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Hello!

Welcome to the October 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


The past few months have been busy at the LCNB! Here are a few of the key points:

2015 Annual General Meeting


The Literacy Coalition of New Brunswick's AGM was last week. We had good attendance and a great opportunity to talk about the past year at the LCNB, and also had great discussions about the future.

We said good bye to resigning Board members, Christina Fowler and Charlotte Stanton and thanked them for their valuable contribution to the Board. We also welcomed new Board members, Carla Hitchcock and Dr. Pam Whitty.

Check out some photos on Facebook!

2014- 2015 Annual Report


Along with our annual general meeting in September, we've also completed our annual report for 2014-2015!

The report details a number of initiatives over the past year and has lots of other information about the organization!

Don't take our word for it, check it out for yourself here!

New Brochures
 

Our new Adult Literacy and Essential Skills marketing brochure is now available for distribution. This will help to promote adult literacy programs that are available in our province.  Thank you to the Department of Education, Training and Labour and all of the committee members for partnering with us to carry out this project.

If you'd like copies, email us at lcnb@nbliteracy.ca

In The News


The news has certainly been interesting in the last month.

Here are a few stories we think are worth reading.




 

ELF boosts reading skills, confidence

New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal 
Tue Sep 15 2015 
Ginabeth roberts


A provincewide program that provided almost 24,000 hours of one-on-one literacy support to hundreds of Grade 2 students last school year is looking for volunteers to share their love of reading again this year.

Elementary Literacy Friends Inc. runs complementary English (ELF) and French (Communauté Littératie Enfants Francophones, or CLEF) programs in both school districts.

Volunteers are needed in elementary schools in Metro Moncton and southeastern New Brunswick to be matched with Grade 2 students. Sessions run 10 weeks, and volunteers and students meet up for one hour, twice a week at the child's school.

Port Elgin Regional School Grade 2 teacher Natalie Legere has seen nine students go through the program with great success, especially because of the one-on-one time the program allows.

"As a teacher, you know you don't have that very often," she said. "It gives them more of an opportunity to read with someone, and just grow."

Grade 2 students are targeted because "children who are not reading at grade level by the end of Grade 2 are likely to experience significant difficulty in school and often fall further and further behind with each year of schooling," a program brochure states.

Reading levels are alphabetized (A, B, C, D, and so on). When kids start Grade 2, they're usually at the F or G level, and they're expected to be in the K, L or M level before they move on to Grade 3.

"The children that are singled out for this program ... they're not so far behind, but they're just a little bit behind where they need to be," Leger said. "It's just an extra boost for them."

Data shows the program is working: In the 2014-15 school year, the average ELF participant increased two reading levels over 10 weeks.

And not only did their grades improve, their interests, confidence, skills and persistence in reading did too, something Leger has seen in her students.

Joanne Esser has worked with four students since she began volunteering with the program at Port Elgin Regional School in 2013.

Students she's worked with have become more confident in their reading ability - and themselves - which has translated to improvements in their reading levels. One student even improved by four or five levels by the time the session was done," she said.

And it's not just the student who benefits from getting involved.

"It's helping two people," she said, of the satisfaction it brings to volunteers.

Last year, ELF was offered in 111 anglophone schools in all four anglophone school districts, with 913 volunteer sessions providing more than 18,000 hours of one-on-one intervention time. The program had 284 students and 190 volunteers in 39 schools in the three francophone district, providing 5,700 hours of one-on-one intervention.

Upcoming local training sessions are set for Sept. 16 and Sept. 24 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Riverview Public Library.

To register, visit elfnb.com or clefnb.com or call 1-855-898-2533.

© 2015 Telegraph-Journal (New Brunswick)

Digital literacy at the forefront of students' education

Times & Transcript (Moncton) 
Thu Oct 1 2015 
Ginabeth Roberts


At Moncton High School there's an online store stocked completely with smartphone apps designed by students.

The students aren't allowed to sell what is technically their homework assignments from upper level computer science classes, but the tech entrepreneurs can use what they learned in class to build, share and sell their ideas on their own time.

And it's a made-in-Moncton program that's helping students here, and across the province, dive into the workings behind their iPhone and Android mobile devices.

Simon Gauvin, founder and CEO of Agora Mobile Inc., is behind Vizwik, a digital maker-space for creating mobile apps. Through an online platform (vizwik.com), students use Vizkits, pre-built apps that Gauvin compares to a lego kit.

"They assemble the kit out of digital parts, and they make those within the digital classroom they have within Vizwik, which the teacher creates," he said. Within two months of the program launching in October 2014, 10 per cent of all teachers in the province were using it. Now, more than 500 teachers have accounts, and about 4,000 students are using the platform to develop apps.

The program has filled a space in the technology curriculum, Gauvin said, essentially giving students the means to learn a new language.

"The schools didn't used to teach it up until last year when we launched," he said. "There was no chance for any student to really become developers, unless they wanted to do it on their own."

Moncton High School offers a broad-based technology course to Grade 9 students where coding is introduced. Students who find interest in the subject can take it again in Grade 10 as an elective.

"We see coding as important because it's a language in itself, and it's a form of thinking," said Paul Lynch, who teaches the Grade 9 course.

It's in this course students have used Vizwik, and Lynch said the platform is appealing to students with all interests and skill-levels. Ashleigh Poirier, for example, created a "Football Teacher" app where users can scroll through menus of football teams, stats and scores.

In Toller Pope's Grade 11 and 12 computer science classes at Moncton High School, students have some background in technology courses and may be thinking of a career in the field.

The classes are proving popular, with all three of Pope's classes maxed out at 29. And there's a mix of both male and female students in the classroom.

"We know in that industry there's a lack of women ... so it's awesome to see girls come out," he said.

Students are immersed in raw programming - learning how to build aspects of programming, such as decision structures, looping, and matrices.

"The students can't memorize, and students who do well in mathematics tend to do well in computer science because they have the ability to look at a problem and manipulate the formula to get what (they) need," Pope said. "That's the biggest plus for me out of computer science - it sharpens their problem-solving skills and they become better learners, and that's what employers want."

Vizwik was tested by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, and is now part of the curriculum as a tool teachers can use to introduce students to coding. Gauvin credits teachers for recognizing the need for digital literacy in schools, as they were the ones who brought the idea to government to incorporate Vizwik into the curriculum.

The award-winning program is now being launched in Ontario, where, after a free trial, teachers can pay to use the platforms and kits. All New Brunswick teachers have free premium access to the system.


© 2015 Times & Transcript (Moncton)
 

New social program buzzes into Centennial School

New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal 
Sat Oct 3 2015 
Colin McPhail 


Saint John * A new privately funded school program aimed at giving children the tools to step out of poverty was launched at Centennial School in Saint John on Friday.

Bee Me Kidz strives to support disadvantaged children through positive reinforcement and social activities that connect students, staff, families and the community at large with a singular branding and message.

In other words, the program allows children to be "the best me they can bee," said founder and director Bryan Elliot.

The educational non-profit pilot program is designed to blend into the existing curriculum by helping students build social and emotional learning skills through an internationally recognized teaching program: Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies, or PATHS.

Elliot said the learning activities outlined in PATHS help literacy and numeracy and, most importantly, resiliency.

"Resiliency will help people overcome life's challenges," Elliot said. "It will help people to get further in life."

Elliot said the free program for schools was conceived after the Global News 16x9 documentary Generation Poor highlighted the extent of poverty, specifically child poverty, that is rampant in Saint John 25 years after the federal government vowed to eradicate poverty.

"When you look at the numbers now, it's actually equal to or worse than what it was before," Elliot.

When the Bee Me Kidz team was assembled and its mascot, a friendly bee, chosen, the program embarked on a journey help the less fortunate, focusing on young students in an effort to instill a culture change at an early age.

"If you set them right and really set the stage for success, that carries on," Elliot said. "If they're disadvantaged in the early years, they're never going to catch up."

Changing the culture at school and at home can be found at the core of the program. Families are also involved in Bee Me Kidz with parent groups taking part in the initiative's Saturday morning breakfast program at the school, creating bonds between parent and child as well as between families in hopes of building a community.

Parents are also urged to stick with the same positive reinforcement children receive through the program at school.

"The reinforcement and learning they receive are consistent. Goals and expectations are the same," said Centennial principal Tina Estabrooks.

"These children know the people who are most important to them are watching them be the best that they can be."

Citing an American statistic, Estabrooks said on average children of a professional family receive 32 affirmations for every five disapprovals, while children from low socioeconomic families receive five affirmations for every 11 disapprovals.

"There is nothing that can change a culture quite as much as everybody sending the same message," she said.

Students are constantly reminded of the programming with bee imagery plastered over every wall. The children also sport yellow Bee Me Kidz T-shirt every Friday, while one student is named Bee Me Kid of the Day each day. The honour gives the child the opportunity to talk about their strengths and interests and receive compliments from their classmates.

The program was first offered during the 2014-15 school year for kindergarten to Grade 2 students. This year, the entire K-5 community school will take part at no cost to the school.

"This is just not something we could do alone," Estabrooks said, thanking the Bee Me Kidz team.

Premier Brian Gallant was on hand for the launch and shared an impassioned, personal story of childhood.

Coming from a low-income household, Gallant found common ground with many of the Centennial students and the potential toll of the emotional effects from, in his case, having to boil water for two years or even little things like the embarrassment of his father's brown Chevette continually stalling and halting traffic.

He said in spite of the disadvantages, the love and support from his family and community helped him chase his dream of becoming premier - the kind of community support being developed in Bee Me Kidz.

"This program, the people involved and the community here are changing the world for these kids," Gallant said.

Bee Me Kidz also constructed zones in each classroom where children can go to when they become over stimulated. Each zone is equipped with various toys and devices that let the child work out pent up energy, allow them to focus on the teacher or offer some serenity for a few minutes.


© 2015 Telegraph-Journal (New Brunswick)
 

Events

Laubach Literacy New Brunswick (LLNB)

Laubach Literacy New Brunswick is hosting Bookstravaganza 2015! The Really Big, Really Good, Really Fun Charity Book Sale in Support of the free, adult literacy tutoring services offered by Laubach Literacy New Brunswick (LLNB). Thousands of quality books at bargain prices! Edith Cavell School, 125 Park St. October 17th at 9am to 6pm, October 18th at 9am to 3pm. Thousands of quality books at bargain prices! Books for all ages! Plus, the BookZa Café, sponsored by Sobeys, and some fantastic draw ticket prizes.

If you have used books that you would like to donate to the sale you can drop them off at any greater Moncton Sobeys or RBC bank up until Oct. 9 (Accepting used books, dvds, cds. NOT accepting text books, encyclopedias, magazines or video tapes).

This event is made possible by the generous community of Greater Moncton and many supporters, sponsors and volunteers. 
 
If you would like to volunteer at this fun and worthwhile event, we could use your help during set up the evening of October 16th, at various shifts during the sale on October 17th & 18th, or during the event tear down and clean-up after 3pm Oct.18th.  For more information contact: 384-6371 or email booksale@llnb.ca

 
We look forward to seeing you there! Thank you for your support!  Edith Cavell School, 125 Park St. October 17th at 9am to 6pm, October 18th at 9am to 3pm.

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 lcnb@nbliteracy.ca. 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 lcnb@nbliteracy.ca or 1-800-563-2211.

Professional Development Opportunities

 

University of New Brunswick, Faculty of Education
 

On behalf of Dean Ann Sherman, Faculty of Education, I am writing to invite you to join us for an afternoon discussion titled, ECE: The Foundation for Labour Productivity.  This is an exciting opportunity to engage with others on the impact of economic and social values of sustainable childcare in New Brunswick.
 
I am delighted to announce our guest speakers as Craig Alexander (English)  and Pierre Fortin (French), who will be presenting this important event.
 
We will be hosting the event at the Fredericton Convention Centre, 670 Queen St, Fredericton, E3B 1C2, from 1pm – 3pm on Wednesday November 4, 2015.
 
Light refreshments will be provided.  Please rsvp by Thursday October 29 by emailing Caroline Marygold at eccentre@unb.ca.
 
This event is hosted by the Early Childhood Centre, UNB and funded by the Margaret and Wallace McCain Family Foundation.
 
We look forward to seeing you on Wednesday November 4, 2015.



Craig Alexander
Craig Alexander is the Vice President, Economic Analysis at the C.D. Howe Institute. 

Previously he was Senior Vice President and Chief Economist for TD Bank Group. In that role,
he managed a large team of economists that supported all of the divisions and clients of TD – thesecond largest bank in Canada and the eighth largest bank in the United States. 

Mr. Alexander has 20 years of experience in the private sector as an economic and financialforecaster. He is also a regular commentator on public policy and a sought after public speaker. 

Prior to joining the private sector, he spent four years as an economist at Statistics Canada. 

Mr. Alexander is a strong advocate for the cause of literacy and is a champion of the charitable 
sector. He serves on the Board of Directors for several non-profit groups. He is a Trustee of two 
pension plans. 

A former two-term President of the Canadian Association for Business Economics and a current 
board member for the National Association for Business Economics, he holds a graduate degreein economics from the University of Toronto. 
--
Craig Alexander est le vice-président de l’analyse économique à l’Institut C.D. Howe. Précédemment, il était le vice-président sénior et l’économiste en chef du groupe de la Banque TD. Dans ce rôle, il a géré une large équipe d’économistes qui soutenait toutes les divisions et les clients de TD – la deuxième plus grande banque au Canada et la huitième aux États-Unis. 

M. Alexander possède 20 ans d’expérience dans le secteur privé comme prévisionniste économique et financier. Il est aussi un commentateur régulier sur les politiques publiques et un conférencier recherché. Avant se joindre au secteur privé, il a passé quatre ans comme économiste à Statistiques Canada. 

M. Alexander est un ardent défenseur de la littératie et il est un champion du secteur de la bienfaisance. Il siège aussi au conseil d’administration de plusieurs groupes à but non lucratif. De plus, il est fiduciaire de deux régimes de retraite. 

Un ancien président de deux mandats de l’Association canadienne pour l’économie d’entreprise et un présent membre du conseil d’administration de l’Association nationale pour l’économie d’entreprise, M. Alexander possède un diplôme des études supérieures de l’Université de Toronto.


Pierre Fortin
Originaire de Lévis, au Québec, Pierre Fortin est professeur émérite de sciences économiques à l’Université du Québec à Montréal. Il est membre de la Société royale du Canada et du Conseil national de la statistique. Il a publié abondamment au Canada et à l’étranger, principalement dans les domaines des fluctuations économiques, de la croissance, de l'emploi et de la politique économique et sociale. Il a présidé la Société canadienne-française de science économique (SCSE) et la Canadian Economics Association (CEA). Il a été membre du Conseil économique du Canada et conseiller économique principal du Premier ministre du Québec. Il a été fait membre de l’Académie des Grands Montréalais en 2011 et chevalier de l’Ordre national du Québec en 2014. Il détient un baccalauréat en humanités classiques du Collège des Jésuites de Québec, une maîtrise en mathématiques de l’Université de Montréal et un doctorat en économie de l’Université de Californie à Berkeley. Il est père de cinq enfants. 
--
A native of Levis (Quebec), Pierre Fortin is Emeritus Professor of Economics at the University of Quebec at Montreal, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and a member of the National Statistics Council of Canada. He has published widely in Canada and abroad, mainly in the areas of economic fluctuations, growth, labour, and public policy. He is a past president of the French Canadian Economic Association (SCSE) and of the Canadian Economics Association (CEA). He has been a member of the Economic Council of Canada, and chief economic adviser to the Quebec Premier. He was made a member of the Academy of Great Montrealers in 2011, and a knight of the National Order of Quebec in 2014. He holds a B.A. in classical humanities from the Jesuit College of Quebec City, an M.Sc. in mathematics from the University of Montreal, and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of California at Berkeley. He is a father of five children. 


SkillsNB

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 skillsnb@skillsoft.com.
That's it for this edition of the Literacy Coalition of New Brunswick Newsletter! We'll be back soon with more exciting news. Thanks for reading! 
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