ABC Canada presented the Canadian Community Newspapers Association (CCNA) with the 2001 Honourable Joyce Fairbairn, P.C. Literacy Public Awareness Award on February 25.
The award was presented to CCNA by Senator Fairbairn at a special dinner held by ABC Canada’s board of directors in Toronto. The senator praised the efforts of CCNA-member newspapers in promoting literacy and called the community newspaper industry ‘vital’ to the continuing struggle against illiteracy.
“In addition to generating awareness for ABC Canada’s newest print campaign (When you Struggle to Read and Write, Words Can’t Describe It) by featuring a downloadable version of it on its web site, the CCNA has been an integral part of the success of ABC Canada’s Family Literacy Day program for the past four years,” said Maureen Cavan, Chair of ABC Canada’s Board & Executive Committees. “In fact, the CCNA’s commitment to this program continues to increase every year. Family Literacy Day 2001 saw the most significant participation by community newspapers in the program’s history. Thanks to the CCNA’s support, an estimated 300 print ads and 250 articles on Family Literacy Day were published in community newspapers across Canada.”
Cavan praised CCNA members for their contributions towards literacy. “CCNA’s involvement in 2001 also prompted the first-time participation of Les Hebdos du Québec (the French community newspaper equivalent to the CCNA), which enabled ABC Canada to reach an additional 150 French-language newspapers with the Family Literacy Day message,” she said. “All the data (for this year) is not in yet, but preliminary reports tell us that over 500 community newspapers downloaded copies of our Family Literacy Day 2002 ads, and editorial coverage is positive and abundant this year.”
ABC Canada’s board of directors voted unanimously at a meeting on September 10, 2001, to present CCNA with the award. The award was established by ABC Canada in 1996 to honour outstanding private-sector supporters of literacy awareness and is named for Senator Joyce Fairbairn, Special Advisor for Literacy.
Past winners of the award include Maclean Hunter Publishing, Southam, Baton Broadcasting and the Royal Bank Financial Group.