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Thursday, November 28, 2013

Dec 10 is International Human Rights Day


The UN General Assembly proclaimed 10 December as Human Rights Day in 1950, to bring to the attention ‘of the peoples of the world’ the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as the common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations.
In 2013, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights marks 20 years since its establishment.

December 5 is International Volunteer Day


International Volunteer Day (IVD) offers an opportunity for volunteer organizations and individual volunteers to make visible their contributions - at local, national and international levels - to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Apart from mobilising thousands of volunteers every year, the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme works closely with partners and governments to establish national volunteer programmes to create structures that foster and sustain local volunteerism in countries. Through the Online Volunteering service volunteers can take action for sustainable human development by supporting the activities of development organizations over the Internet. Every day thousands of people are volunteering, online or on-site, contributing to peace and development and working to achieve the MDGs.

IVD 2013 is a global celebration of young people acting as the agents of change in their communities.

December 3 is Giving Tuesday

GivingTuesday is a National Giving Day

Most people know about Black Friday and Cyber Monday  …now GivingTuesday is coming to Canada on December 3, 2013.

It is a new Canadian movement for giving and volunteering, taking place each year after Cyber Monday. The “Opening day of the giving season,” it is a day where charities, companies and individuals join together to share commitments, rally for favourite causes and think about others.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

While only about 15 per cent of Canadians are illiterate, Dunn says one in four suffers from low literacy.

Dunn is referring to international survey results released last month that show Nova Scotians aged 16 to 24 ranked lower than average compared to other industrialized countries.

The Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies indicates 42 per cent of Canadians struggle with low literacy. That figure ranges from 38 to 55 per cent in Nova Scotia.

"In order for change to happen you have to have a plan," Dunn says. "In order to get somewhere you have to have a map."

Canada is one of the few industrialized countries without a coordinated framework to address literacy from early childhood to adulthood.

While only about 15 per cent of Canadians are illiterate, Dunn says one in four suffers from low literacy.

That means reading, writing and math skills below a Grade 8 level.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Community training program puts latest digital tools in hands of low-income, older Americans

James Reese, 69, is a poster child for the pilot program. He's using his iPad to find some old friends — even childhood sweethearts. He's listening to online versions of his favorite blues performers and joining discussion groups about his glaucoma.

Hazel Avery, 86, holds her iPad for the first time. The Connecting to Community program, with funding from the AARP Foundation, teaches low-income seniors how to increase social engagement online. The Washington, D.C., program chose seniors with no previous computer experience.

Hazel Avery, 86, holds her iPad for the first time. The Connecting to Community program, with funding from the AARP Foundation, teaches low-income seniors how to increase social engagement online. The Washington, D.C., program chose seniors with no previous computer experience.

Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post/Getty Images

The Internet is often considered the realm of the young. But in the U.S., people over 65 are one of the fastest-growing groups to go online, and social media usage among seniors has soared.

A program in Washington, D.C., is designed to bring more seniors online, especially those who are socially isolated.

The Connecting to Community training program is sponsored by the AARP Foundation in partnership with the nonprofit Older Adults Technology Services, Comcast and the D.C. social services organization Family Matters of Greater Washington.

It puts the latest digital tools in the hands of low-income, older Americans to help them combat loneliness and develop social connections through social media and other online offerings.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Reading grants

  • Nevada Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy Grant
  • Pennsylvania Keystones to Opportunity Grant
  • Steps to Writing Successful Grants
  • ARRA Funding


    Hot Grants

    Other Grant Resources

    The Diabetes Essential Skills Kit D.E.S.K.

    The Diabetes Essential Skills Kit D.E.S.K. – Learning Modules The D.E.S.K. Learning Modules contains 12 learning modules that address 6 common barriers to a patient's independent diabetes self-management: These 6 barriers are:

    • Reading and understanding information
    • Understanding and remember information given verbally
    • Using math to count carbohydrates and manage dietary needs
    • Using ratios to calculate insulin dosage
    • Filling in forms
    • Recognizing and analyzing patterns in blood glucose test results

    These learning modules can be used with learners with different goal paths as they include activities from various contexts including employment and education.

    The Diabetes Essential Skills Kit D.E.S.K. – Essential Skills Profiles The D.E.S.K. Essential Skills Profiles contains 15 profiles that reflect the tasks that individuals living with diabetes have to perform on a regular basis. The profiles have been separated into 3 groups:

    • Understanding Profiles (example: Understanding Type 1 Diabetes)
    • Managing Profiles (example: Managing and Measuring Blood Glucose Levels)
    • Complications Profiles (example: Understanding and Managing Foot Complications)
    These profiles are meant to be used by both Health Practitioners and Literacy Practitioners.

    Friday, November 22, 2013

    Country of origin was a better predictor of reading skills than individual traits

    A University at Buffalo education professor has sided with the environment in the timeless "nurture vs. nature" debate after his research found that a child's ability to read depends mostly on where that child is born, rather than on his or her individual qualities.

    Besides showing that the country of origin was a better predictor of reading skills than individual traits, the study also showed that other attributes at the child, school and country levels were all related to reading.

    First, girls were more likely than boys to have basic reading skills, Chiu says. Children with greater early-literacy skills, better attitudes about reading or greater self-confidence in their reading ability also were more likely to have strong basic reading skills.

    More than 99 percent of fourth-graders in the Netherlands can read, but only 19 percent of fourth-graders in South Africa can read, Chiu notes.

    "Although the richest countries typically have high literacy rates exceeding 97 percent," he says, "some rich countries, such as Qatar and Kuwait, have low literacy rates—33 percent and 28 percent, respectively."
    The study, "Ecological, Psychological and Cognitive Components of Reading Difficulties: Testing the Component Model of Reading in Fourth-graders Across 38 Countries," analyzed reading test scores of 186,725 fourth-graders from 38 countries, including more than 4,000 children from the U.S. Chiu and co-authors Catherine McBride-Chang of the Chinese University of Hong Kong and Dan Lin of the Hong Kong Institute of Education published the study in the winter 2013 issue of the Journal of Learning Disabilities.

    Status of Women Canada Funding Call

    Status of Women Canada Funding Call 
    Status of Women Canada is seeking proposals for projects that address violence against women and girls. There are two streams for this funding: stopping cyberviolence and
    preventing or responding to sexual violence through access to community services. The deadline for applications is December 1, 2013.

    Blue Water Project Grants

    Blue Water Project Grants
    The RBC Blue Water Project helps provide access to drinkable, swimmable, fishable water, now and for future generations. The deadline for organization Leadership Grant expressions of interest is December 20, 2013.  The deadline for Community Action Grant applications is February 3, 2014.

    Grant Opportunity from Devon Canada "Investing in People"


    "Investing In People" is intended to reflect Devon Canada's strong commitment to the development of people and their support for programs that create healthy and respectful workplaces. The grant encourages innovative projects and activities that help to build organizational, rather than individual capacity.


    The grant may be used for organizational improvement projects for either employees and/or volunteers. Examples of the type of programs include:


    • Organizational strategic planning

    • Workforce planning

    • Development of a benefits and compensation program

    • Employee and volunteer training

    • Team building and knowledge sharing activities

    • Leadership development


    In the case of training, applicants must demonstrate the value of the learning opportunity to the organization as a whole and not just to the individual that will participate in the training


    Applications must be made online at  The deadline for applications is December 13, 2013. Grants will be awarded in January 2014.


    Monday, November 18, 2013

    Books and access

    The now-famous 2010 OCLC study, "Perceptions of Libraries" (, provided us with some context for the concerns of our stakeholders. The study showed that the word most associated with libraries was "books." In fact, 75% of all respondents said that books were the thing they thought of first when they thought of libraries. In an age in which Google and Wikipedia are primary research sources for many and Amazon sells more ebooks than physical books, it is little wonder that our stakeholders would worry about the decline of an institution they primarily associate with paper books.

    We surveyed our customers in spring 2012 to assess whether the OCLC study's findings would ring true in our district as well. Among the 25,000 respondents, 65% agreed that "books" was the word they would most closely associate with the library. Focus groups of community leaders took it a step further, informing us that they consider the library a great community resource, but it would be even more valuable if people recognized and understood the vastness of resources available.

    Friday, November 15, 2013

    Canadian Immigrant Integration Program (CIIP)

    Canadian Immigrant Integration Program (CIIP)

    Partners for Newcomer Success

    Immigration is vital to Canada's population growth and economic prosperity. Yet, while demand for their skills grows, many highly competent newcomers to Canada remain underemployed.

    To address this problem, the Government of Canada funded the Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC) to develop and implement the Canadian Immigrant Integration Program (CIIP) which prepares newcomers for economic integration while still in their country of origin. Launched as a pilot project in 2007, CIIP is now a four-year program (2010-2014) that is funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).

    CIIP provides free pre-departure orientation to Federal Skilled Workers, Provincial Nominees, their spouses and adult dependents, while they are still overseas during the final stages of the immigration process.

    CIIP helps immigrants prepare for economic success by providing information, planning and online support through partners in Canada.

    CIIP offices are located in China, India, Philippines and the United  Kingdom and services are available in additional service delivery locations. Click here to get a complete list of CIIP service delivery locations.

    Thursday, November 7, 2013

    RBC-Evergreen Watershed Champions Award

    Watershed Champions Award
    The RBC-Evergreen Watershed Champions Award recognizes classes that demonstrate learning about their local watershed and action to care for it. The award is open to Canadian classes from Kindergarten to Grade 9. Applications must be submitted by Friday, April 18, 2014.
    For the 2013–2014 school year, nine awards are available:
    • 1 Canadian Award (Grades K–9) – $3,500
    • 4 Regional Elementary Awards (Grades K–6) – $2,500
    • 4 Regional Intermediate Awards (Grades 7–9) – $2,500
    Applications can be submitted starting in September 2013. Please see the "How to Apply" section below for submission guidelines and to download the application form.

    Who Can Apply?
    The award is open to Canadian classes from Kindergarten to Grade 9 in publicly funded schools.
    Multiple classes may collaborate on lessons and submit a collaborative application. If identified as a winning entry, however, only one award would be given to the group.
    (Note: The regional elementary and intermediate awards are divided into the following regions:
    • West and Northern Territories (AB, BC, MB, SK, NT, NU, YT)
    • Ontario
    • Quebec
    • East (NB, NL, NS, PEI)
    We will also offer awards for the 2014–2015 and 2015–2016 school years.)

    Tuesday, November 5, 2013

    Pathways to Education

    For more than a decade, Pathways to Education has helped young people in economically disadvantaged communities attain the education they need to succeed in life. Today, the program runs in 13 communities across Canada.

    In 2011, Pathways began a pilot program for literacy in six locations: Regent Park and Scarborough in the Greater Toronto Area; Kitchener and Kingston, Ont.; Winnipeg; and Halifax.

    John Beebe, Pathways' manager of tutoring initiatives, says after determining the existing program was working well, the question was: How can it be made better? One of the areas identified as worthy of further development was literacy.

    "Many of our students face challenges around succeeding in schools because of weak literacy skills," he says. "There are students who can't get their homework done because they lack some of the core skills."

    At the start of Pathway's literacy project, organizers found about 70 per cent of the 66 students recruited to participate in Regent Park, Kitchener and Winnipeg were reading below a third-grade level.

    "If you're reading at that level, you're still learning how to read," Beebe says.

    "You're not working on higher order thinking skills like inference or developing a rich vocabulary."

    Status of Women Canada is launching a Call for Proposals to eliminate Cyber and Sexual Violence against women and girls.

    Status of Women Canada is launching a Call for Proposals  to invite organizations to submit a proposal that aims to eliminate Cyber and Sexual Violence against women and girls.
    Projects under this Call for Proposals fall into two thematic areas:
    ·         Preventing and eliminating cyberviolence (e.g. cyberbullying, internet luring, cyberstalking) against young women and girls.
    ·         Access to community services to prevent or respond to sexual violence against women and girls
    The deadline for applications under this Call for Proposals is 11:59 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time, December 1, 2013.
    Please visit our website for more information.