Archive for the ‘Improving Literacy’ category

New and Exciting Literacy Challenge

September 27th, 2012

The Literacy Challenge is back. The newly re-vamped Literacy Challenge encourages Teachers and Students to record time spent on out-of-school literacy activities – not related to school curriculum – as individuals, then  to compile the totals for submission to the Literacy Committee.  The Classroom with the highest number number of minutes per student between October 15, 2012 and January 15, 2013 will win a SMART board SBX885 (graciously donated by Sharp Audio Visual) for their school, a pizza lunch and books for their classroom.  Other prizes will be announced during the contest period.

Teachers who want their classrooms to participate, must first register for the Literacy Challenge, by emailing with the following information:

  • Teachers Name
  • Teachers phone number
  • School name
  • Classroom grade
  • Number of students in the classroom

The Community Literacy Committee will confirm each Teacher’s registration by return email.  To learn more about the Literacy Challenge check out these tools and resources:

For those of you not sure what kinds of literacy activities qualify, check out this link for some ideas:

Have fun turning off the TV and exploring literacy!

Want more information, contact a Literacy Coordinator at coordinator{at}

Sponsored by:







Sharing Inspiring Stories: Celebrating Who We Are

August 14th, 2012

Throughout the communities of Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows, literacy activities are woven in to many of our programs, services, and the activities we do on a daily basis.  Whether we are take our children to Puppets in the Park, attend Bard on the Bandstand, join a Mother Goose  program with our young child, visit a Strong Start program for parents and pre-school children,  or participate in a book or writing clubs we are doing literacy activities.

And participating in Literacy Activities can be rewarding; just ask Alyssa the May winner of the Community Literacy Challenge who won prizes for simply reading a book and blogging about her activities.   New opportunities to participate in literacy pop up all the time.  For example, I recently received an email through the Community Network Email distribution that highlights just one example.

Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Community Services is currently running a 2012 Story Sharing Contest until October 31 of this year.  Sponsored by the Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Times, the top five selected one-page stories will be published in Times newspaper, will receive public recognition, and receive a Community Services Gift Basket.  See, prizes! What did I tell you…

It`s a great opportunity to get your fingers dancing across the keyboard and share the story of how you became involved in the community, gave someone support, helped someone who was feeling alone or depressed, or how you overcame a personal challenge.   I can`t wait to read the end results.  To learn more, visit for the detail or contact Community Services directly at 604.467.6911.

Join us for a Book Launch April 22nd – ‘Circle of Cranes’ by Annette Lebox

March 8th, 2012

The Community Literacy Committee is proud to support

Annette Lebox in the launch of her new book Circle of Cranes.

Please join us:

Sunday April 22, 2012


St. Andrews United Church

22165 Dewdney Trunk Road

for an afternoon of music, dance, and literary arts.

Car, Train, Plane or Bus…Literacy Activities to go

March 1st, 2012

Avoid bored and cranky kids and the constant “Are we there yet?” with these great travel activities.

Spring break is fast approaching and with a two week break from school, many families will be traveling or looking for things to do together.  There are lots of literacy based activities that are fun for the whole family that can be taken with you where ever you go. Favorite travel games include: Licence Plate Bingo, Count the Cows,  I Spy an ABC, revolving story, or a on the go scavenger hunt.  These types of activities are a great way to keep your kids occupied and entertained for hours on end.

Check out these links for some ideas:

Alternatively, consider picking up an audio book that everyone can listen to.  Classic stories that your family might enjoy include:

  • Nanny McPhee Returns, White Fang and the Call of the Wild, Bless this Mouse, Elmo’s World, Curious George… the list goes on.

Free audio books can be found online:

Travel games and stories are a great ways to disconnect your child(ren) from the portable DVD player and have fun as a family.  An added plus is that ALL of the activities listed above involve some form of literacy and are acceptable activities for the Community Literacy Challenge.

Not sure what the Community Literacy Challenge is?  Then visit to learn more and to register.  Monthly prizes are awarded to regular bloggers, so sign up and get blogging!

Or to learn more about the Literacy Challenge, visit the Literacy Challenge webpage, read the rules, register, and explore literacy activities.  Questions? Contact Angie McLeod, Literacy Outreach Coordinator at 604 466 6275 or coordinator{at}


Family Literacy Day Carnival – January 27th

January 19th, 2012

Come on Over to our Family Literacy Day Carnival – It’s FREE

Date & Time: January 27th, 2012, 3:00—4:30 PM

Location: Maple Ridge Public Library, 22470 Dewdney Trunk Rd, Maple Ridge

Celebrate Family Literacy Day with the Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Katzie Community Literacy Committee and the Fraser Valley Regional Library with a fun family carnival.  Held annually on January 27, Family Literacy Day raises awareness of the importance of reading and engaging in other literacy-related activities as a family.

Carnival activities will include a bean bag toss, puzzle races, alphabet fishing pool, other literacy games and a musical surprise!  Don’t miss this exciting literacy event.

Coming to the carnival counts as literacy time for the Community Literacy Challenge!

It’s easy and free to participate in the Community Literacy Challenge and you could win great prizes! Visit the Community Literacy table at the carnival or go to to learn more about this exciting challenge and to register.

Literacy Committee is Making Connections in Port Haney

November 17th, 2011

MAPLE RIDGE, B.C. November 11, 2011

Shannon Alke is ready to give back. Alke is the latest recruit to sign on to train to become an adult literacy tutor with the Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows Katzie Community Literacy Committee (CLC).

“I struggled with learning challenges growing up, but went on to graduate from high school and continued on to take several general studies courses in college and obtained a certificate as a community mental health worker. I had a learning difficulty pertaining to math and physical co-ordination and I know how hard some people have to work to learn,” said Alke recently. “I am looking forward to the training. It may be a challenge as I do not have teaching experience, but I am ready.”

“I think Shannon will be a great tutor. She is compassionate, friendly, understanding and tolerant. She has all the qualities we are looking for,” remarked Elaine Yamamoto, Literacy Outreach Facilitator for the CLC.

Alke has also been a dedicated volunteer at the CEED Centre in Port Haney for the past two years working as the volunteer coordinator for GETI fest and starting up the Gardening for Mental Health program. She found out about the free tutor training after the Community Literacy Committee opened its doors to the Learning Room in an office at the Centre last week.

“It is great to be able to connect with such dedicated volunteers,” said Yamamoto. “There is currently a dearth of programs in our communities for the adult learners who would like to raise their level of literacy, so we are pleased to be able to offer our first round of tutor training. Having trained tutors will enable us to offer free one-to-one tutoring for adults looking to improve their reading levels. Our first training session will begin on Saturday November 26th and I still have a few places open.”

The free Volunteer Tutor Training Program was designed by Louise Baumbrough, a BC Certified teacher specializing in teaching students with learning challenges.  Modelled after the Douglas College ICARE program, volunteers will receive 33 hours of free training at the Riverside Adult Education Centre and ongoing support as they work with an adult learner over the following year.

The bright yellow walls of the drop-in office provide a welcoming space where anyone can come for help with literacy issues. The CLC Learning Room offers a small lending library, reading and writing assistance, a Women’s English Group and access to free learning software on computers provided by the CEED Centre. “It is better than I could have hoped. This week alone, I have connected with two volunteers interested in our tutor training and two potential learners, one who came seeking assistance with a plethora of government forms,” said Yamamoto.

The CEED Centre is also host to a federally-funded Computer Access Program (CAP) site where people can come for free use of computers and the internet. There are also weekly Community Discussion meetings and a Saturday evening Community Dinner run by volunteers of St George’s Anglican Church.

Christian Cowley, the CEED Centre’s Executive Director (and Yamamoto’s husband) said he saw the Literacy Committee office as a perfect fit for the Centre which draws a diverse population that can connect to the Literacy Committee as volunteers or learners.

Anyone wanting more information on the Literacy programs can contact Elaine Yamamoto at 604 306-0627 or check out the website

NEW Women’s English Group

November 1st, 2011

The Community Literacy Group is pleased to tell  you that we have a start date for our Women’s ESL group. Our volunteer Nirmala Jacob is TESL trained and is hoping to be able to focus on women who have little or no English skills.

This is a great opportunity for women who wish to improve their English skills to meet other women from around the world over a cup of coffee or tea.  Join us on Tuesdays from 10 to 11:30 AM to improve your English language skills and make new friends in a supportive and encouraging environment.

Our first gathering will be November 8th at the Learning Room @the CEED Centre in Port Haney (see Women’s English Group Poster (final) for additional information).

For more information contact the Literacy Outreach Coordinator at 604 466 6275 or via email at  Looking forward to seeing you there.


Turn off the Screen and Win!

October 19th, 2011

Starting November 1st, 2011, local families and elementary students are being challenged to turn off the TV and replace this time with fun literacy activities.  This community-wide Literacy Challenge is one component of the exciting new “Part of the Solution” Campaign being launched by the Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Katzie Community Literacy Committee.

“The Community Literacy Challenge is a great opportunity for families to learn together and to explore shared interests,” notes Angie McLeod, Literacy Outreach Coordinator.  “A family might choose to cook together from a recipe, visit family storytime at the library, play Scrabble, or read a favorite book.”

So, turn off the screens, track your literacy activities, and share your results by blogging at  Blog entries might include a write up on your family’s favorite story, a short story written by a participant, or a literacy activity that your family enjoys.  All bloggers are entered into our monthly prize draws.

To learn more about the Literacy Challenge, visit the Literacy Challenge webpage, read the rules, register, and explore literacy activities.  Questions? Contact Angie McLeod, Literacy Outreach Coordinator at 604 466 6275 or

Looking forward to seeing what types of literacy activities local families enjoy and discover.

Literacy Link UP

September 21st, 2011

Title: Literacy Link UP

Background Information: Around 35% of working age adults in British Columbia do not have the literacy skills they need to fully participate and succeed in today’s world. Low literacy affects crime rates, voter rates, economic rates, and personal health and well-being.

Gathering Our Literacy Resources:  Our community needs to know what resources we have to help those struggling with literacy.  If your organization has a literacy related program we want to hear about it.

• If you have a program that provides literacy training…
• If you are working with people with literacy needs…

Then download this Link Up Form, complete it and send it to us by email at  Can’t download the form, give us a call and we’ll send it to you some other way.

Our aim is to collect your information to create a comprehensive reference guide of literacy services in our communities.

To learn more about our Literacy Link UP initiative, please contact or call 604.466.6275.

Thank you for working with us to improve literacy in our communities.  Together we can find the solution!


International Literacy Day

September 2nd, 2011

Title: International Literacy Day
Date: 2011-09-08