Sioux-Hudson Literacy Council receives top honours from the Canada Life Literacy Innovation Award

ABC Life Literacy Canada (ABC) is pleased to announce the top and honourable mention winners of the 2023 Canada Life Literacy Innovation Award (LIA). The annual award presented by ABC, recognizes organizations that develop and implement innovative adult literacy skills programs in communities across Canada.

The LIA top award will be presented to Sioux-Hudson Literacy Council, for their Good Learning Anywhere program, along with $20,000. In addition to the top winner, two honourable mention winners will each receive $10,000. The organizations can use the funds towards future programming to support additional learners in their communities.

The LIA winning programs make positive contributions to the lives of their adult learners as well as the community, and also serve as models for other organizations to adapt.

“We continue to be impressed with the caliber of adult literacy programming presented in communities across Canada and are delighted to honour this year’s innovators and share best practices,” says Alison Howard, Executive Director of ABC Life Literacy Canada. “We are grateful for Canada Life’s ongoing support of this award, which helps build connections and increase capacity in the literacy and learning community.”

Since its inception in 2012, 56 LIAs have been awarded to literacy organizations across the country (12 top awards and 44 honourable mention awards), representing $480,000 in funding for the field.

“At Canada Life, we believe education has the power to inspire and make meaningful change in our society,” says Doug Tkach, Senior Vice-President, Corporate Operations and Workplace Strategies. “That’s why we proudly support ABC Life Literacy Canada and the Canada Life Literacy Innovation Award. Education programs that focus on adult literacy, provide learners with the essential skills they can use to improve their well-being and succeed in life.”

Sioux-Hudson Literacy Council will be presented the LIA in October during a virtual event. The award presentation followed by a moderated discussion will showcase all 2023 LIA winners as models for best practice in the literacy sector. Register for the virtual event.


TOP WINNER, receiving $20,000

Sioux-Hudson Literacy Council, Sioux Lookout, ON
Program: Good Learning Anywhere

The Good Learning Anywhere (GLA) program offers digital literacy skills to inmates incarcerated in Federal Institutions in Ontario, with a pilot expansion in the Atlantic region. The program was developed in partnership with Correctional Services Canada (ON) and has 29 self-directed online courses on a wide range of topics and includes topics specific for Indigenous learners. GLA encourages self-directed learning, allowing learners to choose which courses they would like to take. With the support of their onsite instructors, the learners complete their courses independently with courses ranging from 10 to 25 hours. By providing learners with access to flexible literacy programs, GLA equips them with the necessary skills for the modern job market. In addition, the program helps the learners develop essential life skills, such as renewing government identification, navigating medical appointments, and filling out rental applications.

HONOURABLE MENTION WINNERS, receiving $10,000 each

Eastern Shore Musquodoboit Valley Literacy Network, Sheet Harbour, NS
Program: Chrome, Books and Bytes

The Chrome, Books and Bytes (CBB) program combines aspects of a book club, digital literacy program, cooking class, and arts and cultures studies. The program builds reading, writing, and public speaking skills, and also emphasizes digital skill building. CBB uses Google Maps and Google Earth to help learners virtually travel to the locations of their selected books and do research on the climate, culture, and language of the region. The 12-week program ends with a cultural cooking activity. Learners are exposed to culinary dishes from around the world while also being taught essential skills such as cooking, meal planning, budgeting, label reading, and safe food storage and handling. CBB encourages a lifelong love of learning through its fun and engaging activities. By discussing books and participating in the cultural cooking activity, learners are given the chance to explore new cultures, and gain a better understanding of diversity and inclusivity. 

Literacy Coalition of New Brunswick Ltd., Fredericton, NB
Program: Family Time Online

Family Time Online (FTO) is an online family literacy program that strengthens the adult component of family and early childhood literacy programs, an element of family literacy programming that has traditionally been overlooked. The program is designed for families who have been identified as vulnerable. Families participating in FTO can receive technological devices (including high-speed internet), books, instruments, craft supplies, and more. A facilitator provides digital literacy sessions, customized for each family, and personalized tutoring is available. Adult learners are also given access to employment counsellors and resources for educational upgrading and skill development. The program also supports family literacy practitioners, providing resources with tips and best practices for family literacy programs. The tools make FTO highly shareable for integrating elements into other literacy programming.