By: Dr. William T. Fagan
On September 9, 2000, the motel at Plum Point was a beehive of activity as parents, facilitators, organizers and guests gathered for the wrap-up of a l2-week family literacy program in the area. Materials were displayed from the many activities in which the parents had engaged over the course of the program. Small group discussions were held and representatives from each group gave a brief overview about their experiences with the program. The parents were very pleased with the opportunity to take part in the PRINTS (Parents Roles Interacting With Teacher Support) Program. Some of the comments from parents taking the program, included: "the program had lots of practical and useful ideas for helping children read and for parents to make it more fun", "I was very impressed by the number of activities that can be used to help children learn in a very fun way" and "I learned a lot myself from this program and I am very glad to have been given the opportunity to take part. I feel very strongly every parent should be given the opportunity to take part in the program in years to come. Thanks so much; my daughter has really learned a lot over the summer months."
Hope Colbourne and Regina Humby, program organizers, engaged in a major undertaking in mobilizing parents across 26 communities, training facilitators to offer the program, and providing for monitoring and wrap-up. They noted that parents became more involved in all aspects of their children's lives, volunteered more, and had more confidence in their ability and skills. The organizers collaborated with the school board and Beverly May, Primary Program Specialist with School District Two was present at the wrap-up ceremonies. Guest speaker was Dr. Bill Fagan, author of the program and Past Chair of the Literacy Development Council of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Literacy Action Day
In response to Literacy Action Day on March 14, 2001, the Literacy Development Council set up an information display at the Village Mall. Tammy Hoffe, one of LDC's volunteers spent the afternoon at the booth answering questions and providing copies of our publications. In addition to the mall display, letters were sent to all MHA's asking for their support on the matter of literacy in our province. All responses were favorable. To tie this event together, public service announcements were sent to all media forms in and around the city. If anyone has any other ideas or suggestions for next year's Literacy Action Day, please feel free to call the office at (709) 738- 7323.
Rabbittown - Partnership
February 28,2001 was a special day for the folks at the Rabbittown Learners Centre. The Literacy Development Council provided funding to the centre in the amount of $42,525.00. The Honourable Lloyd Matthews presented the cheque on behalf of the LDC. Also in attendance for the presentation were the resident learners, Mr. Walter Andrews, Chairperson of the Rabbittown Learner's Program, Doris Hapgood (Program Coordinator) and Ms. Della Coish, Director of the Literacy Development Council.