Canada Life Literacy Innovation Award honourable mention winners

Last month, ABC Life Literacy Canada awarded three organizations with the Canada Life Literacy Innovation AwardThe top winner was Further Education Society of Alberta, whom we profiled in an earlier post. In addition, we presented two honourable mention awards to organizations also doing great work in their communities.

Pinnguaq AssociationIqaluit, NU
Program: Inclusive Futures: Skilled Workforce Development in Nunavut

Inclusive Futures: Skilled Workforce Development in Nunavut is a digital literacy program that focuses on employment and essential skills training for unemployed adults living in remote communities in Nunavut. The majority of their learners are Inuit with low digital literacy skills and/or who have faced barriers to accessing technology. As part of the program, each learner is provided with a laptop, which they keep, as well as internet connectivity.

The program is structured in two parts. The first part of the program is a 4-day workshop on foundational digital literacy skills and includes drop-in sessions. Some learners use the program to help write resumes and cover letters while others tackle more challenging skills such as learning how to code. Part two of the program involves ongoing support and learning through Pinnguaq’s online self-directed learning platform. This learning platform is free and includes over 400 learning resources for participants to access covering topics on technology and digital literacy, essential skills, financial literacy, employability skills, life management, and employment readiness.

Stella’s Circle Community Services, St. John’s, NL
Program: Stella’s Circle Adult Basic Education Level 1 (ABE)

Stella’s Circle Adult Basic Education Level 1 (ABE) is an employment program for learners in need of basic adult education. Many of their learners come to the program with physical and mental health challenges, are struggling with addictions and/or poverty, and have experience with the justice system. In response to these many barriers to employment, ABE uses a holistic approach to support its learners.

In addition to in-class employment training, participants can choose to work in one of the three operations that the program offers; a restaurant, a cleaning service, and a home repair business. Participants are able to use the skills that they have learned in the classroom and apply it to their work as well as learn skills to help them gain and maintain any future employment. The goal of the program is to tie learning to meaningful, real-life outcomes that improve the lives of the participants.

“At Canada Life we recognize the need for community programs that focus on implementing innovations in advancing literacy,” said Debbie Down, Director, Community Relations at Canada Life. “We’re proud to work alongside ABC Life Literacy Canada to recognize organizations supporting diverse communities by finding tailored ways to improve adult literacy skills. Congratulations to Further Education Society of Alberta and both of the honourable mention winners.”

If you weren’t able to attend our virtual awards presentation and roundtable discussion, which featured a discussion with staff from all winning program, you can watch the recording.