January 16, 2006
This week, we are launching 2 stories from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Sandra Byers and Carey Rigby-Wilcox have been involved in literacy classes for a number of years.
Sandra's story was transcribed from an interview that she had with Charles Ramsey, from NALD.
Play an audio version of this story
Charles: Hi, Sandra. I'm Charles Ramsey from the National Adult Literacy Database. Thank you very much for coming out this afternoon to meet with me. Can you tell me a little bit about yourself, could you introduce yourself for the people who are going to be listening to this?
Sandra: Hi, My name is Sandra Byers, I belong to the Saskatoon Focus Group. I am a founding member of the Saskatchewan Literacy Network when it first started way back at Kelsey. I was on the Adult Learners Group then. I also have belonged to the Saskatoon Coalition Group as well. I have helped with the Raise-A-Reader fund. I helped sell newspapers one year for the Raise-A-Reader.
Charles: Wow, you've been involved in a lot of areas in literacy here in Saskatoon. Have you seen much change over all that time?
Sandra: Oh, yes I have. Quite a bit.
Charles: What kinds of things do you think have happened that have made things better for everybody?
Sandra: Well, what makes it better is that the natives have realized they have literacy problems too as well. And they are part of the network now - the national aboriginal group, and they are now coming to the adult focus group as well.
Charles: That's good. I'm here for the Saskatchewan Libraries Association conference which is taking place this weekend. Have the libraries been really active in literacy here in Saskatchewan?
Sandra: Yes, they have very much so. Susan Emson has been very helpful with the literacy groups.
Charles: And Susan works with the Saskatoon Public Library.
Sandra: At the Frances Morrison Library downtown.
Charles: That's the name of the library, the Frances Morrison Library. Susan Emson is on the Board at NALD. So I know Susan. She comes to Fredericton a couple of times a year.
Sandra: She'll be coming tonight to the Literacy Award.
Charles: Great. Have you worked with a tutor over time?
Sandra: No, I haven't. I went back to upgrade my basic education.
Charles: And was this at Kelsey?
Sandra: Yes, it was.
Charles: And how long ago was that?
Sandra: Over 10 years ago.
Charles: You've been at it for a long time, kind of both in being involved in the programs, keeping it all of it going and getting others involved.
Sandra: Yes, I also have my GED grade 12 , except for my sciences, I don't have that. But I have my GED 12.
Charles: Excellent. How long ago did you do that?
Sandra: The year after I finished my BE program, the Basic Education.
Charles: Excellent. Is there anything else you would like to say about the people you work with here in Saskatoon?
Sandra: I really enjoy working with all the people that come in to the Focus Groups meetings. We really have a nice time. They come in from Prince Albert, as far as LaRonge, Saskatchewan. We have a gentleman come up from Regina, a few people came up from North Battleford and as well Saskatoon.
Charles: Is it a fully provincial group, not just the northern part of the province?
Sandra: Yes, a fully provincial group.
Charles: Oh, I see. Thanks again for coming in today. I really appreciate this. We'll let you know when you this interview is going to be published on the NALD website so that you have a look at it and show it to other people.
Sandra: Oh, I've already talked to my sister. My sister is already involved with the literacy group in Calgary.