Greetings from LCNB’s President!

This has been a very productive year for the Literacy Coalition as we carry out our mission to provide leadership to advance literacy, lifelong learning and essential skills for all citizens though partnerships and collaboration with others.

Our Essential Skills for Atlantic Fisheries project (ESAF) has continued to thrive despite the pandemic. The results for our first round of participants are impressive, showing gains in essential skills, literacy scores, self-esteem, confidence and other employability skills and with 80% of participants having gained employment at program exit. We expect the results from our second cohort to be positive as well, despite some interruptions in our work placements due to COVID. In July, LCNB was approached by the Federal government to extend this project into the health sector. We were pleased to receive an additional $1,350,897 for this expansion which was approved on September 30th.

As further testimony to our project’s success, LCNB has been selected as an honorable mention winner of the 2020 Canada Life Literacy Innovation Award (LIA). The Award, presented by ABC Life Canada, recognizes our ESAF project as a “rare and shining example of an innovative solution to a wide-spread issue”. The Award and $5,000 prize will be presented to LCNB during a virtual ceremony on Oct. 15th.

Another exciting accomplishment was the official launch of our new Family and Early Childhood Literacy Web App, “Melanie”, which took place in June. This bilingual online tool enables families, educators and all service providers to gain greater access to literacy resources, programs, tools and information that best support New Brunswick early childhood literacy. Thank you to the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development for funding this important project.

We continue to recognize and celebrate literacy programs and individuals with the Dr. Marilyn Trenholme Counsell Awards. In November we held our well attended Dr. Marilyn Trenholme Counsell Literacy Awards ceremony where we celebrated six outstanding award recipients from across the province who have made significant contributions to literacy. This year’s award ceremony will be held virtually in early November. The Literacy Coalition’s PGI Literacy Dinner and Auction was cancelled because of COVID-19, but we look forward to hosting next year’s PGI Literacy Dinner and Auction on May 11th, 2021 at the Delta Marriott Hotel Fredericton. Thank you to PGI chair Bob Scott and his very outstanding cabinet and to our many sponsors for their generous support and continued commitment to our annual fundraiser and celebration of literacy.

As an organization, we deliver ongoing literacy programs to our community. Over the past year, these programs and initiatives have included Family Literacy Day, the Adult Learner’s Writing Contest, book giveaway contests, distribution of our “Let’s Learn!” booklet for parents and PGI grant distributions. Through our meetings, newsletter and social media, we share knowledge, information and best practices about literacy which result in better delivery of programs.

We have been hearing many positive stories of how dedicated literacy program providers and teachers have used their creativity to adapt and continue to deliver their programs during this pandemic. At a time when literacy skills are increasingly critical for survival and participation in society, our work to support lifelong learning for children, youth and adults has never been more important.

We would like to express our appreciation for the incredible efforts of everyone on the Literacy Coalition team over the past year. Thank you to our dedicated staff: Susan Yarom, Administrative Assistant, Dianne Léger, ESAF project manager, Sherri Deveau, ESAF project coordinator, Guylaine April, OLMC project coordinator and our former Communications Directors, Katie Fife, who has returned to her studies and our current Communications Director, Peter Jewett who joined us in May of 2020.

Sincere thanks also to our tireless Board of Directors, who generously donate their time and experience to the management of this worthwhile organization. The Literacy Coalition of New Brunswick is committed to fostering and improving literacy in this province and it would not be possible without our partner organizations and individuals like yourselves. We thank all of you for your continuous support.

Brent Melanson
President, Literacy Coalition of New Brunswick