.  From students to seniors, volunteers are the backbone of our communities and you can help to recognize their selfless generosity.


This year marks the 13th edition of the annual awards program recognizing Albertans whose volunteer efforts and contributions have made a significant difference in their community and helped to improve the lives of community members. Six awards, two each for youth, adult and seniors, are presented annually on December 5 International Volunteer Day.


For more information, please


The deadline for nominations is Friday, September 25, 2012

'Popchilla' Robot Could Help Autistic Kids

Teaching children with autism spectrum disorders how to interact with others can be hard –- usually one learns that with other people, but it's difficult to quantify.

Seema Patel, CEO of Interbots, thinks she has a solution. It's a toy stuffed animal called Popchilla that is connected to an app called Popchilla's World that runs from a mobile device. The toy, a small robot stuffed animal (it looks like a chinchilla) moves and shows facial expressions. The app is a game that rewards children when they get the right answer as to what feeling the robot is showing. 

Popchilla's World, for instance, walks a child through the process of brushing teeth (using the touch screen). The stuffed animal -– a "digital puppet" -- that goes with it will have expressions that show it is happy or unhappy. Patel told Discovery News the idea is to get children with autism spectrum disorders to move from practicing on a touch screen to interacting with people in the real world.

Toddlers Are Happier to Give Than Receive: Study

The team of three psychologists at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, gave toddlers some treats and a few minutes later asked the toddlers to give one of their treats to a puppet. The children were also given an extra treat and asked to give this to the puppet too.

The toddlers' reactions to these requests were videotaped and then rated for happiness. The researchers concluded that the toddlers showed greater happiness when they shared their own treat than when they shared the extra treat. This suggests that this behavior is emotionally rewarding for the children.

"People tend to assume that toddlers are naturally selfish," study lead author Lara Aknin said in a university news release. "These findings show that children are actually happier giving than receiving."

The study was published June 14 in the online journal PLoS One.

Library Day in the Life

 The Library Day in the Life Project is a semi-annual event coordinated by Bobbi Newman of Librarian by Day. Twice a year librarians, library staff and library students from all over the globe share a day (or week) in their life through blog posts, photos, video and Twitter updates.

Any one who works in a library can participate. You may share your day (or week) on your blog, Twitter, Flickr and/or YouTube (or any other way you choose). If you have none of these don't worry, just create a new page in the wiki and post your day there. Once you decided on your format(s)

  1. Create a PB works account (it's free)!

Reading for Social Peace

Inspired by the National Library of Maldives reading campaign "Reading for Social Peace", Yarra Plenty Library has teamed up with children's book publishers Wilkins Farago to encourage Australian kids to read with a questioning and open mind, and to use their reading to stimulate thought and discussion about social peace.

By joining this project, you too can discover the power of books, writing and art to help us think about the world around us, and imagine how we can make it a better, more peaceful place.

Read. Imagine. Create.

- What does 'social peace' mean to you?

- What does social peace mean within your school, in your family, and among your friends?

- How does social peace relate to your local community, town or city?

- How does social peace effect the environment?

- What does social peace mean in world politics?

The focus book for the launch of the Reading for Social Peace project is The Bear with the Sword by Davide Cali and Gianluca Foli...


Magic Food Bus delivers books and healthy foods for children

The popular program delivering local vegetables and library books in Sedgwick will return in July. Every Friday from July 6-August 24, the Magic Food Bus will make five stops in Sedgwick to deliver library books and locally grown vegetables for children and adults. Sedgwick Elementary School librarian Margaret Bixby will be driving the Magic Food Bus again, but this year it will be a rented, maroon cargo van.   

Along with a variety of in-season vegetables, the Magic Food Bus will distribute recipes, general storage and preparation tips, and information on local farms. The vegetables are provided free of charge (donations are accepted, but not required). This year the Sargentville Public Library is supplying library books for adults in addition to the children's books provided by the Sedgwick Elementary School. This summer the Magic Food Bus will be closely tied to the new Ready by 21 Summer Math and Reading Challenge, with age appropriate math games and supplies for a fun summer reading program available at every stop. The Magic Food Bus is expanding.


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Dumbarton Elementary School and their Indian tribe presentation

Last year, students in Rebecca Kelley's fourth grade class at Dumbarton Elementary School (outside Richmond, Virginia) delivered a presentation seeking state recognition for the Gv-he American Indian tribe. The project was supervised by Kelley and school librarian Suzanna L. Panter.

The goal was for the students to demonstrate how their fictitious Gv-he tribe—gv-he is Cherokee for Wildcats, the school's mascot—had maintained its Indian identity throughout history, proved their direct descent and met the Virginia state requirements of social distinction.

According to Panter, the project started by attempting to follow the criteria for state recognition as mandated by the commonwealth of Virginia. "Following these guidelines, the students began to make their own documents and other related materials. Then we got to see the actual items and documents when Chief Lynette Allston met with the students." Students made their case to a mock Virginia Council on Indians (VCI) in front of approximately 21 fellow students, a few parents and school officials, and Chief Allston of the Nottoway Indian Tribe of Virginia, which was awarded Virginia state recognition in February 2010.

The students reviewed hundreds of pages and documents of the Nottoway Indian tribe of Virginia's submission for state recognition, which had been presented to the VCI. "We hoped to show different perspectives of history," says Panter. "The students learned about American Indians of the past for state requirements. We also integrated fluency skills throughout the project and taught students language-art skills, how to use search engines, access and evaluate resources. It was a bonus [that] Lynette became involved. We blew the state standards of learning out of the water."

In March 2012, Dumbarton Elementary School was given two Henrico 21 awards, a school district–level award for exceptional lesson plans that incorporate 21st century skills, and the school's library was named School Library of the Year by the Virginia Association of School Librarians. This was the first time an elementary school won the award.

Casino and lottery grants

Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission
Government of Alberta agency responsible for administering the Gaming and Liquor Act, Regulation and related policy.
Business focuses on:
  • ensuring the gaming and liquor activities in Alberta are conducted honestly, openly and with integrity, and
  • maximizing the economic benefits of gaming and liquor activities in the province to benefit all Albertans.

Alberta Lottery Fund grants

Applying for a Grant print this page

Each year thousands of non-profit/volunteer organizations in Alberta require funding for a variety of projects and initiatives. This year, the Alberta Lottery Fund will re-invest $1.5 billion in communities across the province. Some of this funding is available to these organizations through various lottery-funded grant programs.

The Ministry of Culture oversees funding for the following granting programs and foundations:

The Ministry of Tourism, Parks, and Recreation oversees funding for the Alberta Sport, Recreation, Parks and Wildlife Foundation (ASRPWF) and its granting programs.

To see examples of projects and organizations who have received funding, visit our searchable database.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Learner Lesson Plan Database

Welcome to the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) Standards for the 21st-Century Learner Lesson Plan Database, a tool to support school librarians and other educators in teaching the essential learning skills defined in the AASL Standards for the 21st-Century Learner.
Users can search the database for lesson plans by learning standards and indicators, content topic, grade-level, resources used, type of lesson or schedule, keyword and much more. In addition, registered users can bookmark lesson plans in a portfolio for future use, rate and comment on lesson plans in the community, print to PDF and socially share lesson plans on the web, and create and publish their own lesson plans in the database.
The American Association of School Librarians' (AASL) Standards for the 21st-Century Learner Lesson Plan Database is a tool to support school librarians and other educators in teaching the essential learning skills defined in the AASL Standards for the 21st-Century Learner. To register and begin using the Lesson Plan Database, visit external link icon
The AASL Standards for the 21st-Century Learner Lesson Plan Database is a part of Learning4Life – a national implementation plan to supports states, school systems, and individual schools preparing to implement the AASL Standards for the 21st-Century Learner and Empowering Learners: Guidelines for School Library Programs.

Find other Learning4Life resources on the AASL website at For more information on AASL's plan for implementing the new learning standards and program guidelines, visit

Best Websites for Teaching and Learning

Best Websites Medal 2011

The "Top 25" Websites foster the qualities of innovation, creativity, active participation, and collaboration. They are free, Web-based sites that are user friendly and encourage a community of learners to explore and discover.

Register with First Books and receive FREE Books

Register for free books by July 16 with First Book Canada

Chris Raschka (right), winner of the 2012 Caldecott Medal for A Ball for Daisy (Random),

Chris Raschka (right), winner of the 2012 Caldecott Medal for A Ball for Daisy (Random), delivered a thoughtful acceptance speech Sunday night, while Jack Gantos, this year's Newbery Medal winner for Dead End in Norvelt (Farrar), had the room howling with laughter as he recounted his own experiences—and the sordid pasts of former Newbery winners.
Raschka went on to explain what being an artist felt much like traveling to a foreign country, especially on the first days of a trip. "You look about you, and nothing registers properly. You walk around in a kind of daze, and then some hand grabs you from behind."
Making picture books, Raschka said, is to "remember a particular emotion, heighten it, and then capture it in some painted vocabulary, so that the same emotion is evoked in the child, in the reader. I must make you feel what I feel, and maybe even more."
Raschka said he'd been working on A Ball for Daisy, a nearly wordless picture book that deals with the anguish a dog named Daisy goes through when her favorite ball is destroyed by a bigger dog, for so long that he could hardly remember its beginnings. The ball in the book was based on one that belonged to his son, Ingo, who was very small at the time. Daisy, the big black dog who lived on the tenth floor of their building, bit down a little too hard on Ingo's beloved yellow ball and popped it. "That I remember well," Raschka says.
"So this is how I see making my picture books today," he said. "First I'll draw what I see. Then I'll draw what I remember. And finally I'll draw what I feel."

Monday, June 25, 2012

Woodlands Elementary School library is open during the summer to provide access to books

As the end of another school year approached, Woodlands Elementary teacher-librarian Elizabeth Roberts mulled over what might keep kids from losing reading skills over the summer.
Roberts thought that part of the problem might be that some students don't have access to books.
"Which is a huge thing," she said. "The more words they hear, the more stories they read, that impacts their reading ability."
That year, 2010, she helped develop a program that would open the library a day a week through the summer.
Nearly a dozen school libraries in Kitsap open their doors to students during summer break, including about half of South Kitsap's schools and Richard Gordon Elementary in Kingston.
The effort is one attempt to keep kids reading over the summer so that they don't forget vocabulary, reading speed, habits or other skills learned during the school year.

Read more:

Hobbema students use photos to shape perspectives about their community

A young boy sits in the snow gazing out to the horizon as the sun settles warmly over a big sky prairie landscape. It is a shot that communicates a feeling of calm and hope for the future.
The image is just one of a collection of photos captured by junior high students from Meskanahk Ka Nipa Wit School on the Montana First Nation, at Hobbema south of Edmonton. The photos have been published in a 28-page book, called Photo ID – Snapshots of Identity and funded through Enbridge's School Plus Program.

Students at the Meskanahk Ka Nipa Wit School are using photos to articulate their thoughts about themselves and their community.
"The students are using the photos to articulate their thoughts about themselves and their community," says Sandi Hiemer, the project coordinator and a guidance counsellor at the Cree culture-focused school, which has more than 140 students from kindergarten to Grade 9. "The photos remind me that young people have a lot to say, and we should never underestimate them."

The 16 members of the school's Bookmaker Club spent part of every Wednesday over the last eight months working on the book. Hiemer says the students were initially asked to capture images representing how they see themselves and their place in the world. They came back with thousands of photos that show friendships, school, sports and families.

"For the students, it always came back to the people around them," says Hiemer. "They place their family  and their community pretty much at the top of importance. It's who they go to for support, and who has high hopes for them." 

Hiemer says the students hope the book, which combines photos and quotes, will send a positive, affirmative message about their community.  A book launch and exhibit of the students' photographs took place May 25 at the Nina Haggerty Centre for the Arts in Edmonton.

It's the second time the club has produced a book. A previous photography book  – Can You See Me? – was published in 2010.

"Our first book was really a response to some of the past negative media coverage around our community," says Hiemer of the book, which featured vibrant images of their culture and the local landscape. "The students used photos to show a different side and help broaden the perspective of how people can see their community."

The Edmonton Journal gave front page coverage to the first book, and the story was picked up by the national media, including the CBC and APTN National News.  Copies of the book sold across the country.

Every Child Ready to Read

Early Literacy Support

What is Early Literacy?

Early literacy is what children know about reading and writing before they can actually read and write. Research shows that children get ready to read years before they start school. You can help your child (birth to three-years) learn 6 very important skills now so they can become good readers.

Print Awareness

  • Read aloud everyday print: labels, signs, lists, menus. Print is everywhere!
  • Point to some of the words as you say them, especially words that are repeated.
  • Let your child turn the pages.
  • Let you child hold the book and read or tell the story.
  • Hold the book upside down. See if your child turns the book around.
  • Being familiar with printed language helps children feel comfortable with books and understand that print is useful.


Narrative Skills

  • Listen to your child carefully when he talks.
  • Ask your child to tell you about something that happened. Let him tell you about a picture he drew.
  • Share books together.
  • Stories help children understand that things happen in order: first, next, last.
  • Read a book together that your child already knows. Switch what you do. You be the listener and let your child tell you the story.
  • Ask "what" questions. Point to a picture and say, "What's that?" or "What is happening here?"
  • Add to what your child says. If your child says, "big truck" then you say, "Yes, a big red fire truck."
  • Ask open-ended questions like, "What do you think is happening in this picture?"
  • Help your child relate what is happening in the story to her own experience, for example, "What happened when we went on a picnic?"
  • Being able to tell or retell a story helps children understand what they read.


  • Talk with your child about what is going on around you. Talk about how things work, feelings and ideas.
  • When your child talks with you, add more detail to what she says.
  • Speak in the language that is most comfortable for you.
  • Read together every day. When you talk about the story and pictures, your child hears and learns more words.
  • Learn together by reading some true books on subjects that your child likes.
  • Research shows that children who have larger vocabularies are better readers. Knowing many words helps children recognize written words and understand what they read.

Print Motivation

  • Make book-sharing time a special time for closeness between you and your child.
  • Let your child see you reading.
  • Children who enjoy books will want to learn how to read.
  • Phonological awareness

Phonological Awareness

  • Most children who have an understanding of phonological awareness have an easier time learning to read. Help your pre-reader become aware of the smaller sounds that make up words.
  • Ask whether two words rhyme: "Do 'cat' and 'dog' rhyme?" "Do 'cat' and 'hat' rhyme?"
  • Say words with word chunks left out: "What word would we have if you took the 'hot' away from 'hotdog'?"
  • Put two words chunks together to make a word: "What word would we have if we put 'cow' and 'boy' together?"
  • Say words with sounds left out: "What word would we have if we took the 'buh' sound away from 'bat'?"
  • Say rhymes and make up your own silly, nonsense rhymes together.
  • Sing songs. Songs have different notes for each syllable in a word.
  • Read some poetry together. Make up short poems together. Say the words that rhyme.
  • Say rhymes and sing songs in the language most comfortable for you.

Letter Knowledge

  • Write your child's name.
  • Make letters from clay or use magnetic letters.
  • Point out and name letters when reading alphabet books, signs or labels.
  • Show your child that the same letter can look different.
  • Write words that interest your child (like "dinosaur" or "truck") using crayons, magnetic letters or pencil and paper.
  • Knowing the names and sounds of letters helps children figure out how to say written words.

Kumon is the world’s largest after-school math and reading academic enrichment program

Kumon: Preschool through 12th Grade

Kumon is the world's largest after-school math and reading academic enrichment program. Our personalized approach helps children learn math and reading concepts based on their ability rather than their age or grade. Since the curriculum is individualized for each child, it allows students to comprehend the new material fully before moving ahead. With our emphasis on self-learning, preschool through high school students become self-reliant and gain confidence to learn new materials at their own pace.


Each exercise in Kumon's Curriculum is carefully designed to encourage independent learning, because new concepts build on previously mastered ones. From counting to calculus and basic phonics to advanced reading comprehension, your child will progress at a pace that's right for them while they develop a love of learning.

Kumon's Materials Development and Instruction Department studies how students solve the worksheet problems, and the curriculum is revised periodically to improve the students' experience in learning new concepts independently.

Speak. Share. Thrive. makes you a partner in the engagment process

The Government of Alberta is leading the development of a Social Policy Framework that will guide the future of Alberta's social policy and programs.
An important first step in creating the Framework is speaking with Albertans and hearing their ideas about the future of social policy in our province. This conversation will help all of us understand how everyone—from individuals, community and business groups, to participants from government, non-profit and voluntary sectors—can work in partnership to ensure that all Albertans, regardless of their circumstances, have the opportunity to participate fully in our economy, communities and cultural life.
This paper, which is part of a larger engagement process where Albertans are encouraged to provide us with their thoughts and ideas on the future of Alberta's social policy, was created by:
  • Looking at how parts of Canada and the world are approaching social policy;
  • Talking to government staff who work in the planning and delivery of social services; and
  • Listening to our partners in municipalities, the non-profit sector and busines

If it any time you need to contact the Social Policy Framework Team, email us at

Speak. Share. Thrive. makes you a partner in the engagment process.

Research shows that children who don’t read over the summer lose some of the literacy skills

Summer holidays shouldn't be a holiday from learning

 (Toronto, ON – June 21, 2012) – Now that summer is officially here, parents and children are excited to start their summer vacation. But just because school's out doesn't mean we should take a vacation from learning. Research shows that children who don't read over the summer lose some of the literacy skills they learned during the year, and have a difficult time adjusting to school in the fall. So try out these fun activities this summer to keep skills sharp all year long!

Partnership Success: Community connection, Commitment, Transparency and Mutual respect.

Each service coordination partnership showcased in this newsletter is unique; and they all have strategies that help make them successful. Some common themes presented throughout all the stories are innovation, community connection, commitment, transparency and mutual respect.

Dina McGowan, Executive Director at Tri-County Literacy Council and First Stop in Cornwall, shares the following suggestions when building partnerships around a service coordination model, such as their centralized assessment centre:

  1. Make sure all partners are on board
  2. Design formal agreements
  3. Keep communication lines open
  4. Don't go forward if you have any doubts

Jan Goatcher, Coordinator of the John Howard Society's Skills Plus LBS program in Ottawa says it's important to partner with an agency that believes your literacy services are going to be useful. "

If they're not advocating the program for you and with you, then it's not going to work," says Jan.

When starting a partnership, it's important to be realistic, but to also remain open and flexible in the direction it takes. Sometimes the original plan doesn't work the way it was envisioned, but that doesn't mean some good can't come out of it, most stakeholders agree.

Joyce Bigelow, Executive Director of Northern Connections, notes "Partnerships help the community and the programs. Not every partnership is going to fully work out, but even if it works partly, you've increased awareness that much."

Ontario Trillium Foundation

Originally known as the Trillium Foundation, the organization started with humble beginnings in 1982. The economic conditions of the early 80s had adversely affected the voluntary social service sector. Government funding and private sector donations had decreased. It was a time when many charities, large and small, were concerned about their ability to secure funds to enable them to carry on their existing programs and to meet essential community needs.

The concept of a foundation funded through government lotteries - but managed and directed by volunteers - developed that year as a result of a series of meetings between volunteers from nine charitable organizations and the Ontario Ministry of Tourism and Recreation. The charitable organizations represented in those meetings all had an interest in either obtaining or maintaining private charitable province-wide lottery licenses as a means of generating revenue for support of the services they provided to the community.

The Government of Ontario recognized that an opportunity existed to do something unique in the public interest. It proposed the allocation of funds for social services to be administered by an arms-length agency. This led to the establishment of the Trillium Foundation, which was received with great enthusiasm.


Value of School Libraries Studies

Value of School Libraries Studies

The Crisis in Canada's School Libraries: The Case for Reform and Reinvestment

Recent reports that were not included in the above report include:

School Libraries and Student achievement in Ontario [PDF]
The Ontario Library Association, April 2006

School Libraries Work! [PDF]
Scholastic Research Foundation Paper, 2008 Edition

Idaho School Library Impact Study – 2009

The 2006 report on the impact of Delaware school libraries is available from the Delaware Division of Libraries:

Statistical Studies of School and Other Libraries (excellent webliography)

Libraries target growing e-book audience

Most U.S. libraries lend e-books, but most people don't know about it: Only 22 percent realize the fast-growing digital format is available, according to a new survey. And even fewer people — 12 percent of e-book readers — have borrowed an e-book from the library in the past year, according to a poll released today by the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project.

Read more:

Collaboration Bulletin

Reach. Relationships.  Resource sharing.  Revenue generating.
CC: Creating Communities            
BCC: Build. Connect. Collaborate. Capacity Development.

May 19,2011: Leadership Skills workshop Partner: Knowledge by Volunteer Alberta

June 6,2011: Parents as students (teachers for their children), Promoting our services and resources at the Norquest College

June 1,2011: PRINTS worker bee meeting at Catholic Social Services

June 6,2011: Strategies and Tools when working with newcomers    (Partner: Alberta Employment and Immigration Please use the word 'retention' in your application.)

June 7,2011: Say Yes to Community Inclusion workshops for seniors at Sunrise Village and Madyson Manor  (Speaker provided by Active Living Alliance for Canadians with a Disability)   To book a FREE Speaker contact: Active Living Alliance for Canadians with a Disability, 720 Belfast Road, Suite 104, Ottawa, Ontario, K1G 0Z5, Tel.: 1-800-771-0663 or (613) 244-0052,  Fax: (613) 244-4857, Email:             Web:    (Please use the words 'active living' or 'movement' in your application.)

June 8,2011: Field trip to the library by students of Louis Bull reserve to celebrate World Oceans Day. Students learned about the traditional Cree teachings about water.  Water Conservation. (Louis Bull school)

June 13,2011: Communicating with First Nations People seminar  (Partner: Maskwachees Cultural College)

June 20,2011: Volunteer networking and training workshop

June 21,2011: Aboriginal Day Celebration Library Booth at the Drill Hall  (Partner: Central Alberta Children’s Services)

June 25,2011: Westlock Public Library Gyotaku print making workshop at the Heritage Museum

July 11,2011: Boys & Girls Club Family Enhancement program, Play date at the library

August 5,2011: Center for Family Literacy, COW Bus, 5 programs ran at the library in one day and this cultivates and breeds an audience for our fall programs   (Please use the words 'Gathering' for direct parent model of family literacy workshops.) To book the COW Bus contact Megan Vander Griend
Alberta Prairie C.O.W. Bus Coordinator & Facilitator, Centre for Family Literacy, 11642 142 Street NW 
Edmonton, AB T5M 1V4, Phone: 780-421-7323 Fax: 780-421-7324,

August 8,2011: MANGO Language Learning Training for library staff, literacy stakeholders and integration agents (Trainer provided by The Alberta Library)  (Staff from Tofield Public Library came to Wetaskiwin and suggested grandkids as teachers/trainers)

August 10,2011: Wordy the Octopus BBQ set draw (Random rewards. BBQ set donated by Lions Club)
Community gives us 602 words. Emily Whittal brings her mother, grandmother and friends to the library 

May-September, 2011: Series of intercultural communications workshops  (Funded by Alberta Employment and Immigration and Community Literacy Program)

IFLA Sister Library

Upcoming three events

Join Us September 9th
for Special Guest Speakers, Mocktail Tastings, Games and
A Chance to Network With Others in the FASD Community
Ceremonies Begin at the Wetaskiwin Public Library 5002 – 51st Street Wetaskiwin at 1:30.
Come Help Us Recognize This Important Day
RSVP 780 361 4447

Proposed Partnerships and Projects

For information about Initiating Collaborations and Coaching workshops please contact Manisha Khetarpal at

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The mission of the Cooney Center is to advance children’s learning through digital media.

The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop focuses on the new challenges children face today, asking the 21st century equivalent of her original question, "How can emerging media help children learn?"
QuickReport: Print Books vs. E-books
by C. Chiong, J. Ree, L. Takeuchi | May 2012 | View Bio
Comparing parent-child co-reading on print, basic, and enhanced e-book platforms
This QuickReport presents the results of our first QuickStudy exploring parent-child interactions as they read print and digital books together. We conducted this exploratory study with our SciPlay partners at the New York Hall of Science in Queens, New York in an effort to tackle some of the questions we have about the growing popularity of e-books among readers of all ages. How do adults and children read e-books compared to print books? How might the nature of parent-child conversations differ across platforms? Which design features of e-books appear to support parent-child interaction? Do any features detract from these interactions?


In the Community

TransCanada engages regularly with our stakeholders and aboriginal communities. We share information about our plans and activities while receiving a clear indication of stakeholder views. We gain valuable insight from these discussions and use this information in our project planning, development, and operations activities.

When it comes to new projects, public involvement may involve one on one discussions, public presentations, or open houses with affected stakeholders. We supplement these face to face meetings with written materials and other forms of communication such as fact sheets, brochures, websites, e-mail, and Toll-free telephone lines. Our goal is to develop projects in a manner that is publicly supported and aligned with our business objectives and values.

Free traveling panel exhibition, "Civil War 150" grants for libraries, history, civil war, remembering our veterans, and civic engagement

Library grants: Applications are being accepted through July 15 for grants to develop public programming around the free traveling panel exhibition, "Civil War 150." The $1000 grants, offered by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, in partnership with The Library of America, will be awarded to 50 sites to host the exhibition and plan accompanying public programming. The winners will also be given written materials, such as discussion guides, and access to a multimedia website that contains digital resources. The exhibition is available for three-week periods between October 2012 and March 2015. Additionally, there will be prizes in the amount of $500 awarded to 150 libraries to provide the public programming component of the project. The exhibition is part of Civil War 150: Exploring the War and Its Meaning through the Words of Those Who Lived It, a major three-year project funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities and centered on The Library of America's ambitious four-volume series, The Civil War Told by Those Who Lived It (2012).

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Blairs' elementary scool library is open for students from 12pm - 6pm on Wednesdays to encourage summer reading

Isabella Herzog waits in line to sign out the books she has chosen to take home this week from Blair Elementary School's library on June 20, 2012. Blairs' library is open for students from 12pm - 6pm on Wednesdays to encourage summer reading.
In there, it looks like any given weekday between August and June. Students shake the mice of sleepy computers, run their fingers along hardback spines and ask librarian Nan Powell when they can pounce on a table stocked with crayons and paper.  "Research shows that the achievement gap in reading actually widens during the summer vacation," said Carole Sutton, the district's supervisor for Title I programs. "It is our main goal to increase access to books and opportunities to read for leisure."

Friday, June 22, 2012

Battle of the Books @ Gray and Brooke Elementary



Michelle Nielsen, Teacher-Librarian at Gray Elementary, accepted an invitation from Janice Choy, the Teacher-Librarian at Brooke Elementary, to join her in a "Battle of the Books" competition. Our respective grade 6/7 and 7 classes each read 6 books, most of which were written by Canadian authors such as Eric Walters and Monica Hughes and were of varying difficulty levels, over a set period of time.

RFQ - Research Project: Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) - A Compliance Study

OCLS is inviting qualified consultants to respond to this Request for Quotation (RFQ), for a study that will identify, explore and summarize best practices and exemplary models/ partnerships already in place, or under development in the post-secondary education (PSE) sector in compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) in Ontario or with similar legislation in other jurisdictions. Proposal submissions should indicate capacity and commitment to deliver the services required to complete the research study as defined in Scope of Work (Section 4). The proposal will include an outline of the project plan, description of the methodology, and a cost proposal, for the purposes of selecting a consultant and determining the components of the project that can be completed with the allocated resources.

A copy of the full RFQ can be found on the OCLS website at:

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Ready to Learn? A look at school readiness in young children (2008)

Lessons in Learning
The research on school readiness carries important implications for those
responsible for pre-school children.

Develop children's verbal abilities
Early family-literacy experiences provide important pre-literacy lessons,
stimulating an interest in and orientation toward literacy, introducing children
to narrative structures and literary conventions, and exposing children to the
syntax and complexity of written language.

Nursery rhymes and songs can also be effective learning tools: children learn
to break words down into their component sounds by playing with rhymes.
Children like rhymes for their cadence and the repetition of sounds. After they
have heard a rhyme or story, the adult reader can pause, allowing the child to
complete the line or thought.

Asking children questions about their experience
communicates to children that their experiences are important and their
descriptions of those experiences are of interest to others. Inviting children to
talk about their drawings or paintings provides the opportunity for children to
speak about something they have produced. It is advantageous to make the
invitation to speak open-ended—"Tell me about ..." —rather than asking a
specific question— "What's that?" or "Is that a dog?"

Develop positive attitudes toward learning
Adults can encourage curiosity and effort.

Develop positive social and emotional responses
Caregivers are very influential in a pre-schooler's social and emotional
development.  Letting children know that anger and frustration are as legitimate as happiness
and feelings of success helps them develop a repertoire of emotional
responses—especially when the boundaries for expressing both positive and
negative emotions are set. It is appropriate to be frustrated and stamp one's
foot, but not on one's sibling. Jumping for joy is great, but not on the furniture.

Maintain attention, provide choice and seek explanations
Being able to maintain attention for a reasonable period of time is as important
in social development as it is in cognitive development.

ETFO to work with First Nations leaders to support education, equity in Aboriginal communities

TORONTO, June 20, 2012 /CNW/ - In recognition of National Aboriginal Day on June 21, the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO) announced it will develop a comprehensive campaign to support equity and social justice in Ontario Aboriginal communities.

"We will be working with First Nations leaders across the province to find appropriate ways in which to support Aboriginal communities particularly from the perspective of education, equality, and social justice," said ETFO President Sam Hammond. "While supporting First Nations teaching and education within isolate Aboriginal communities, we are looking to work with leaders in lobbying and advocacy on human rights issues."

It is a key priority for ETFO to support partnerships and initiatives that advance the rights and opportunities of Aboriginal children and youth. Since 2005, ETFO has supported the Lieutenant Governor's Summer Literacy Initiatives for isolated First Nations communities including most recently a campaign by Lieutenant Governor David Onley and Aski Nation Grand Chief Stan Beardy to secure e-readers for 5,000 children and youth in those communities. The Federation is a key sponsor of the Right To Play Youth Leadership Program in 35 First Nations communities, and has also donated to Shannen's Dream, which advocate for more support for First Nations schools including Attawapiskat where the campaign was begun by Shannen Koostachin. Two years ago, ETFO sponsored a northern school tour in 33 communities of Spirit Horse, a play by Ojibway playwright Drew Hayden Taylor that confronts Aboriginal stereotypes and racism.

The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario represents 76,000 elementary public school teachers and education professionals across the province and is the largest teacher federation in Canada.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Going Global Language skills give owners a leg up

He also brings his own interpreter to do business with these potential suppliers.

The owner of Toronto-based importer Fair Trade and Handmade Eco Friendly Gifts over the past three years has learned that using international languages while doing business is all about balance: It shows respect, as does asking about local customs, while an interpreter makes sure the business side goes smoothly. "The devil's in the details. I don't want any surprises at the end," says Mr. Kovacs, who spends $45 to $50 an hour for a translator.

Mr. Kovacs is joining a growing segment of small-business owners who recognize the value of leveraging language. It's not about being totally fluent, to the point where you can negotiate a contract, it's about understanding how language aids a business relationship and then using it to your advantage.

Toronto's Spanish Solutions – which helps companies learn business customs, translates documents and provides live interpreters – is experiencing increased demand as people working overseas seek an edge.

"People are looking for ways to grow their businesses. Building a relationship is key in some cultures and being able to do that in the native language can be a competitive advantage," says Katharine Spehar, president of Berlitz Canada. Her company's 12 training centres across Canada are increasingly serving small-business owners.

Mando Mandarin, a New York-based online language school established in 2009, teaches adults and kids and it is witnessing rapid growth in its overall business. Founder and president Michael Cheng says the growing number of adults includes people working for large companies and entrepreneurs.

Interest is high in Mandarin, Spanish, Portuguese and improved French.

The increased awareness around language has a lot to do with how much international business Canadian companies are doing. They exported $447 billion worth of goods in 2011, and imported $445 billion. While our main trading partners, the United States and Britain, present no language barriers, we also do billions in transactions with the likes of India, Indonesia, Brazil, South Korea, Japan, Mexico and China.

"English is the predominant language of doing business internationally, and that's not going to change," says David Bhamjee, manager of small business for west and Atlantic region at Export Development Canada (EDC).

But that's not the whole story. Having some grasp of conversational Indonesian, for example, helps when dealing with manufacturers there, as does Spanish for those in the mining sector with partners in South America, and knowing a little Arabic for companies in the oil and gas industry.

Knowing local greetings, everyday sayings and popular concepts, both social and business – the idea in China of guanxi, for instance, your personal connections or network – shows respect and goes a long way toward building a trusting relationship with overseas partners. It also means there's something to talk about over a business lunch besides just business.

"Learning the language is a sign of trying to connect with them. Taking an interest in their culture and taking the time to build a relationship," says Mr. Cheng of Mando Mandarin.

Mr. Kovacs, who employs an average of two employees in quieter months and eight during the busy retail season in December, has found that to be true in his travels to small communities in Asia, South America and Africa. "Your relationship grows a lot faster when you speak some language."

Monday, June 18, 2012

Fundraising for library collection

A $150,000 grant from the Chapel Hill Library Foundation is intended to do that by helping the library purchase an Open Day Collection that will be on shelves and ready for check out when the library reopens next spring.
But the foundation's grant is only halfway to the $300,000 needed to fill the library shelves. The foundation is depending on members of the community to pitch in to raise the remainder.

"A new Library with empty shelves is like a book with blank pages. Our community needs to band together and provide an Opening Day Collection that is the pride of Chapel Hill," Cain said in a news release.

The grant and matching donations will help the library buy 6,000 to 7,000 new items.

The grant awarded Monday was made possible by donations made through the foundation's Ensuring Excellence Campaign, which is used for library acquisitions and programs not covered in the town budget or by bond funds.

The $16.2 million in bonds approved for the renovation and expansion of the library building does not cover funding for new library materials.


Want to help?

To donate for the purchase of print, non-print, and electronic resources for our Library's Opening Day Collection, please visit

Read more: The Herald-Sun - Library gets 150K grant

United Way program promotes literacy

The Missouri Slope Areawide United Way Women's Leadership Circle will participate Thursday in the nationwide United Way Day of Action to promote the importance of literacy and early childhood learning by reading to children.
"They will send out 32-34 volunteers to day cares or shelters in Bismarck-Mandan to read to prekindergarten children and then lead the kids in a craft (related to the book)," said Melissa Wulf, marketing director for the local United Way.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

How do we get kids to stay out of jail? The result is In and Out, a graphic novel.

With a recidivism rate for youth in B.C. jails at 76 per cent, and an average reading ability at the Grade 4 level, officials at the University of Victoria's Centre for Youth and Society thought a new approach was needed.

So masters student Kate Creedon, who works as a counsellor at the Victoria Youth Custody Centre, got a group of young inmates to write a graphic novel about their experiences.

"I asked them: 'How do we get kids to stay out of jail? What do you wish you'd known when you first came here?'" said Ms. Creedon of the creative challenge she threw at them.

The result is In and Out, a graphic novel illustrated by Meghan Bell, a professional artist outside the system, based on a story line developed by the small group of 16-to-19-year-old inmates.

It follows the experiences of a young man who fights to get his life on the right track, while his brother and friends are trying to pull him back into a continued life of crime.

The goal of the project, Ms. Creedon said, was to both encourage literacy and find a way for repeat offenders to get across to their peers that there is a way to get out and stay out.

Introducing the inaugural Walrus poetry prize.


The juried winner will receive $5,000, and his or her poem will be published in the December issue of The Walrus.

The readers' choice winner — to be determined by public vote — will receive $1,000.

Finalists to be chosen by 2010 Griffin Poetry Prize winner Karen Solie and Walrus poetry editor Michael Lista.

$25 entry fee includes a one-year, ten-issue subscription to or renewal of The Walrus magazine.

Enter via web page by July 31,2012.

For more information, read Michael Lista's kickoff post on the Walrus Blog.

For full contest rules and regulations, click here.

Please address questions and comments to

The Governor General's Awards in Commemoration of the Persons Case


In 1929, after two years of legal debate, Canada's highest court of appeal declared that the word "person" included both women and men. The decision was made by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council of Great Britain and made it possible for women to serve in the Senate. It also paved the way for women's increased participation in public and political life. The case had been brought before the courts in 1927 by five Alberta women who became known as the "Famous Five." The case became known as the Persons Case.
Each year, five winners are chosen from across Canada. In recognition of the world's first International Day of the Girl which will take place on October 11, 2012, two of the 2012 winners will be from the youth category (15-30 years old).
The deadline for nominations for the 2012 awards is July 15, 2012.

Elementary School Libraries are offering open library times every Thursday morning during summer holidays

The relaxed, fun-filled days of summer are a well-deserved break for children; however, they can have an unfortunate consequence — learning loss. Luckily, this loss is preventable and there are an increasing number of education groups, schools and libraries banding together to provide ongoing opportunities for reading and educational growth during the summer.
It is commonly referred to as the "summer slide" or "summer slump."  Both Glenshire Elementary and Tahoe Lake Elementary School Libraries are offering open library times every Thursday morning and Tahoe Lake Elementary is also providing one-to-one reading opportunities and story hour during the weekly Tahoe City Farmers Market.
"Our teachers and students work diligently all school year to improve their reading skills and absorb a great variety of information," explains Valerie Simpson, Truckee Elementary Principal. "It seems counterproductive to simply allow all that learning and retention to fade away just because kids are out of school for summer. We need the support of parents to help make sure these summer programs work."
The Excellence in Education Foundation would love to hear your creative ideas for encouraging summer reading so that they can be shared with others. Please email your ideas to For more information on Tahoe Truckee Reads visit:

School library services on reserve land Hobbema report card

Inquiry based learning, Author birthdays, research, information literacy, Accelerated Reading Rewards, Family literacy coffeehouse, storytelling, author readings, book distribution, book fairs, reading programs, celebrations, and more activities. Visit the following page to view the 2012 library service report card. Ningwakwe Learning Press (NLP)

"Education is the key to our success and it is our way to contribute to our people.

When we become educated, we are self reliant as individuals. As more of our

people realize their goals, whole communities become self-sufficient. By

attaining an education we can work for and with our own people, working

towards becoming self governing nations once again."


Dr. Emily Faries


Ningwakwe Learning Press (NLP) has been publishing culturally appropriate resources for the Aboriginal literacy field in North America since 1996. NLP focuses on producing and distributing appropriate materials that:


· incorporate a holistic approach to learning - addressing the spiritual, emotional, mental and the physical


· are culture-based, reflecting the contemporary realities of and are geared to adult First Nation, Inuit and M├ętis learners


· consider literacy as a tool which empowers the spirit as a part of a lifelong path of learning


By developing and distributing essential skills learning materials, NLP provides needed resources to literacy students and programs across Canada, which in turn enables them to support development of employability skills and support the transition to independence.      (This site is a resource for literacy workers, teachers and anyone interested in Aboriginal literacy. Download free teachers' guides, lesson plans, student activities and literacy documents.)
c/o Saugeen First Nation
GMB 56 Site 3A
Southampton, Ontario
N0H 2L0