Build Community and Creativity – Foothills Cardboard Challenge and #KindStones Project

Literacy for Life is challenging families in the Foothills to have fun and get creative by participating in the Cardboard Challenge and the #KindStone Project. These two activities can be done year round in your home.

Check out this link for information on the #KindStone Project.  Go to the Facebook page to participate. This Grate designs were creations from the 2017 Grate Groan Up Spelling Bee.













Watch for information on the Cardboard Challenge in September 2018 at the Grate Groan Up Spelling Bee.  Have fun and participate in some creative play.  Aren’t these Awesome!
















What is the Global Cardboard Challenge? Check it out!  Make sure you watch the video “Caines Arcade”

Global Cardboard Challenge


You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream!

“You are never too old to set another goal or dream another dream!”

C.S. Lewis

Technology for Seniors

As seniors begin to downsize their homes and have to move into care or a smaller home, there is often limited space for many of their memories and items that give quality of life, such as records, cassette tapes, VHS tapes, photographs, slides and negatives. A portion of New Horizon funds in 2016 were used to purchase equipment that is housed at the library to transcribe memories to a digital format. A core group of computer literate individuals are available to mentor and teach others how to work the equipment. The library in High River is a hub for seniors in our community, as well, staff of the library would be available to support the senior/youth mentors. Many older adults are not computer literate and need individualized basic training. The development of senior and youth mentors would compliment and enhance existing basic computer classes, in particular for the more isolated senior.

If anyone is interested in becoming a mentor for other seniors, needs help or would like training on the new technology contact the High River Library, 403.652.2917.  Training is being offered so check in with the library.  Literacy for Life Foundation also offers basic technology training through courses and Tech Cafe.  Check out  Literacy for Life Program Event Page and Registration for information on upcoming programs and support.

Check out Workplace Resources  on our web site.  It lists resources to help you build those nine essential skills to meet your goals and dreams.

Check out this link to watch some videos that explain the 9 Essential Skills.

I got skills The nine essential skills include reading, writing, oral communication, document use, numeracy, technology, working together, thinking skills and lifelong learning.

Building Skills
Building Skills



Nature is a key ingredient for learning!


Literacy for Life is proud to annouce the piloting of a new program called “Natured Kids”, which will be offered at the  Sheep River Library in Turner Valley, High River Library and Okotoks Library in the fall of 2016. The program will accept families with children aged 3 yrs to 5 years. The focus will be sharing ideas, knowledge and strategies with parents/caregivers on how to create “Natured Kids” and the reasons this is so important for a child’s long term wellness and learning. Long term impact from any program for children happens when their parents and caregivers give them the opportunity, on a daily basis to experience the joy of nature and learning.

Puddles as opportunities
Puddles as opportunities

In the past decade, the benefits of connecting to nature have been well documented in numerous scientific research studies and publications. Taken all together this research shows that children’s social, psychological, academic and physical health is positively impacted when they have daily contact with nature. All of the following positive impacts affect children’s early development and literacy and learning:

Supports multiple development domains: Nature is important to children’s development in every major way—intellectually, emotionally, socially, spiritually and physically (Kellert, 2005).

Supports creativity and problem solving: Studies of children in schoolyards found that children engage in more creative forms of play in the green areas. They also played more cooperatively (Bell and Dyment,2006). Play in nature is especially important for developing capacities for creativity, problem-solving, and intellectual development (Kellert, 2005).

Enhances cognitive abilities: Proximity to, views of, and daily exposure to natural settings increases children’s ability to focus and enhances cognitive abilities (Wells, 2000).

Improves academic performance: Studies in the US show that schools that use outdoor classrooms andother forms of nature-based experiential education support significant student gains in social studies, science, language arts, and math. Students in outdoor science programs improved their science testing scores by 27% (American Institutes for Research, 2005).

Reduces Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) symptoms: Contact with the natural world can significantly reduce symptoms of attention deficit disorder in children as young as five years old (Kuo and Taylor, 2004).

Increases physical activity: Children who experience school grounds with diverse natural settings are more physically active, more aware of nutrition, more civil to one another and more creative (Bell and Dyment, 2006).

Improves nutrition: Children who grow their own food are more likely to eat fruits and vegetables (Bell &Dyment, 2008) and to show higher levels of knowledge about nutrition (Waliczek, & Zajicek, 2006). They are also more likely to continue healthy eating habits throughout their lives (Morris & Zidenberg-Cherr, 2002).

Improves eyesight: More time spent outdoors is related to reduced rates of nearsightedness, also known as myopia, in children and adolescents (American Academy of Ophthalmology, 2011).

Improves social relations: Children will be smarter, better able to get along with others, healthier and happier when they have regular opportunities for free and unstructured play in the out-of-doors (Burdette and Whitaker, 2005).

Improves self-discipline: Access to green spaces, and even a view of green settings, enhances peace, self-control and self-discipline within inner city youth, and particularly in girls (Taylor, Kuo and Sullivan, 2001).

Reduces stress: Green plants and vistas reduce stress among highly stressed children. Locations with greater number of plants, greener views, and access to natural play areas show more significant results. (Wells and Evans, 2003).

What do children want?


Can you HELP!

Our second annual Grate Groan Up Spelling Bee will be held in High River in October 2014.  We are looking for volunteers to help with the organizing committee.  Do you have skills in marketing and promotion.  Do you  like to network and connect with others promoting a great cause?  Do you have the time to commit to making this a great event.  Contact the office at 403.652.5090 or email

Spelling Bee Logo
Spelling Bee Logo

Volunteer Learning Coaches are needed to help adults meet their learning goals.  The coaches work one on one with adults, helping them to achieve their learning goals. The learner identifies what they need to be successful and the focus is on building some of the essential skills such as reading, writing, and document use, speaking and math skills.  Training and support is offered.

If you would like to help email or call (403) 652-5090.



Healthy Eating and Dealing with Stress = Good Learning!

There are many things that impact learning and a few are listed below with resources to help parents, adult learners and children be the best learners they can be.  Life long learning is an essential skill and all people need to pay attention to the many factors that impact their learning, no matter where it happens – home, community, work and school.

One thing that will impact learning is stress and trauma.  The recent flooding in Southern Alberta has created stress in children, families, adults and caregivers. Below are some downloadable coloring books for parents to use with their children.  These resources can be used to open up conversations with children to find out how they are doing and to be used to explain what has happened.  They also help build literacy!!!!

When can we go Home?

After a Disaster – When can we go Home?

Storm Flood Coloring Book – Parent Guide.

Also nutrition and healthy eating are important things to keep in mind when looking at ways to have good learning. Check out Healthy Eating Starts Here website . (recently launched by AHS)  On it you will find current tools and resources to help to build healthy eating environments. This website is for schools, workplaces and child care agencies and includes information and teaching materials on nutrition and healthy food choices. For a full list of school nutrition resources, please visit:

Fun video about eating healthy





Flat Stanley – Comes on your journey through the Flood of 2013

Information was shared with Literacy for Life and other agencies from Alberta Health Services’ Healthy Minds/Healthy Children Outreach Services.  The intent was to provide information to agency personnel and families on how to help children through the Flood of 2013.  One of the links they provided was FEMA for       Kids.  This is an American link however the tool they use to help prepare children for disasters is a character that many Canadian school aged children are familiar with.  Have you ever heard of Flat Stanley?  I just learned something today.  I did not know there was also a Flat Stella.  Flat Stanley originated from a 1964 children’s book written by Jeff Brown.  Read more about the Flat Stanley project by going to or  Flat Stanley actually accompanied us on a trip to the Grand Canyon this spring.

I started to think that maybe this would be an idea for families as they go through this difficult time.  I wondered if it might open up opportunities for discussion with children or give them and the family a concrete focus as they go through the many changes that families face in a disaster.   I also wondered if it might be a way to help families and children continue to build their literacy and learning skills over the next couple of months.

Download the template for Flat Stanley or Flat Stella at this site   Take pictures of Flat Stanley at the evacuation centre or the place your family is staying.  Take pictures of Flat Stanley with the wonderful new people you meet or new places you go.  If you use Facebook upload the pictures to Literacy for Life Foundation Facebook page.  We would love to see them.  Write a little story to go with your picture.

Whether you do this activity or not there is very good information on the FEMA site.   FEMA for       Kids   It contains kid-friendly flood information presented in an engaging manner.

Flat Stanley Flat stella