News release

Excellence in Literacy Recognized

Danita Curwin is setting a positive example for her grandchildren, while making a difference in the Porters Lake community.

Ms. Curwin is this year’s recipient of the Nova Scotia Council of the Federation Literacy Award. Labour and Advanced Education Minister Labi Kousoulis, on behalf of Premier Stephen McNeil, presented her with the award at a ceremony today, Oct. 4.

“Through literacy, we all have the chance to create our own opportunities, pursue meaningful careers and contribute to our communities,” said Mr. Kousoulis. “Danita’s journey is an inspiration to all adult learners. I admire her strength and resilience and congratulate her on this success.”

Ms. Curwin’s world was changed after losing her son in Afghanistan and her husband to illness. Throughout this difficult time, she continued to care for her family and started volunteering at a school in her community. It then became her personal goal to obtain her General Educational Development (GED). Ms. Curwin passed all five tests and obtained her GED certificate in March with the help of the Eastern Shore Musquodoboit Valley Literacy Network.

She is currently working as an education program assistant and is volunteering as a tutor for other adult learners.


It is the greatest feeling to know, at my age, I was accomplishing something I never thought I could or would do. I am proud of my accomplishment and in my increased literacy skills. It was not easy, but it was worth it. Danita Curwin, 2019 Nova Scotia Council of the Federation Literacy Award recipient

Danita is a model adult learner and always strives to reach her full potential. She is active in her community and is dedicated to learning and trying new things. She will be an amazing asset to the learning community and children’s education system. Justin Legere, adult education instructor, Eastern Shore Musquodoboit Valley Literacy Network

Quick Facts:

  • the Council of the Federation Literacy Award was established in 2004 by Canada’s Premiers
  • every year, Sept. 8 is proclaimed as International Literacy Day
  • 13 awards are presented annually, one for each province and territory
  • 374 adults received their GED in 2018
  • the award is presented annually to an adult learner who demonstrates outstanding achievements in literacy and makes a significant contribution to their school, workplace or community
  • in 2017, government eliminated the fee to take the GED test in the province to help even more adult learners continue their studies or connect to the workforce

Additional Resources:

Read more about Danita’s story:

To learn more about the Council of the Federation Literacy Award, visit:

For more information about Nova Scotia Adult Learning, visit:

To read more about the Eastern Shore Musquodoboit Valley Literacy Network, visit:


Media Contact:

Shannon Kerr
Cell: 902-717-6061 Email: