Dr. Marilyn Trenholme Counsell Literacy Awards 2024 a Success!

The Literacy Coalition of New Brunswick held their annual Dr. Marilyn Trenholme Counsell Literacy Awards at Old Government House in Fredericton on June 11th, 2024.

“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.”

The Honourable Brenda Murphy, Lieutenant Governor, gave opening remarks in both official languages. She spoke of Dr. Marilyn Trenholme Counsell’s incredible legacy as a champion of literacy in our province and thanked the award winners for inspiring others and for their commitment to excellence.

“It is always a pleasure to highlight the important work of the Literacy Coalition of New Brunswick,” Her Honour said. “It really has been quite rewarding to build on the partnership between the office of the Lieutenant Governor and the Literacy Coalition of New Brunswick”.

While Dr. Trenholme Counsell was unable to attend the event this year, her daughter-in-law Ashley Counsell brought greetings and heartfelt praise to the award winners on her behalf. She spoke about how important these awards are to her family and did a beautiful reading of one of Dr. Trenholme Counsell’s favourite poems, On the Road to Anywhere.

Deputy Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development Ryan Donaghy brought greetings on behalf of the province in both official languages. He congratulated the winners on their important work, and highlighted how his department will continue to work to ensure that everyone has the right to read, write, and thrive.

Six 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.

LCNB Recognizes Outstanding Achievements in the Field of Literacy

The Owens Art Gallery received the first award for Community Literacy Program. Located in Sackville at Mount Allison University, the Owens Art Gallery has built a community literacy program dedicated to removing barriers to art and improving visual, museum, and cultural literacy. Emily Falvey, Director and Curator accepted the award on behalf of the Gallery. Emily spoke of the Gallery’s amazing work and how the award has validated their efforts in leading literacy and lifelong learning programs. She also gave praise to Lucy MacDonald, Curator of Education and Community Outreach, who contributed much to the Gallery’s many literacy programs.

Central Valley Adult Learning Association, also known as CVALA, received the second award for Community Literacy Program. CVALA is committed to adult education and literacy, helping over 200 individuals annually with their Canadian Adult Education Credential prep classes and digital literacy programs. Accepting the award on behalf of the organization was Executive Director Laura Burris, who spoke of CVALA’s incredible staff, teachers, and board members who make their work possible. She also read a moving essay from one of their learners, which spoke of how learning changed their life.

Myriam Raiche Landry was the recipient of the Early Childhood Literacy award (en français, Alphabétisation de la petite enfance). Myriam is an exceptional educator who is deeply committed to improving literacy and French language skills for young children. One of her most recent and successful projects has been helping the 4-year old children from the Communautaire Beausoleil childcare centre create and publish their very own book. Myriam brought this incredible book with her to show everyone, speaking passionately about the process of creating the book and how proud the children are of it.

Roseanne Clark received the award for Outstanding Effort in Indigenous Literacy. Best known as an ambassador of the Wolastoqey language, Roseanne has led her family in the development of a Wolastoqey online dictionary, “Words from the Crow Clan” (“Kahkakuhsuwakutomuhtit ’Kolusuwakonuwal”). Roseanne spoke in both English and Wolastoqey to accept her award. She thanked her siblings, who have been working tirelessly alongside her on the dictionary, calling it a labour of love. She said how the award validates the incredible time and effort that went into making it, and it has been getting steady usage from all over the world. She hopes it will have a positive effect in preserving their language.

Jeff Somers received the award in the category of Published Author. He is the author of Avery and the Special Shoe, which is about an active and spunky little girl who happens to be living with Cerebral Palsy. Jeff stated that there were many people to thank for their work on this book, including a very special little girl who allowed her story to be shared. At the end of his remarks, Jeff presented Honourable Brenda Murphy with a copy of his published book.

Sally Armstrong was the final winner for the evening in the category of Individual Outstanding Contribution to Literacy. An award-winning author, journalist, and human rights activist, Sally’s work is well known across the world. Her remarkable book, The Nine Lives of Charlotte Talyor, is set in New Brunswick and showcases Sally’s love for, and close ties with, our province. She gave praise to each of the previous winners, and expressed how honoured she was to be supported by people who have given so much to New Brunswick. She told a moving story of a woman who said how The Nine Lives of Charlotte Taylor inspired her to improve her reading, as well as anecdotes from her work with women and girls in Afghanistan who are fighting for their right to literacy and education.

“Literacy is the most powerful tool of all,” Sally said in conclusion. “It’s more than learning to read. What literacy is about is building self-esteem, finding your place in the world, and even nation building.”

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:
Phone: 506-461-3880
Email: lcnb@nbliteracy.ca