The Literacy Coalition of New Brunswick will provide leadership to advance literacy, lifelong learning and essential skills for all citizens through partnerships and collaboration with government, educational institutions, business, labour and community.
The holidays are a busy time full of fun and excitement. They are also a wonderful opportunity for literacy enriching experience.
Reading can be a wonderful way to relax and reconnect.
Children of all ages love read-alouds. Cuddling up on the couch with a good book, hot chocolate, and soft lighting sets a relaxing mood for reading. Taking turns reading with your child, whether it is reading the words or reading the pictures, boosts reading enthusiasm and success.
The Holiday Season is the perfect time to enrich writing skills!
Writing thank you letters for gifts, helping to write lists for groceries and fun activities, and keeping a journal are fun ways to create personal connections to writing. The Holiday Season is the perfect time to enrich writing skills!
Take Literacy into the kitchen!
Make your favourite recipe together, having your child read the recipe. Make some playdough and use it to “write” letters, words, and pictures. Have an Alphabet Cereal scavenger hunt; fill up your bowl and look for letters or build words. ABC pasta silly words; cook up the pasta, dip up a spoonful and see what word you can create!
Get the whole family in on the fun!
Dig out those “old favourite” board games to promote oral language and conversation. Pick up a few new games, such as Headbandz or Pictionary. Story Cubes are tons of fun; roll the dice and tell a story using the pictures. Play charades – talking, moving, AND laughing!
Technology can enrich literacy learning.
Technology can enrich literacy learning, especially on those long car rides! Add a literacy app to that tablet! Search “literacy for kids” and load a few free apps. Check out Epic! for online stories. www.starfall.com has great early learning activities. Create interactive puppet shows with the Puppet Pals app.
Literacy is everywhere; when you are having fun and spending time together, the learning will blossom!
The Literacy Coalition of New Brunswick held their annual Dr. Marilyn Trenholme Counsell Literacy Awards at Old Government House in Fredericton on October 3rd, 2023. This year’s ceremony marked the 25th anniversary of the awards.
“These awards were established in 1998 by Dr. Trenholme Counsell during her term as New Brunswick’s Lieutenant Governor to recognize outstanding achievements in the fields of literacy and essential skills” said Lynda Homer, Executive Director of the Coalition and Master of ceremonies for the event. The Literacy Coalition is proud to have carried on the tradition of presenting these awards annually since 2007.”
During the evening, the Honourable Brenda Murphy, Lieutenant Governor, gave opening remarks in both official languages. She spoke of Dr. Trenholme Counsell’s forward thinking in championing literacy for twenty-five years. She also commended the Literacy Coalition for its valuable work and congratulated the award winners. thanking them for giving back to their communities.
Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development, Bill Hogan, brought greetings from the province. He highlighted some of the government’s promising initiatives for literacy and praised the Literacy Coalition for their valuable work.
Seven award winners were presented with a framed certificate, and an engraved pewter bowl presented by Literacy Coalition President Brent Melanson, and the Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick, Honourable Brenda Murphy.
Dr. Marilyn Trenholme Counsell gave closing remarks. She thanked the Lieutenant Governor for her huge contribution to the province and the Literacy Coalition for their work in literacy, and for continuing to present these awards for the past 18 years. She spoke of each award recipient and how their work made them so worthy of their award. In conclusion, she recited a beautiful poem by Sheree Fitch.
Brent Melanson said that “The Dr. Marilyn Trenholme Counsell Awards is one of our favourite events that we are proud to host each year. It’s a celebration of literacy and accomplishments of remarkable individuals and organizations”.
LCNB Recognizes Outstanding Achievements in the Field of Literacy
The Fredericton Public Library received the award for Community Literacy Program. Under the leadership of Julia Stewart, the Fredericton Public Library has implemented initiatives to meet the needs of the most vulnerable, including the community fridge program, which supplies snacks, milk, and water to patrons for free. Julia spoke about the importance of food security, especially for children, and how the necessity of programs like this should raise the alarm about the state of our most vulnerable population in the province.
Patsy McKinney received the award for Outstanding Effort in Indigenous Literacy. As Executive Director of Under One Sky HeadStart, Patsy has been an outstanding leader in supporting the early childhood development of Indigenous children, helping to give them and their families a positive sense of themselves as they gain Indigenous knowledge, language and culture in their communities. While accepting her award, Patsy spoke about the importance of remembering, learning, and teaching our Indigenous languages which are our connection to the land, our ancestors, and our traditions. She also played an audio clip of her language hero’s 3 year old son, singing happy birthday in Wolastoquey.
Janet North of Westminster Books received the award for Business Corporate Literacy Initiative. Westminster Books has been a bedrock of the Fredericton reading community for over 44 years, and Janet has been at the center of that operation, hosting events for local and visiting authors and putting books into the hands of readers of all ages and experiences. Upon retiring, she has ensured that the local independent bookstore experience will continue in Fredericton and beyond.
Marshall Button received the award for his Outstanding Individual Contribution to Literacy. Beloved comedian, actor, playwriter, director and founder of Moncton’s Hub Cap Comedy Festival, has generously contributed to countless community events, organizations, and causes, including as MC and Poet Laureate for the NB PGI (Peter Gzowski Invitational) Literacy Dinners for 20 consecutive years. Marshall gave his thanks in both official languages, attributing his success to support from those who instilled a love of theatre in him. In typical Marshall fashion, he made everyone laugh during his acceptance speech, and said what an honor it was to be in the room with his fellow award winners.
Lily Van Beek was the second winner for Outstanding Individual Contribution to Literacy. Lily founded Student Stories NB, while attending Saint John High School. The online news outlet became a platform where students could publish their news stories and works of fiction, including important pieces about climate change, the impact of social media on youth, and schools. In its first four months, the platform saw nearly 6,000 views.
Dave Lawrence, winner of the award for Published Author. is the author of Noah Bear: A Day in the Life of a Young Bear with Autism and The Ongoing Adventures of Noah Bear. He is also a radio host on The Wake Up Show with Dave on Rewind 93.1. Dave spoke about how important this work has been for families and children like his son, and never expected his book to become an Amazon Best Seller.
Peter Clark, the second winner in the category of Published Author, is a writer, chronicler, and self-publisher of NB folklore and stories. Five of his nine books have achieved Canadian Bestseller status, and he has helped raise countless lifelong readers by donating his books to schools, libraries, and charities. Peter had many people to thank over the course of his illustrious career and spoke of the realities of making a living as an author.
Thank you to everyone who attended this milestone event!
The Literacy Champions Network emerged as a result of the strong relationships and shared passion among the twelve literacy organizations that were previously affiliated with The Peter Gzowski Foundation for Literacy (PGFL). The foundation itself was established in 2002 following the death of Peter Gzowski, the renowned host of CBC Radio’s Morningside, who had been deeply committed to raising funds and awareness for literacy in Canada.
Peter Gzowski’s Legacy
Peter Gzowski’s dedication to literacy began in the late 1980s when he set a goal to raise $1 million for literacy initiatives across the country. This goal led to the creation of the Peter Gzowski Invitational Golf Tournaments for Literacy in 1986. These tournaments became a platform for raising funds and promoting literacy, while also bringing together literacy representatives from different regions to exchange best practices and expertise at an annual training forum.
Over the next four decades, the Peter Gzowski Invitational (PGI) Golf Tournaments for Literacy spread across every province and territory in Canada. The collective efforts of these tournaments raised more than$13 million by 2018, contributing significantly to literacy programs and initiatives nationwide.
As time went on, the affiliated partners involved in the PGI Golf Tournaments for Literacy expanded their fundraising efforts beyond golf tournaments. They diversified their activities to include various events and campaigns tailored to their local communities, all with the goal of supporting literacy programming and raising awareness.
In 2022, the Peter Gzowski Foundation for Literacy made the decision to transition from supporting fundraising events to providing grants to literacy organizations. As a result, the foundation concluded its formal relationship with the affiliated partners. However, the relationships created over the years among the provincial and territorial literacy organizations remained strong and valuable.
Uniting for a Common Goal
Recognizing the enduring connections and collaborative spirit forged through the support of the PGFL foundation and the invaluable work it accomplished, in 2023, literacy organizations from across the country came together as the Literacy Champions Network. They realized the power of their collective efforts and the potential to continue supporting literacy programming within their respective communities. With a shared commitment to improving literacy rates and advocating for increased literacy supports, the Literacy Champions collaborate on initiatives, share resources, and leverage their collective expertise to make a lasting impact in promoting literacy from coast to coast to coast.
Today, the Literacy Champions Network stands as a united force, working diligently to address the literacy challenges faced by their communities. They honour the legacy of Peter Gzowski and the accomplishments of the PGI Golf Tournaments for Literacy while adapting to new approaches and strategies to advance their common goal of fostering literacy skills and opportunities for all Canadians.
LCNB is proud to be part of this invaluable network!
No matter where you are, literacy is transforming lives. We are so excited to be taking the next steps of Canada’s literacy journey together with the incredible organizations in this network. By supporting us and the Literacy Champions Network, you are helping families, children, and adult learners across the country.
Fredericton, NB – We’re proud to announce that the Literacy Coalition has received an ABC Life Literacy Honourable Mention Innovation Award for their Family Time Online program. Designed to build capacity for early childhood educators’ and families’ engagement in virtual literacy sessions, the program provides online family literacy sessions, free literacy kits and technology for participants. This innovative program includes a strengthened adult component for family programs which have traditionally focused primarily on children’s literacy.
“Our Family Time Online project is encouraging healthy relationships with technology for both children and adults”, says project manager and Executive Director, Lynda Homer.” As a result of their participation in this program, both educators and adult family members have increased their digital literacy skills and their capacity to engage in online learning. They can now more easily access support and resources for employment and educational upgrading. The skills and knowledge that participants have acquired will continue to benefit them long after their involvement in the program. “
The Family Time Online Project was funded by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development and Post Secondary Education Training and Labour. It has been carried out in collaboration with the University of New Brunswick Early Childhood Centre, and a wide range of early childhood service providers, educators, families, government, and community literacy groups.
“Much credit for the success of this project goes to all involved, including our dedicated staff, partners, educators, families and funders” says Literacy Coalition President, Brent Melanson. “The results are extremely positive to date, and we look forward to expanding the project to reach more families and educators”.
FREDERICTON, NB – The Literacy Coalition of New Brunswick is proud to name the winners of the 2023 Dr. Marilyn Trenholme Counsell Literacy Awards. The awards will be presented on Tuesday, October 3rd in Fredericton at Old Government House. A reception with refreshments will begin at 6:00 pm, with the ceremony starting at 7:00.
2023 is the 25th anniversary of the awards, which recognize outstanding achievements in the fields of literacy and lifelong learning. In 1998, Dr. Marilyn Trenholme Counsell established the awards during her term as New Brunswick’s lieutenant-governor. Since 2007, the Literacy Coalition has continued to present these awards annually.
“We are very pleased to name Marshall Button as a winner of the Outstanding Individual Contribution to Literacy,” says LCNB President, Brent Melanson. Beloved comedian, actor, playwriter, director and founder of Moncton’s Hub Cap Comedy Festival, Marshall is best known for his character Lucien, reaching audiences in NB, North America and even Afghanistan.
He has generously contributed to countless community events, organizations and causes, including as MC and Poet Laureate for the NB PGI (Peter Gzowski Invitational) Literacy Dinners. In recognition of his artistic and theatrical achievements, Marshall has received an honorary degree from St. Thomas University in 2007 and was invested into the Order of New Brunswick.
Lily Van Beek is our second winner int the category of Outstanding Individual Contribution to Literacy. Lily founded Student Stories NB, while attending Saint John High School. The online news outlet became a platform where students could publish their news stories and works of fiction, including important pieces about climate change, the impact of social media on youth, and schools. In its first four months, the platform saw nearly 6,000 views.
Patsy McKinney is the recipient of the Outstanding Effort in Indigenous Literacy award. As Executive Director of Under One Sky Headstart, she has been a leader in supporting early childhood development for Indigenous children. She is a member of the New Brunswick Aboriginal Peoples Council and the UNB Mi’kmaq-Wolastoqey Centre Council of Elders and is on the board of the National Association of Friendship Centers. She received the Renaissance College Trailblazer Award in 2023.
The Business Corporate Initiative award goes to Westminster Books owner, Janet North. Westminster Books has been a bedrock of the Fredericton reading community for over 44 years, and Janet North has been at the centre of that operation, hosting events for local and visiting authors and putting books into the hands of readers of all ages and experiences. Upon retiring, she has ensured that the local independent bookstore experience will continue in Fredericton and beyond.
The Fredericton Public Library (FPL) is the recipient of the Community Literacy Program award. Under the leadership of Julia Stewart, the FPL has implemented initiatives to meet the needs of the most vulnerable, including the community fridge program, which supplies snacks, milk, and water to patrons for free. This project is just one of the ways the library is innovating to better serve its community.
We have two winners in the 2023 Published Author category.
Dave Lawrence is a radio host on Rewind 93.1, and the author of Noah Bear: A Day in the Life of a Young Bear with Autism and The Ongoing Adventures of Noah Bear. Both are based on personal experiences of his son, Noah, who has autism. The books offer children a fun and accessible way to better understand their peers with autism. Proceeds from his books are donated to Autism Connections Fredericton.
Peter Clark is a writer, chronicler, and self-publisher of NB folklore and stories. Five of his nine books have achieved Canadian Bestseller status. Clark has helped raise countless lifelong readers by donating his books to schools, libraries, and charities. He is a recipient of the City of Fredericton’s Unsung Hero Award and was elected to the Atlantic Salmon Wall of Fame.
The Literacy Coalition of New Brunswick provides leadership to advance literacy, lifelong learning, and essential skills for all citizens through partnerships and collaboration with government, educational institutions, business, labour, community organizations and individuals.
For more information contact Lynda Homer, LCNB Executive Director.