Welcome to the December 2015 edition of the Literacy Coalition of New Brunswick newsletter. We've got some updates about the organization, news related to literacy in New Brunswick and much more. There are lots of exciting things happening at The Coalition; here are a few updates! 
Help us make our vision a reality!

Literacy Coalition Update

We can't believe it's been a month already! Here's some important information from the Literacy Coalition:

Call for 2015 PGI Grant Applications

The Literacy Coalition is now accepting applications for 2015 PGI Grants. These grants are used to support established literacy organizations and programs in New Brunswick each year. Full details and application forms are available on our website.

The deadline for submission of the PGI Grant applications is Thursday, Dec 31, 2015 at 5:30 pm. 

Note: If your organization received PGI funding last year, a report on the activities of the grant must be submitted to LCNB before a new application is considered.

Thank you King Cole!

We want to send a HUGE thank you to the good folks at King Cole Tea! Through their fundraising booth at "Christmas at the Coliseum" they were able to raise over $700.00 to donate to the LCNB.  

Thanks for showing us some true Holiday Spirit!

P.S. There's no combination quite like a good book and a cup of tea!

Happy Holidays

With the 2015 year drawing to a close, we just wanted to extend our sincere thanks to each and everyone of you. Thank you for making our year a great one.

Happy Holidays, and all the best in the new year. We'll see you in 2016!

In The News

The news has certainly been interesting in the last month. Here are a few stories we think are worth reading.


Moncton Headstart's Christmas Toyland seeks donations; doors open Nov.30

Times & Transcript (Moncton) 

Thu Nov 19 2015 

Madelaine Keenlyside 


Here's a chance to play Santa Claus for children in Metro Moncton this holiday season.


Moncton Headstart's annual Christmas Toyland event is seeking donations, says Mary O'Donnell, executive director.

On Friday, Nov. 20, boxes will placed in all Jean Coutu locations to collect donations from the community.


Each Christmas, Moncton Headstart transforms its gymnasium into Toyland, a place where families in need can pick out gifts for their children.


The volunteer-run event, which begins in late November, aims to ensure all children have gifts to open on Christmas morning.


"They (Jean Coutu) are always generous to give us the space," said O'Donnell. "We request that people donate new toys, 

since the toys represent a gift from Santa."


Last year, the toy drive provided over 1,500 children with at least 4,500 gifts, she said.


"Each family is allowed to choose three gifts per child," she said. "We're a literacy agency, and a lot of the work we do is all about literacy - we certainly encourage people to take a book too, and we don't count that as (one of the three) gifts."

Headstart's Christmas Toyland will open its gates on Nov. 30 and run until Dec. 18. Setup, near the end of November, is always a little bit of bedlam at first, she said.


"You think, there's no way we can pull this off in a short period of time, with all these boxes," she said. "Then all of a sudden this room transforms into this amazing Toyland, in a few short hours. It's really quite magical to see."

They're lucky to have so many volunteers already, she said, most of whom are returnees from previous years. Because of this, the organization is not currently seeking new volunteers for the event, though they would not turn a few extra away, she said.


Organizations and individuals can call Moncton Headstart for donation pickup by dialing 858-8252.


© 2015 Times & Transcript (Moncton)


Moncton geography teacher honoured for inspirational and cutting-edge work

Times & Transcript (Moncton) 

Thu Nov 19 2015 

Ginabeth Roberts


A Moncton High School teacher and military veteran has received a national award for combining fieldwork and technology to make geography interesting - and useful - for today's students.


Zach Vanthournout was honoured in Ottawa on Wednesday with The Royal Canadian Geographical Society 2015 Geographic Literacy Award.


"I didn't expect this kind of attention," he said in an interview from the nation's capital on Wednesday.


After Vanthournout returned from tours of duty in Kosovo, Alert and Afghanistan with the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry and began his teaching career, he wanted to pass on to his students his love of his homeland.


"I want my students to know their country so they can appreciate what we have," he said. "I really enjoy coming up with new techniques to trigger their interest about the physical world around them. Hopefully one day they'll become stewards to protect it."


One of the highlights in his almost 10-year teaching career, which also include posts at Tantramar and Riverview high schools, was raising more than $60,000 to buy tools for "experiential learning activities." He's led classes on GPS exercises, maze games and treasure hunts using problem solving skills. He's also helped students with projects on renewable energy.


"(His) efforts to boost geographic learning may one day help his students to find good paying jobs," a write up on his win reads. "Geomatics, or the discipline of gathering, storing, processing and delivering geographic information, is one of the fasting growing sectors of the information-based economy. Canada's geomatics industry is comprised of approximately 2,500 firms across the country, with revenues of nearly $2.5 billion."


"Zachary has been described as a 'lone voice' advocate for geographic education in New Brunswick," said Connie Wyatt Anderson, chair of Canadian Geographic Education. "His advocacy for increased geographic learning in the province is legendary."


Vanthournout was awarded a medal and $2,500, to be split between himself and a geographic education venture.


© 2015 Times & Transcript (Moncton)


Financial literacy is a different need to read

New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal 

Fri Nov 20 2015 

Rick Hancox 


November is Financial Literacy Month in Canada. But what does the expression 'Financial Literacy' mean?

According to the National Strategy for Financial Literacy - Count me in Canada, their work to improve financial literacy is helping Canadians gain the knowledge, skills and confidence they need to make good financial decisions and improve their financial well-being. Overall, this is an important long-term goal. However, for those struggling to pay their bills and wondering where the next meal for their family is going to come from - this definition doesn't do much for their day-to-day reality.


A national survey conducted by Leger, on behalf of Financial Planning Standards Council of Canada (FPSC), reported that 42 per cent of Canadians listed money as their greatest stress. According to that survey, this stress drives people to lose sleep, reconsider past financial decisions, argue with partners and lie to family and friends. Of note, 51 per cent of women reported that they lose sleep due to financial stress and 87 per cent of Canadians wish they had made better financial decisions.


While individuals can know that putting money aside and paying bills on time is in their long-term best interests, when faced with day-to-day reality, their decisions will be influenced by what affects them today. Practically speaking, improving financial literacy skills is about helping people understand that there are choices and providing the knowledge and resources to help them navigate those choices.


There is no one-size-fits all approach to financial literacy. What works for one family may not work for another. These concepts need to be taught, learned and practised in a variety of settings and situations. Helping New Brunswickers understand financial concepts will help them be better able to manage their financial resources effectively. In the long run this will improve their economic stability and their quality of life. When individuals are able to build solid financial habits, it will also have long-term positive implications for them and their community, both socially and economically.

Recently, news outlets have reported on poor literacy levels within the province. Literacy and financial literacy are tied hand in hand. Innovations in technology have made financial products and services more complex than before. If an individual is unable to read or understand a financial document, they become more vulnerable and could be taken advantage of financially. Initiatives that support literacy within the province can help improve financial literacy as well. Both literacy and financial literacy are important tools for consumer protection.


Financial literacy is a key priority of the Financial and Consumer Services Commission of New Brunswick (FCNB). We want to create an environment in New Brunswick where it's easy to talk about and understand money matters. Financial concepts can be intimidating when you don't have support. Financial literacy doesn't have to be overwhelming, we can help you.


We have a wide range of resources to help New Brunswickers. We help by providing the information and tools you need to make the best financial decisions to protect your future. Our staff are here to help with resources for youth and students, family finances, money and relationships, dealing with debt, insuring your home, protecting your retirement, estate planning and financial resources for seniors.


Contact us via or at 1-866-933-2222.


Rick Hancox is executive-director of the Financial and Consumer Services Commission of New Brunswick.


© 2015 Telegraph-Journal (New Brunswick)


Christmastime is perfect to give the gift of literacy

The Daily Gleaner (Fredericton) 

Mon Nov 23 2015 

Carla MacInnis Rockwell 


Literacy skills in this picture province of ours are down. In fact, I'll be so bold as to say the picture is not pretty.

As a New Brunswicker who grew up challenged by "special needs" before they became fashionable in the school system, reading was something that was encouraged in my home. My father enrolled me in a monthly book club - Companion Library, with their double-sided books - all the classics books were a huge part of my childhood world and are still a significant part of my adult world.


Living an independent life as a person with disability was and is critical, and fundamental to that was a skill set that included proficiency in reading and writing. The small print of hard bound books and paperbacks have been supplemented with the 'ease of reading' font boosting tablet with back lighting.


From the Bobsey Twins, the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew to age-appropriate magazines - reading material was readily available throughout childhood home. It saddens me to know that so many children today don't experience the true joy of getting lost in books because they cannot read well enough and give up or they're so absorbed in technology that seems to do it all for them. There's lot to be said for what technology can bring into a child's world with regard to learning, but as with all things, moderation is critical. A steady diet of that medium stunts imagination.


Key to changing that is for parents or other significant adults in the home to read to the child. If the adult's own literacy is compromised, then a different approach is necessary as it's possible that they are embarrassed by their own deficiencies and are unwittingly compromising their child's learning and future. Parents trapped by illiteracy do not want that for their child, but they're rather like a hamster on a wheel - they feel stuck and they need help. Ensuring confidentiality and dignity is important.


Successive governments and ministers of education have been talking the talk and spending tax payer dollars on studies that were and are redundant. The time has finally come, after decades, to do something. To act. The first attack and plan of action needs to begin in the home, where the children grow up and live, day to day to day.


Earmarking literacy enhancement funds for and in schools is all well and good, but what happens with and for the child at the end of the day and on the weekends when that influence is not active. Nothing. The government and all of us who make use of services must do our part to ensure that those who are less able to access available programs have the services brought to them or, alternatively, they are brought to the services. Perhaps the development of after hours adult with child reading programs in schools, churches, libraries, book stores, barber shops, food courts is one solution. 


Wherever people gather - how about a gathering of books and storytellers. Then watch it grow.


Dolly Parton's Imagination Canada, a book of the month club, not unlike what I experienced all those years ago as my own childhood library was developed and grew, can make a difference but only if adults in the world of the child get involved and do their part. A child cannot adequately decide for himself what tools in life are important; he relies on his parents for that. A good place to start is for educators and administrators all across the province to do the math, crunch the numbers and encourage parents to register their child with Imagination Canada.


There are 14,216 Canadian children registered; that number is far too low. Across the countries involved in the program, Canada, the United States, the U.K. and Australia, there are 914,366 children registered. Is it possible that what is stopping parents from getting involved is that they are not themselves readers of any depth - leisure readers, as example. Certainly, we need reading skills for many jobs - enhanced reading skills to match the job requirements. Bare-bones literacy just to get by doesn't cut it anymore. Parents not being able to read about Imagination Canada and how it will benefit their child could be a significant impediment to enrolment. That's where it's incumbent upon others in the child's world to step up and get involved.


With Christmas, how about beefing up the numbers of registrants for Imagination Canada. Do you know a child who is eligible? What a gift you'd give by registering those who may need help getting started.


Carla MacInnis Rockwell is a freelance writer and disability rights advocate living outside Fredericton with her aging Australian silky terrier and a rambunctious Maltese.


© 2015 The Daily Gleaner (Fredericton)


Sea Dogs launch reading program with local schools

New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal 

Thu Nov 26 2015 

Scott Briggs 


SAINT JOHN * The Saint John Sea Dogs launched the third season of the Canaport LNG Hat Trick For Reading program on Wednesday.


Sea Dogs players Adam Bateman, Matthew Highmore, Austin Clapham and Kyle Ward joined officials, educators and students to launch the program at Princess Elizabeth School. According to a press release issued by the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League club, the program is aimed at about 4,000 students between kindergarten and grade 3 at 32 schools between Grand Bay-Westfield and Hampton.


Students are asked to read three books and keep track of their progress on special bookmarks. Students submit their work for a draw and are eligible to win a voucher for three tickets to a Sea Dogs hockey game during the 2015-16 season.


"Canaport LNG is thrilled to be taking an active role in promoting literacy among our youth," Canaport LNG general manager Pedro Boyra said in a release. "Literacy skills are an essential function of our daily lives and this program will help to improve these skills, while also engaging the kids and encouraging them to find a love for reading."


Zoe Watson, superintendent of Anglophone School District South, said in the release that literacy is a priority of schools in Anglophone South. She stressed the importance of elementary students practising their reading skills each day.


"Canaport LNG Hat Trick for Reading is another example of the district working with the Sea Dogs as a community partner to support student learning," Watson said. "We are always appreciative of the Sea Dogs and their willingness to support us."


© 2015 Telegraph-Journal (New Brunswick)


2015-2016 Reading Is Wild!

Times & Transcript (Moncton) 

Wed Dec 2 2015 



The Moncton Wildcats, in partnership with the Times & Transcript and Elementary Literacy are excited to have Magnetic Hill School, Sailsbury Elementary School, École Abbey-Landry and École Le Sommet participating in this year's Reading Is Wild program!


This year marks the 17th annual Reading Is Wild program, and this year we are on route to having over one million books read! This 12 week program is used as an additional tool to help encourage reading and literacy among all students! Each school has set their own reading goals for the program have been tracking their progress every week on their school barometer, the Wildcats have also been keeping track of their progress on our website, at home games, and in the Times & Transcript!


We are so excited see all of the books that you have been reading and the Moncton Wildcats would like to say congratulations to all of the students your hard work so far! As a reward, we would like to invite you all to come and see the Wildcats play on Saturday December 5th! The coupon for the free student ticket is printed in this paper, and also allows additional tickets to be purchased at a discounted rate, just cut out the coupon and bring it to the Moncton Coliseum box office!


Keep up the great work, and we will see you all on December 5th at the Wildcats Game!


Do you remember learning how to read? Perhaps you are learning how to read now. Learning to read is actually a process that takes place over many years. It starts when you are a baby and as grow, you learn the skills and knowledge that help you to become an even better reader! Learning to read print is something we must be taught to do, and many children need extra help to learn how to read well. People like teachers, parents, grandparent, peers and others can help children become skilled readers.


When children experience difficulty with learning to read, especially after grade two, they are likely to continue struggle with reading and with learning other subjects, like math and social studies, because of the need to read for learning. That's why Elementary Literacy Inc. works with schools, families and communities to support reading success for more children at the grade two level. To help students who need extra help, Elementary Literacy Inc. offers two volunteer programs called "Elementary Literacy Friends (ELF)" and "Communautés littératie enfants francophones (CLEF)".


How do our reading programs work? Practice, practice practice! ELF and CLEF students are becoming better readers by spending more time practicing reading skills introduced by their teachers. By practicing their skills after school with a community volunteer, ELF and CLEF students are mastering foundational reading skills while at the same time becoming more confident and interested readers!


Elementary Literacy Inc.'s ELF and CLEF reading programs are popping up in schools all over New Brunswick. Last year, nearly 1000 Grade 2 students participated. This fall, over 180 schools are looking for volunteers. Join our movement and help us write a brighter story for New Brunswick, one page at a time!




Learn more about our programs at or contact our Executive Director, Erin Schryer, at 608.8333 or


© 2015 Times & Transcript (Moncton)


Avid readers rewarded with fire truck ride

Times & Transcript (Moncton) 

Fri Dec 4 2015 

Brent Mazerolle 


Grade 2 student Avery Martin and Grade 5 student Zoey Tong of Arnold H. MacLeod School got to make quite an entrance when they arrived at school Thursday morning - in a fire engine with lights and sirens blazing.


Avery and Zoey may have been the big winners, but all the students at Arnold H. were winners thanks to the Moncton Fire Department and the Moncton Fire Fighters Association's sixth annual Firefighters Fighting For Literacy program.


Each year, firefighters capitalize on their privileged positions as role models to encourage kids to read at a local school.

Each week for six weeks, various Moncton firefighters volunteered their time to drop by the school and read to the kids, as 

well as encourage the kids to do more reading themselves.


Students took part by using a tracking sheet to record the number of minutes they read each day and all students participating in the initiative had the opportunity to win prizes. The grand prize for the students who logged the most hours 

reading, was a ride to school on a fire truck.


© 2015 Times & Transcript (Moncton)


Community Update

“Reaching out to Read” receives significant grant

(Fredericton) December 8th, 2015 – Horizon Health Network’s Public Health Reaching out to Read program was honoured to receive a 2016 Community Impact Grant for $15,000 from the Fredericton Community Foundation. These funds will help provide high quality children’s books to first time mothers of infants, age 0-2 years, participating in Public Health’s Reach out to Read program, which is a component of the Healthy Families, Healthy Babies program (HFHB) designed to help to build a love of reading in children from a young age.   
Reaching out to Read supports and encourages families to read and foster infant-toddler language development through age appropriate books. Books benefit children in a number of ways, such as improved language development, increased readiness to learn and equipping them with the necessary skills for school. A home library and reading with a parent will help create a positive association with books and reading that will continue throughout the child’s life.
Nurses in the HFHB program work with families to ensure preschool aged children are reaching developmental milestones and improve young children’s readiness to learn. The program encourages a healthy lifestyle, aides in personal growth and development, provides access and use of community supports, and develops parenting competencies. As part of the HFHB program, the Reaching out to Read program supports achieving a parenting competency by helping parents build literacy and communication skills with their children. The Fredericton Reaching out to Read program is comprised of partners from Public Health, Literacy Coalition of N.B., New Brunswick Public Library Services and Talk with Me/Parle-Moi.
The Impact Grant will have a significant positive effect on families in our community. The generosity from the Fredericton Community Foundation will help the program supply a total of eight books (one prenatally, one at 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 21 and 24 months) to families in the program.  With each book delivery, a nurse mentors parents on how to read to their infants based on their child’s age of development. 
For more information contact:
Stephanie Neilson  
Media Relations

Community Initiatives

Elementary Literacy Inc. (ELF)
If you are interested in working with elementary students to improve their literacy skills, consider becoming a volunteer with Elementary Literacy Inc. To find out more and to register as a volunteer visit their website.
Frontier College
Frontier College is Canada’s original literacy organization. Located in Moncton and Fredericton, they offer homework and reading clubs, youth programs, one-to-one tutoring, teen programs, an adult literacy program, summer camps and much more! To find out what programs are available in your area call Frontier College at 450-7923 or visit their website.
Laubach Literacy New Brunswick (LLNB)
Laubach Literacy New Brunswick (LLNB) is a non-profit, charitable organization whose trained volunteers help New Brunswick adults improve their basic reading, writing and math skills through a free, confidential program. LLNB volunteers work one-to-one with learners, using materials relevant to learners’ literacy levels and daily lives. To learn more about Laubach Literacy New Brunswick and to become a volunteer please visit their website or contact them at 1-877-633-8899.
Learning Disabilities Association of New Brunswick (LDANB)
LDANB is proud to be offering the Barton Reading and Spelling System in the greater Fredericton area. This literacy program aims at improving the reading, spelling and writing skills of those who have a reading disability or reading difficulties.  Barton is a specialized one-on-one tutoring system based on the Orton-Gillingham method that teaches the phonemic structure of our written language using a multi-sensory approach. LCNB is proud to support LDANB by providing funding for financial subsidies for low-income families to be able to participate in this program. To find out more click here.
Saint John Learning Exchange (SJLE)
The Learning Exchange is Saint John's leader in adult education, training, and career development. They are a non-profit organization that has become an authority on innovative programming that meets the unique needs of everyone that walks through their doors. If you or someone you know is looking for support to meet academic or employment goals, they have the programming and resources you need. To learn more about the Saint John Learning Exchange visit their website.
LCNB Calendar of Events
The Literacy Coalition has a website calendar available on which you to share your community literacy events. To submit events to our calendar please send event information to To take a look at our calendar, click here.
Do you have community literacy initiatives you would like us to share?
If you are involved in or know of a literacy initiative that should be shared across the province we want to know about it! Send us an email or give us a call and we will include the information in an issue of our newsletter. We can be reached at or 1-800-563-2211.

Professional Development Opportunities


The SkillsNB program provides free online training available 24/7 to the citizens of New Brunswick. With SkillsNB, New Brunswickers can improve skills, build on existing education and work toward career goals. The SkillsNB online library includes over 6,000 resources including courses, videos, simulations, and books, with content in English and French. SkillsNB resources cover the areas of Business, IT, Desktop, Leadership, Management, Well-being and more! Visit the SkillsNB website at and click “Register”. Follow us on Twitter @skills_nb. Questions about the program or registration? Call the Program Manager at 1-844-462-1203 or email
That's it for this edition of the Literacy Coalition of New Brunswick Newsletter! Happy Holidays, and we'll see you in 2016!
Copyright © 2015 Literacy Coalition of New Brunswick, All rights reserved.

Reach us by phone at:
(T) 506-457-1227
Toll Free: 1-800-563-2211

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