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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Chicago Public Library welcomes first 'fab lab'

Move over readers, here come the makers.
Next month, the Chicago Public Library will open the city's first free "maker space" on the third floor of Harold Washington Library in the Loop. The pop-up fabrication lab will offer the public access to 3D printers, laser cutters, a milling machine and a vinyl cutter as well as a variety of supporting design software.
The facility is the first to come out of the CPL Innovation Lab, an effort to introduce new technologies to city residents. And the library is the first in a large city to experiment with a "maker space," the city says. Though it will be similar to maker spaces at the Museum of Science and Industry and Pumping Station: One, this fab lab will be free to all.
The space opens July 8 and will close at year-end. After its six-month run, the library says it will consider hosting labs in neighborhood branches.
The space fits into a growing movement of hands-on collaborative learning environments that allow people to come together and exchange ideas in the pursuit of innovation, and was funded by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services in Washington

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Sunday, June 16, 2013

Raising readers benefits everyone

Reading is something most take for granted. For about 40 per cent of Canadians, however literacy competence is below average.
One of the Boogie's four beneficiaries is the Postmedia Raise-a-Reader program. It raises funds for literacy programs across Canada. In Saskatchewan, it provides funding to literacy groups like the Saskatchewan Literacy Network. The group's main goal is to support family literacy programming and education in the province.
One of the most recent ways they are doing that is through family literacy webinar sessions. Experts discuss the community impact of family literacy development and the latest research in the field, along with cultural understanding.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Angel nannies 'bring some humanity' for mothers coping with cancer

Having cancer is an expensive proposition. Through the course of surgery, chemo and radiation there are drugs to buy, trips to make, income lost. If you have money and only yourself to take care of, it's a punishing regime. If money is tight and you've got young kids, it feels impossible.

Young mothers are often forced to be patients and caregivers at the same time.

It was that image – of women in the chemo room with little children climbing all over them — that stunned Audrey Guth when she herself was receiving treatment in 2008 for breast cancer.

"How do they manage, I wondered, how could they possibly manage?"

With her own money from the commercial nanny agency she runs, along with private donations, Guth founded the Nanny Angel Network (NAN), and started sending out the first volunteers in 2009. Toronto-based NAN aims to provide a bit of relief – a weekly block of free child care for mothers being treated for any type of cancer.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Lumina Foundation

Lumina Foundation's grantmaking is primarily proactive in nature. In other words, a large majority of our grants are awarded to partners solicited by the Foundation based on unique capacity or position to leverage large-scale systemic change. We have allocated a modest amount of grant monies for unsolicited inquiries to encourage innovative ideas that relate to our strategic portfolio. We also fund open challenges through to engage creative individuals through open innovation in areas that would transform higher education in America.

Lumina's outcomes-based approach focuses on helping to design and build an accessible, responsive and accountable higher education system while fostering a national sense of urgency for action to achieve Goal 2025. Our current funding is directed to advance the following strategies:

  1. Build a Goal 2025 Social Movement
  2. Mobilize Employers, Metro Areas, and Regions to Increase Attainment
  3. Mobilize Higher Education to Increase Student Success
  4. Advance State Policy for Increased Attainment
  5. Advance Federal Policy for Increased Attainment
  6. Create New Models of Student Financial Support
  7. Design New Higher Education Business and Finance Models
  8. Create New Systems of Quality Credentials

For more information about these strategies, see Lumina Foundation's Strategic Plan 2013-2016 »

Grant Management

Current grantees should review the Grantee Resources page for details on Lumina's grant management process and to access reporting forms.

Active Grants

Examples of current proactive work include:


Friday, June 7, 2013

Rivers to Oceans Week (June 8 to 14)

Dear Educator,

With almost one quarter of the world's wetlands, about two million lakes and 243,793 kilometres of coastline, Canada is truly a watery wonderland. And, as keepers of one-fifth of the world's fresh water, taking care of this precious resource is a shared responsibility.

Rivers to Oceans Week (June 8 to 14) is your opportunity to celebrate the water that makes Canada special and help your community recognize that ocean health is a freshwater issue.

To mark Rivers to Oceans Week, CWF is encouraging youth to become Water Warriors! It's important to empower our children and let them know that they can really make a difference in conservation in Canada. From having a balloon-free birthday party the next time they blow out their candles to taking part in a shoreline cleanup, there's plenty kids can do to help Canada's waters.

Moreover, every child who learns something new about the lakes, rivers and oceans that make up Canada's landscape, renews our hope for tomorrow. By completing the Water Warrior Certificate available at, each child will get a chance to connect with Canada's watery worlds and they'll even get to have their water questions answered by our team of conservationists!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

TD Friends of the Environment Foundation

The TD Friends of the Environment Foundation funds projects that protect the environment and green communities. The next application deadline is July 15, 2013.

1. Review eligibility criteria

The following organizations are eligible to apply for TD FEF funding:

  • Registered Canadian charities with a Charitable Registration Number (CRN)
  • Educational institutions (primary/secondary/post-secondary)
  • Municipalities
  • Aboriginal groups

Island school awarded $84K grant to boost literacy

An Island school was awarded an $84,000 grant to boost literacy and transform its library.

Souris Consolidated Elementary is one of 20 "high needs elementary schools" across Canada that will receive a chunk of this year's $1.5 million from the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation.

Karen Mullally, a Grade 3 teacher at Souris Consolidated, said it's wonderful news.

"When we found out, we were just screaming and yelling, we were just so ecstatic. We just couldn't believe it. Because it's a lot of money, $84,000 is a huge impact on a school, like, that's years and years of fundraising for one school," said Mullally.

The money will help the school buy books, e-readers for every class, and a new spelling program.

In 2008, the province conducted school-by-school literacy evaluations. The assessments found that only 20 per cent of students at Souris Consolidated were reading at their grade level.

Health literacy lowest in older, newer Canadians, UBC conference hears

A 2007 Canadian study found that 60 per cent of adults (and 88 per cent of seniors) lacked the ability to obtain, understand and act on health information such as taking prescription drugs as instructed or preparing for a medical procedure such as a colonoscopy.

"People who come from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds have challenges with health literacy generally but then they have the added issue of language – English isn't their first language – so it's a double whammy, if you will."

And it's not just newcomers, he added. People over 50 in general are less likely to understand instructions for their care.

 "You can improve the knowledge and improve the self-management and significantly reduce the health care costs," said Poureslami in a telephone interview Thursday, "with culturally and linguistically relevant material."

Many health authorities are already producing information in a variety of languages and it's of particular urgency for chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease and respiratory disease.

There have been many surveys that show higher levels of education are linked to better health, but no one really knows why. It could be that people with more education generally have higher incomes and are more able to fill expensive prescriptions, for instance.

Aboriginal Canadians are another key group with higher rates of chronic health problems, but are less likely to rate at the lowest level of health literacy compared to new Canadians from China and South Asia.

Research conducted in the Metro Vancouver by Fitzgerald and Iraj Poureslami, a research scientist in respiratory medicine at UBC, found that Punjabi, Mandarin and Cantonese speakers with asthma were better able to understand their condition and follow the doctor's orders for using an inhaler if they watched a video in their own language, made by members of their own ethnic group.

The meeting of about 33 experts from Canada, the U.S. and the U.K. concludes Saturday with public lectures on health literacy and heart and lung disease from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Liu Institute for Global Issues, 6476 Northwest Marine Drive on the UBC campus.

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World Oceans Day is June 8th

World Oceans Day is June 8th

The planet's celebration for the ocean is a few days away

The big day is almost here! We want to remind you of a few useful and exciting happenings, and resources, for your event.

Ocean promises at your event

For World Oceans Day event organizers: we invite you to participate in our Ocean Promise drive this year! Ask people at your event to make a promise for the ocean, take a photo, and share it online.

At your World Oceans Day event, ask people to make a photo promise saying what they will do to help the ocean. Then, we ask that they share their photo on social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc) and spread the word! You can see visually what it looks like on the general Ocean Promise page.

Visit our info page to learn more and sign up.

We're giving out prizes to the most stand-out promises!

  • Best organizational promise: we'll give your organization's page a shoutout on our Facebook and Twitter! With over 27,000 combined followers and growing you'll get some well deserved attention.
  • Stand-out promise at a zoo, aquarium or museum: wins a World Oceans Day t-shirt
  • Funniest or shocking promise: Get quirky and you could win a World Oceans Day t-shirt and social media shout out.
Learn more about ocean promises

Cool online events for World Oceans Day

Besides all the exciting events on the ground, a LOT is happening online for World Oceans Day. Here are just a few that you may be interested in - either for yourself or to stream/make available at your event.

ARKive Scavenger Hunt - go on a virtual scavenger hunt across ARKive's interactive collection, featuring 10 keystone species from all walks of ocean life. Then - learn how to protect them! This is a great activity for kids if you have a computer at your event.

ReefLive - This day-long event will take you on a guided underwater tour through one of the world's greatest natural wonders, the Great Barrier Reef – all from the comfort of the computer. It's taking place on June 7th, Australian time, definitely worth streaming at your event if you can.

Google+ Hangouts - The TerraMar Project is holding Google+ Hangouts all through this week, and the Online Ocean Symposium will have 3 Hangouts on June 8th itself. Tune in for experts and entertainment!

World Oceans Day Thunderclap - Help us do ~ the wave ~ across Twitter to raise awareness for World Oceans Day. All you have to do is 'donate' one tweet on Twitter or one Facebook post to World Oceans Day. We need 100 people to commit by June 8th, join us!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Saint Elizabeth launches website on National Caregiver Day, April 5, 2013

Saint Elizabeth launches website on National Caregiver Day, April 5, 2013

Wednesday, 3 Apr 2013
Saint Elizabeth launches website on National Caregiver Day, April 5, 2013


Markham, ONTARIO - For Release April 3, 2013

In recognition of National Caregiver Day, Saint Elizabeth has launched an online resource, "Caring for Family" to enable family caregivers with information and support. An estimated one in four Canadians is a caregiver, caring for aging or ailing family members while in many cases also raising a family of their own. This number is rapidly rising as the number of seniors who need help at home is expected to double over the next 30 years.

The "Caring for Family" resource is available on the Saint Elizabeth website at It empowers and supports people caring for family members with aging, illness and injury. Topics include daily living, financial planning, finding health care, and caregiver well-being.