Adult Learners, Literacy Advocates Honoured

Department of Education (to March 26, 2013)

September 7, 2007 10:36 AM

Adult learners who have improved their literacy and succeeded in workplace education, and the literacy organizations and volunteers who support them, were honoured today, Sept. 7, at Nova Scotia's 17th annual International Literacy Day celebrations in Dartmouth.

Premier Rodney MacDonald presented the Council of the Federation Literacy Award to Julie Champagne of Pictou. In Nova Scotia, the award recognizes an adult learner who has demonstrated outstanding achievement in literacy and made significant contributions to school, workplace or community. The award was first awarded in 2005 by Canada's premiers to recognize literacy achievement in every province and territory.

"Upgrading literacy skills leads to more job opportunities and a better life for individuals, and their families," said Premier MacDonald. "It also contributes to the strength and productivity of Nova Scotia's economy -- and the adult learners we know today are an important part of the Nova Scotia success story."

After 19 years, Ms. Champagne went back to school to be a better role model and provider for her children. She graduated with her high school diploma in June, as class valedictorian, and plans to pursue a career in nursing. She was one of 450 graduates to receive the Nova Scotia High School Diploma for Adults this year.

"Not having a high school education really impacted my self-esteem and my job prospects," said Ms. Champagne. "I knew I could do the work, it was just a matter of having the confidence to go back to school. I'm so glad I did -- for me and my children."

In addition to the Council of the Federation award, several other literacy awards were presented including the Community Literacy Volunteer Award, Workplace Ambassador awards and the General Education Development National Award.

The Department of Education's Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning Community Literacy Volunteer Award was created in 2001. It honours volunteers involved in community-based adult literacy programs. This year's recipient was Geraldine Browning of Centreville, Kings Co.

Workplace Education Ambassador Awards were presented to Nova Scotians who participated in literacy and upgrading programs in the workplace. The award recipients are celebrated for their commitment to lifelong learning through the promotion of, and participation in workplace education initiatives. Each recipient also received a $200 gift certificate to attend programs offered by Nova Scotia Community College. The recipients were:

-- Nicole Fiddes, Convergys, Truro
-- Sarah Devine, Townsview Estates and Westside Villa, Truro
-- Rosalie McAuley, Guysborough Memorial Hospital, CUPE Local 2525
-- Ken Pool, Home Depot, Halifax
-- Convergys project team, Convergys, Truro (Colleen O'Connor, Susan Rann, Sonja Hansen, Mike Francis, Srt McNeil, Nicole Fiddes, Neela Mattatal, Scott DeCoste and Steve Davenport).
-- Gennie Himmelman, Elmsdale Lumber, Elmsdale, Hants Co.

The General Education Development (GED) National Award recognizes an individual who achieves the highest score on the GED tests written in Nova Scotia. The GED testing program is an internationally recognized assessment tool that tests participants' knowledge of reading, writing and mathematics. This year's recipient was Michael MacKinnon of Bedford.

Three new awards were also presented at this year's ceremony – the Patricia Helliwell Volunteer Tutor Award, the Nova Scotia Family Literacy Achievement Award and the Seniors Literacy and Learning Partnership Award.

The Patricia Helliwell Volunteer Tutor Award celebrates the memory of Patricia Helliwell, a volunteer tutor for fourteen years who displayed an amazing spirit and was committed to helping adult learners. The award honours volunteers involved in community-based adult literacy programs. The first recipient of this award was John Wood from Sheet Harbour, Halifax Regional Municipality.

The Nova Scotia Family Literacy Achievement Award was presented to the Colechester Adult Learning Association in recognition of exceptional work in the area of family literacy. The award will be presented annually to a community-based literacy organization that has delivered an outstanding family literacy program within the past year. Family Literacy programs support family members in their efforts to improve their own literacy and help foster a love of learning in their children.

The Department of Education and the Seniors' Secretariat's Seniors' Literacy and Learning Partnership Award was presented to the Valley Community Learning Association and the Grandmothers' International Storytelling Circle. This joint award applauds and recognizes partnerships between learning networks and seniors' organizations in the provision of upgrading programs to older learners in Nova Scotia.

Nova Scotia invests more than $6.8 million each year to help adult Nova Scotians improve their literacy skills and/or obtain their high school diploma. Programs are tuition-free and offered at more than 150 sites across the province in both French and English. The province also invests more than $500,000, in partnership with business and labour groups, to support adults who participate in workplace education programs offered at more than 80 workplaces across the province.


     Adult learners and literacy advocates were honoured today

(September 7th) at the International Literacy Day Celebrations

in Dartmouth.

     Premier Rodney MacDonald presented the Council of the

Federation Literacy Award to Julie Champagne of Pictou.

     First awarded by Canada's premiers in 2005, the award

recognizes literacy achievement in every province and territory.

     Premier MacDonald says the adult learners recognized make

an important contribution to Nova Scotia's skilled workforce,

while creating better lives for themselves and their families.

     Awards recognizing literacy volunteers in the community,

workplace education ambassadors, general education development,

individual accomplishments and programs were also handed out.


Media Contact: Chrissy White
              Department of Education
              Cell: 902-530-5063