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Hello!

Welcome to the August 2016 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


Has it really been a month already? Here's some important information from the Literacy Coalition:

Message from the Executive Director!

In this edition of our newsletter, you will learn about some of the wonderful work that is being done in New Brunswick communities to advance literacy. While community-based literacy groups and organizations are hard at work, LCNB continues its mission to provide leadership to ensure all populations have opportunities to advance their literacy and essential skills and I am happy to share some highlights with you.

Recognizing the valued roles of grandparents and grandpersons in nurturing a foundation for literacy and learning in young children, LCNB is hosting, Senior Mentorship: Enhancing the Role of Grandparents and Grandpersons in Family Literacy. This is a free workshop for grandparents and grandpersons who want to learn how to mentor other grandparents in their communities on enhancing literacy in their families. Community-based workshops will take place in the fall and we are looking forward to a great turnout!

Parents are their children’s first teachers and we know singing, talking, reading and playing with your child helps to develop a loving relationship and a strong foundation for learning and literacy. Let’s Learn, is a booklet developed by LCNB that offers useful tips and strategies for parents on how to give children a great start in literacy and learning. Let’s Learn is available in English and French and will soon be available in Mi’kmaq and Maliseet.

According to a study by the Essential Skills Group Inc., a 1% increase in literacy and essential skills in Canada would create a workforce that is 2.5% more productive, increasing Canada’s GDP by 1.5% or $18 billion annually. In June, I attended a meeting of Board Chairs of the New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and PEI Literacy Alliance to discuss the formation of an Atlantic Literacy Partnership for Essential Skills. In August, we presented a joint submission to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance, outlining recommendations for a four-year commitment to advancing literacy and essential skills in the Atlantic region. It is my hope that a unified approach to advancing literacy will result in positive outcomes for the Atlantic region.

In September, LCNB will be holding its Annual General Meeting. This is an opportunity to reflect on the impact of our work and to set new goals for the coming year. I look forward to meeting with our volunteer board and committee members who have all contributed their knowledge, experience and valuable time to advance literacy for all New Brunswickers.

As students return to school next week, some of you may be thinking about improving your reading, writing, math, or computer skills. By calling our toll free learn line at: 1-800-563-2211, we can help you begin your journey. Please note that all calls are confidential.

Message from the Communications Director!


It is amazing how quickly summer has slipped by and many of us, including me, are headed back to school. My summer as Director of Communications at LCNB has been incredibly rewarding. I have learned many things from my time in this position, such as the pressing need for continued literacy supports for New Brunswickers of all ages. I have also heard stories from many people around the province of how literacy has made a positive impact in their lives. While these stories are about improving literacy, they are more about courage, perseverance and overcoming challenges. We all have a role to play to ensure these success stories continue to be told.

In September, I am returning to UNB as a full time student, however, my story here at the LCNB is far from over. I will continue as Director of Communications part time as I complete my studies.I would like to extend my gratitude and warm thanks to Lynda Homer, Christy McLean and all others in the LCNB family for helping me along the way and for allowing me the opportunity to be a part of this wonderful organization.

Matthew Garneau,

Communications Director, LCNB



 

Exclusive LCNB Interview from Janette Desharnais of Fredericton's Frontier College!


LCNB was excited to have the opportunity to Interview Frontier College's Janette Desharnais on the topic of preparing for the coming school year and what parents should know. To read this interview, please click here

Did you Know, LCNB Has a Toll Free Information Learn Line!


If you or someone you know want to improve their literacy, math, or computer skills, we can help! Call our free Learn Line and we will help connect you to the supports that are right for you. Your calls are confidential. From employers to parents, LCNB provides support in your journey to improving literacy.

If you or someone you know needs assistance, call our Learn Line at 1-800-563-2211.

 

Reach Out to Read: Growing Young Minds


Reach Out to Read, a program which provides books to families of young children continues to grow within New Brunswick! LCNB is proud to support this worthwhile initiative.

For more information please check out our news section below!

Cradle to Career program directory!



The Carleton North Imagination Library, Inc. is a non-profit group that provides free books for children from birth to age five in the Carlton North high school catchment area.  Their program is affiliated with the Dolly Parton Imagination Library through the Dollywood Foundation, which operates in the U.S., Canada, Australia and the UK.

Children registered in the program receive a free book in the mail each month, addressed specifically to them.  These books are age and culturally appropriate and are chosen by a Dollywood Foundation committee, who have backgrounds in education, child development, academia and early childhood literacy.

For more information about the Carleton North Imagination Library, or about registering a child, contact: cnimaginationlibrary@gmail.com or call 375-4680.  You can also check them out on Facebook.


 

International Literacy Day 2016


September 8th is the 2016 International Literacy Day! From Malala Yousafzai, to children who walk miles to achieve an education, there are many stories people going above and beyond for the sake of literacy and education. In recognition of International Literacy Day, LCNB is sharing just some of the stories of international efforts to make literacy more accessible to all.

This Month's LCNB International Literacy Spotlight

In many parts of the world, education is something many of us take for granted. However, because of poverty, conflict or both, education is not readily available to every citizen throughout the world, yet countless individuals are willing to take great risks to receive one.

To view the video below, please click the photo shown (will redirect you to YouTube).
Literacy Boost: helping children around the world learn to read and write | World Vision

Canadian Book of the Month


Canada is home to many wonderful authors, be it poems or novels, you can find it all right here. The Literacy Coalition of New Brunswick is proud to shed light on the work of these talented authors.
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This Month's Feature Is "The Angels Jig"

By: Daniel Poliquin
This month's book is published by Fredericton's own Goose Lane Editions! Daniel Poliquin is one of Canada’s leading French writers. His novels and translations have won or been shortlisted for several major awards, including the Governor General’s Award, the Grand prix du Journal de Montréal, the Prix littéraire Le Droit, the Trillium Book Award, and the Giller Prize. He is also a Chevalier de l’Ordre des arts et lettres and a Member of the Order of Canada.

https://www.gooselane.com/media/1301.jpg

 

Facing the dwindling years of his life, an old man waits for his turn on the auction block, hoping to be sold to a family as decent as the one he is leaving. It is not the first time he has been here, and it may not be the last.

Mute in life but loquacious on the page, the old man tells the colourful story of his rootless life.  Abandoned by his family and first auctioned off at the age of seven — “Ladies and gentlemen, this boy may not be a rare gem, but he is certainly worth a look” — he moves from one farm to another, taking comfort from the people around him.

Daniel Poliquin’s picaresque novel revisits an all-but-forgotten era, when orphaned children and the elderly poor were auctioned into a form of indentured servitude. Narrated through the eyes and ears of an unforgettable protagonist, The Angel’s Jig is a joyous meditation on identity and the unpredictable voyage of existence.

In The News


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


 

Seed program hires most students in ten years, despite backlash to changes.


Emma Davie, Legislature Bureau
August 8th, 2016

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FREDERICTON • Although it had a rocky start, the New Brunswick government says the Student Employment Experience Development program found jobs for about 2,000 students this summer – the highest number in the past decade.

The SEED program, which pairs university, college and high school students with employers for the summer, was revamped this year, resulting in complaints from students and employers who were
surprised by the changes.

Donald Arseneault, Minister of Post-Secondary Education, admitted in an interview there were problems with the roll-out of the program. He said the department added about 400 jobs later in the season to address some of the frustrations.

“Just like any program, there are limits in the budgets and you can only fund so many positions. But at the end of the day, we still had more than ever in the past 10 years, which is good,” Arseneault said.

“I think the roll-out could have been a lot better, a lot sooner, to get the various organizations better prepared … I understood that there was frustration, and that’s why we tried to address that.”

Before the program was revamped, employers who were accepted into the SEED program were told by their local MLA the number of summer students they could hire and were given funding for the jobs.

Starting this year, MLAs can no longer choose how many funded student positions an employer gets. Instead, the government gives students accepted into the program vouchers to apply to SEED-approved employers.

The funding for the summer job follows the student, a process that has challenged museums and other non-profits who have had trouble attracting student applicants.

“The general word is confusion,” said Robert Burroughs, executive director of the New Brunswick Student Alliance.

“I say that because you can’t change a program so fundamentally without telling the key stakeholders. The student alliance was caught off guard when the vouchers first came out. A lot of students were caught off guard when the vouchers came out because the concept of the voucher hadn’t been properly explained.”

Burroughs said despite the confusion, the student alliance is in favour of the SEED changes, which he said allow students a chance to work in their preferred fields.

“The idea of moving the power into students’ hands and having them decide where they’re going to go … That’s a good move in our book,” he said.

“But how that was communicated obviously, everybody knows, it was not done very well.”

Students weren’t the only ones frustrated with the changes this summer, which also included private sector jobs for the first time. Non-profits, such as museums, and tourism operators felt left out.
Arseneault said he later added an additional 400 jobs for address concerns.

“Tourism sectors are very important for the province of New Brunswick and no doubt they would have a lot more difficulty filling those gaps,” he said.

Opposition leader Bruce Fitch said adding the 400 jobs later in the summer didn’t make things any easier.

“I think some of the rural MLAs and some of the non-profits would tell you, straight up, it was just so difficult and it took so long to find the right student and to get these vouchers figured out,” Fitch said.
“It was a disaster. They ended up throwing a substantial amount of money at it again to try and solve some of those problems.”

Arseneault said a total of 6,886 students applied to the SEED program this summer, 2,000 more applicants than the previous year. But that meant almost 5,000 students in the province were left on the wait-list.

“If you only have 2,000 jobs to provide, there’s going to be some students that are left without,” he said.

“It doesn’t mean that those others did not get a job. You can go work in the retail sector or the food and service industry, or any other companies, they still may be hiring.”

Arseneault said he plans to start consulting in the fall with various stakeholders such as students, non-profits, museums and the business community to address what tweaks need to be made for next summer.

“I want to make sure if we are going to make some changes, and there probably will be some changes, that we can implement them sooner rather than later so when it does roll out next year, we’ll be ready and everybody will be aware of what the program entails,”

he said, adding that one of the big issues will be whether or not to include the private sector and how that will work.

Burroughs said he hopes the government will reach out to students and campuses next summer, as well as employers, to make sure everyone understands the program and how it’s going to work next year.

“We’re hoping to see extraordinarily clear communication. There was a massive failure in communication on the government’s part. We’ve made it clear to them that we expect a lot better from them next summer,” Burroughs said.

While there will be some changes to the SEED program next year, Arseneault said he won’t be changing the overall aim of these changes.

“This is not an employer program, this is a student program, and that’s where we
 want to put the focus,” he said.
 

 

Fredericton program sparks love of books in the youngest readers

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Lori Gallagher, Fredericton Daily Gleaner
August 16th, 2016


The people behind the Reaching Out to Read program believe it’s never too early to fall in love with books.

“We believe a child’s love of reading really should begin on the lap of a parent, and when a parent reads to their baby there are multiple beneficial effects,”

says Joanna Seeley, a registered nurse with the Public Health Healthy Families, Healthy Babies program and chair of the Reaching Out to Read committee.

When the baby hears a parent’s voice during reading, it promotes cognitive and language development. When they hold their baby, it promotes attachment. When they encourage their baby to reach for the book and turn the pages, it promotes fine motor skill development. Even when the baby is chewing and mouthing the book, it’s a good thing.

“It’s called oral motor exploration and it’s also a really good sign for babies,” she says.
Plus, exposure to books and reading at an early age is an important determinant of literacy,

This is especially important in New Brunswick where, according to Statistics Canada, 53 per cent of high school graduates are not functionally literate.

“Unfortunately, some of the disadvantaged populations are less likely to have access to those books and also to read to their kids,” says Seeley.

“These children are at a disadvantage when they begin kindergarten and they’re at risk of lower school outcomes.”

As a Public Health nurse, Seeley works with first time mothers and their infants through Healthy Families, Healthy Babies.

“Each year we visit approximately 10 per cent of the live birth population in Fredericton and surrounding areas. That would be about 150 to 160 families,” she says.

“We usually do it biweekly and we do it from birth right up until the baby is two years of age.”

This puts the Public Health nurse in the perfect position to introduce literacy through the Reaching Out to Read program, which provides high-quality infant books every three months, starting at three months and continuing until the child is two.

“These are books that were selected by children’s librarians and speech language pathologists through Talk With Me/Parle-Moi,” says Seeley.

Reaching Out to Read is a bilingual program, one that takes into consideration a family’s level of comfort with reading and models the behaviour it hopes to promote.

“We’re not just going in the home and throwing them a book and saying here, read this to your child. We’re putting that child on our lap, we’re reading the books to the family. We’re giving them hints and tips on how to encourage their particular motor skill at that age or their language skill,” she says.

The goal is to build a positive atmosphere for reading.

“It’s about having books within reach. If the books are on a shelf or at a library or at a grandparent’s home, that’s wonderful if the child can have access to them, but really it’s about having them on the floor with the baby, and the baby grabbing them and playing with them and turning pages,” says Seeley.

“That’s what really promotes that love of reading.”

Reaching Out to Read in Fredericton is made possible thanks to a number of community partners, including the Horizon Health Public Health program, Talk with Me/Parle-Moi, Fredericton Public Library and Literacy Coalition of New Brunswick.

There are books provided at birth and at 18 months through the Born to Read program, says Seeley, but the other books in the Reaching Out to Read program are available thanks to an impact grant of $15,000 from the Fredericton Community Foundation. They also received a $500 donation from the Nashwaaksis Y Service Club.

“Part of getting the impact grant for Fredericton, because all of the money is sponsored by people in the area who are putting money in this, is that we also wanted to purchase the books from a local supplier,”she says.

“We are purchasing our books from Westminster Books, so the money is re-invested in the community.”

Though Reaching Out to Read is still relatively new to this area, it’s been around since 2008, when it started as a universal program in Woodstock.

“Everybody who got their immunizations done at the Public Health office was getting a book and that was through a grant from the IWK, but it wasn’t sustainable,” says Seeley.

In 2010, they changed it to a more targeted program by making it a part of the Healthy Families, Healthy Babies program. The Woodstock program has since expanded to Perth and Canterbury. The Fredericton program has been adapted to suit a more urban area.

“They’ve had really good success in the Upper River Valley area and for the Lower River Valley area, we received the funding in November, and then it took some time to get everything together, so we launched it in April,” says Seeley.

The biggest impact she’s seen so far is being able to get books into homes, then seeing the books on the floor with the children.

“Because we do see first-time moms, and some of those moms are kind of young, I was going in previously and saying, ‘You should really read to your child,’ and they were trying, but the books they were using were their high school textbooks or maybe a book that wasn’t quite at the literacy level of the child,” she says.

It was frustrating to not be able to give them tools to do this.

“Now I can say this is what you should do and here is what you can do it with,” says Seeley.

“It’s so much easier to encourage that reading when they have something to read.”

Her favourite part is the response of the child, their expression, enjoyment and engagement.
On top of providing books, the nurses are also collecting data.

“Sometimes it’s hard to get support for a program in its initial stages when it has no information to support its effectiveness,” she says.

The impact grant will support the Reaching Our to Read program for at least a year and a half, and after that, they hope to use the information they’ve collected to show community groups why this is a program worth supporting.

“We’re just gathering momentum now. In the past four months, we’ve given out 146 books, and that’s significant considering we only give it every three months,” she says.

The cost of the program breaks down to approximately $80 per child or family
.
“It’s a wonderful investment,” says Seeley.

“Only $80 to help promote reading for a child, which then can be used for subsequent children.”


© 2016 Fredericton Daily Gleaner
 

Educators from across Canada learn about forest education in Roachville



Katie Hartai, Kings County Record
August 17, 2016


SUSSEX • Between towering pine trees and moss covered rocks, 24 educators from across Canada gather at Tír na nÓg Forest School outside of Sussex this week to learn the ways of the land.

The five day Forest School Practitioners Course prepares educators to safely and effectively organize their own Forest and Nature School programs.

“Once you see children learning in this kind of context, there is no turning back,” said facilitator Marlene Power, the executive director of the Child and Nature Alliance of Canada. “You see such richness come out of them.”

Power founded Canada’s first outdoor nature-based forest preschool near Ottawa. She studied at Memorial University of Newfoundland and Dalhousie University, and worked in a variety of fields involving community development, environmental education and early childhood education.

“I argued for this idea in 2008 and now we are seeing that more than ever, it is what everyone wants – not just environmentalist and outdoorsy people,” she said.

“People want their kids to be outside, and I think forest school is growing in popularity because of it.”
Course participants have come from B.C., Alta., Sask., Ont., Que., N.B. and N.S. One eager educator even made the trip from South Korea.

“I think the turnout says that people are ready for this,” she said. “Not just educators but parents, too.”

It takes between eight months to a year to complete the course. Once finished, they are certified as Forest and Nature School Practitioner through Forest School Canada.

“Shortly after, everyone here will start up their own forest school or their own forest school program, which might happen in public schools, in early years centres or some will start up their own programs,” she said.

Justine Tremblay is a preschool educator taking part in the course. She teaches at Wulastukw Elementary School in Kingsclear First Nation, N.B.

Tremblay plans on starting a part time, outdoor education program at the preschool.

“We need to reconnect to the earth, to our roots, where we have come from,” she said. “We can learn so much from Mother Earth.”

The course is not only educational, but also good for networking according to Tremblay.

“It has been great to come here and make connections with a lot of people who have similar interests,” she said.

Tír na nÓg Forest School has hosted the course once before in 2013. Power said it is the perfect location.

“It is beautiful here and all the participants love it,” she said. “We have our cookout, eat food from the garden and there are chickens and children walking on the site. It is the perfect place to demonstrate what is possible and really inspire other educators.”

Lisa Brown, the founder of Tír na nÓg Forest School, said it is an honour to host the program.
“It is my way of giving back and helping out the movement across Canada,” she said.

It takes a specific type of person to be a forest school educator, according to Brown.

“Teachers need to love and be comfortable in the outdoors,” she said. “An outdoor educator needs to be open minded, willing to try something new and feel like they can learn along with the children.”

The course includes physically and mentally engaging sessions, touching on topics like risk management, ropes and knots, play theory, fire, experiential learning and tools. Marlene Power and Chris Filler facilitated the program. It cost $1,400 plus accommodations.


© 2016 Kings Country record



















 
 

 








 

Community Update


Public Library Activities:

Seed Library
Monday, March 21, 2016 until Monday, October 31, 2016 
8:00  a.m.  -  12:00  p.m.
Borrow seeds for your garden through our partnership with NBCHG. Please click on the title for more information.

English Table
Every Friday  12:30  p.m. - 1:30  p.m.  
Practice your conversational English.

Spanish Table
Every Thursday  7:00  p.m. - 8:00  p.m.  
Improve your Spanish conversation skills.

Retro Gaming Night
Every Thursday  7:00  p.m. - 8:00  p.m.  
Drop by the Makerspace to try out our Retron 5 gaming system!

 


 


 
 
 
 

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.
 

Adult Literacy Fredericton
As of April 4th, Laubach Literacy Fredericton will be operating as Adult Literacy Fredericton. The organisation provides a free one-to-one tutoring service to adults 18 and older who want to improve their reading and writing skills.  Anyone who is interested in upgrading their reading and writing skills, or in becoming a volunteer should contact the coordinator at 458-1396 or by emailing info@adultliteracyfredericton.org
 
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 to improve 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 who 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
Did you know you can share your community literacy events on the LCNB website?. 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 toll free at 1-800-563-2211.

Professional Development Opportunities

SkillsNB


The SkillsNB program provides free online training available 24/7 to New Brunswick citizens. 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 available 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 them 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!
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