News release

Provincial International Literacy Day Celebrations

The Department of Education honoured adult learners, educators and businesses today during an International Literacy Day awards and recognition ceremony in Dartmouth.

"Today is a special day," said Education Minister Jane Purves. "It gives us an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the many achievements and work of the dedicated individuals who pursue and support lifelong learning."

The event recognized those involved with the Community Literacy Initiative, the Workplace Education program, the General Educational Development (GED) diploma, and literacy and upgrading in the African-Canadian community.

The Community Learning Initiative is a government-community partnership that supports 28 learning networks providing adult literacy programs throughout the province. Last year, the initiative funded 127 programs with 2,032 learners participating. Through the initiative, the literacy community in Nova Scotia has gained a strong voice, expressing the need for increased access to quality programming and better resources for adult learners. A fourth collection of stories and poems created by adult learners taking part in Community Learning Initiative programs, titled Over the Mountain 4, was launched during today's ceremony.

The Workplace Education program provides grants and supports to business and labour to create literacy programs in the workplace. Workplace Education is a partnership among government, business, labour and management. Almost 4,000 employees in more than 380 work sites have taken part since 1989.

At the ceremony, four adult learners received Workplace Education Ambassador Awards for their commitment to lifelong learning through promoting and participating in Workplace Education programs. Recipients are: Joshua Morine, Weymouth; Madeline Repchull, Halifax; Monica LeBlanc, Dartmouth; and Mei Ao Deng, Halifax.

As well, the Valley View Villa health care centre in Stellarton was recognized by the Conference Board of Canada for excellence in workplace literacy.

Celebrating the 30th anniversary of the GED program in Nova Scotia, several awards were given to adult learners who successfully achieved their GED diploma. Jeannie Eisnor of New Germany was honoured with the GED National Award for Outstanding Achievement granted to the individual who achieves the highest score on the GED tests written in Nova Scotia. The Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. GED Scholarship Award went to Alex Pudsey of Kentville. This award is granted to a GED graduate who is enrolled in a full-time post-secondary program in a science- or math-related field at a recognized institution in Nova Scotia.

Iona Crawley received the Dr. William Pearly Oliver Award, which pays tribute to educators who, through their dedication, have made a significant contribution to literacy and adult education in the African-Nova Scotian community or individuals who have demonstrated a commitment and excellence through their participation in literacy and adult education programs. The award recognizes the pioneering work of Dr. Oliver with the Department of Education in promoting literacy and adult education in African-Canadian communities across Nova Scotia between 1950 and 1962.

Canada Post's Literacy Awards, honouring Canadians who support literacy, were also presented at the ceremony. Gordon DeWolfe of Truro and Pauline d'Eon of West Pubnico were given individual awards for their personal achievements as adult learners. The Reading Support Program in Dartmouth won the literacy leadership award for its long-term achievement, innovation, leadership and organizational excellence.

International Literacy Day, declared by the United Nations, is celebrated annually Sept. 8.



Dan Davis
Department of Education 902-424-3999 E-mail:
Jody MacArthur
Department of Education 902-424-8033 E-mail:
arc                      September 8, 1999              2:00 p.m.