Ottawa – For many of the 22 winners of the 2007 Canada Post Community Literacy Awards Program, there must have been times when they asked themselves, “Why, oh why, did I do this?” But their hard work was its own reward; letters became words, and words became sentences, and the sentences became a door to a world of wonders.
This year’s crop of winners will be honoured during celebrations in their communities this fall for their unmatched commitment to literacy. For their dedication, they will receive a prize of $300 (Individual) or $500 (Educator).
“Like the men and women of years past, the 2007 Individual Achievement Award winners are heroes,” said Bob Waite, senior vice-president, stakeholder relations and brand. “They could have just sat there and watched life pass them by, but they wanted more. They overcame their fear of humiliation, and because they dared to dreamÔÇöand achieved their goalsÔÇöthey deserve our warmest congratulations. I would also like to congratulate the educators for their support, devotion and passion, and in believing that literacy is a basic human right.”
Who are the winners of the 15th annual Canada Post Community Literacy Awards Program? People like 70-year-old Myrtle Kennedy of Fredericton, New Brunswick, who is learning to read and write in English. Myrtle is also teaching her tutor some words in Maliseet, and using her new literacy skills to complete pledge forms for people who sponsored her in the Terry Fox Run. Then there is John Mills of Edmonton, Alberta, who overcame his feelings of failure. With help from the Project Adult Literacy Society (P.A.L.S.), he now has a more positive outlook on life and is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in psychology. As for Adlyn Hall of Chateauguay, Qu├®bec, her formal education ended after three years because she had to work to support herself. Once the kids had finished school, she said it was her turn. She says learning to read has been like a “breath of fresh air.”
Their dreams would not have come true had it not been for the help of committed educators, who spent countless hours in the classroom educating, training literacy tutors, writing books, creating award-winning CD-ROMs or even starting their own learning centres. In the Community Leadership category, Canada Post is proud to recognize centres such as P.A.L.S. (in Alberta) and the Centre d’organisation mauricien de services et d’├®ducation populaire (COMSEP) in Quebec, who offer unique teaching methods and focus on individual needs.
A full list of Literacy Award winners, along with brief profiles, can be found at www.canadapost.ca/literacyawards.