April 21, 2010
FREDERICTON (CNB) - The following statement is issued by Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Donald Arseneault on the occasion of Literacy Day in New Brunswick, Wednesday, April 21:
Today, Premier Shawn Graham presented The Council of the Federation Literacy Award to Karon Campbell Connors of Richibucto and Claudia Dube of Kedgwick as literacy educators.
Both recipients have had a positive impact on the lives of their learners and on the delivery of literacy services in their communities. They are being recognized for their exceptional ability to understand, advocate for and promote life-long learning through their teaching, research and contribution to program development.
The Council of the Federation Award was established five years ago to promote the importance of increasing literacy levels across Canada by recognizing outstanding achievement, innovative practice and excellence in literacy.
As we move toward our goal of self-sufficiency, we must reach out to New Brunswickers of all ages to ensure everyone has access to literacy programs and services. Together, we can be engaged in maintaining and strengthening the literacy skills of all New Brunswickers: in school, in the community, at home and at work.
Last December, the provincial government released Working Together for Adult Literacy: An Adult Literacy Strategy for New Brunswick, which was developed in consultation with a broad range of literacy stakeholders. This strategy will help create the best opportunities for adults to learn and will help New Brunswickers attain the literacy skills they need to participate fully at home, at work and in their communities.
The literacy strategy is also in line with commitments outlined in the New Brunswick Economic and Social Inclusion Plan, Overcoming Poverty Together. Adult literacy is vital in furthering two of the priority items: strengthening the ability of low-income earners to enter the skilled workforce through the provision of training, education and volunteer opportunities as part of transition to work as well as on-the-job training; and reducing barriers to continuing education, making it more accessible and affordable.
We are fortunate to have so many committed teachers, volunteers and administrators reaching out to young people in the earliest development stages, to students in the public school system and to adults in community-based literacy training initiatives.
We are also working with employers and employees in designing programs to improve workplace literacy levels; an example is the Workplace Essential Skills (WES) program. WES helps employable and employed adults attain the literacy and essential skills they need in the workforce. WES centres of excellence have been established in Saint John and Bathurst to serve the anglophone and francophone communities, respectively, in New Brunswick.
I wish to underscore the importance of family literacy in our homes and our communities and to encourage all families to develop their skills while helping and encouraging children to learn.
All of these efforts are vital to raising literacy levels to better prepare our people to contribute to a self-sufficient New Brunswick. I look forward to working with all our partners to continue to improve literacy levels in New Brunswick.
MEDIA CONTACT: Lori-Jean Johnson, communications, Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour, 506-453-2039.