What’s Happening at Literacy for Life Foundation!

2016 – 2018 Annual General Meeting

Monday, October 16 at 6:30 PM – 8 PM

Snacks at 6:30 pm.  Come and celebrate!  Meeting at 7:00 pm to 7:30 pm

The Royal Duke Hotel

2 Elizabeth Street, Okotoks, Alberta T1S 1A
Check out our calander on our main page of the website for some exciting Canada 150 Celebration Events.  Join us for fun, activity and learning.

Did you know…

The Grate Groan Up Spelling Bee was a success.

Fun! Fun! Fun! Grate Groan Up Spelling Bee 2017!

Team pages are still up and you can continue to donate by clicking this link until the end of October.

Wonderful Cards for sale:

Do you need Greeting Cards?  NorthplusSouth, an Okotoks business, donated some wonderful good quality cards for our use.  Only $1.00 a card.  Select cards are by donation.  Choose from Christmas, Valentines, Easter, Thank you, Birthdays, Anniversary and much, much more.

Purchase them at #3 1204 – 10th St. SE, High River, Alberta.  (our office) Available during work days from Monday to Thursday 9:00 am – 4:00 pm and select days at the High River Farmer’s Market.  (check out web calander for days we are at the market)

 

Conversation, Chocolate, Cookies and Cards

Book Bungalows

32 Book Bungalows have been adopted and distributed to good homes.   The Bungalows become the property of the individual or group that takes them and it will be their responsibility to maintain the books and the bungalow.

The Town of High River has created a map that shows all the locations of the Book Bungalows. The map is available on our website. Do you already own a little free library?  Would you like to be added to the map? Please contact the office with your address and contact information.

Highwood HighSchool Grade 10 Construction class constructed the Bungalows as a school project and did an awesome job. We are excited to partner with the young people at that school.   High River Home Hardware is a generous donor to this project as well as the High River Rotary, and the High River Vitality Fund. We also have had help from so many volunteers in our community. Delbert Moncrieff donated his time and truck to transport the bungalows to the Culture Centre.  The High River Firemen and Fred Stegmeier came out and helped move them into the Culture Centre.

Thank you Delbert

Awesome Volunteers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Survey – Tech Talk

Tech Talk

 

 

Nature is a key ingredient for learning!

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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?

 

Programs, Busy Bees and so Much More!

Family Literacy Day – January 27th to February 27th.  – Play our Family Literacy Bingo Card

Starts January 27th.  1 card per family. Cards can be picked up at Literacy for Life Foundation Office, Okotoks Library, High River Library and Sheep River Library. They also will be handed out to all Grade 3 children in the schools.  Complete all the activities, fill out the back and hand in to your closest location.  All completed bingo cards will be entered into a draw for a Telus Spark Gift Certificate, Boston Pizza Gift Certificate and 3 Board Games.  Each library will draw for a prize. (3 separate prizes)  Please note the dates for the draw at each location as they vary.

Family Literacy Activities to try!! Play and have fun!

Program Registration

December 5th 2016.  Call the office at 403.652.5090 or register online at www.litforlife.com

Raffle Tickets:

The draw for our 2016 raffle was held on December 14th.  Darcy Blanchard from Okotoks was the lucky winner.  He will recieve $5,000.00 in Air Canada Gift Cards.  Thank you to everyone for supporting our raffle.  Watch for the 2017 raffle starting March 2017.

 

Wonderful Cards for sale:

We still have our cards for sale at #3 1204 – 10th St. SE, High River, Alberta.  Available during work days from Monday to Thursday 9:00 am – 4:00 pm.

Do you need Greeting Cards?  NorthplusSouth, an Okotoks business, donated some wonderful good quality cards for our use.  Only $1.00 a card.  Choose from Christmas, Thank you, Birthdays, Anniversary and much, much more.

Conversation, Chocolate, Cookies and Cards
Conversation, Chocolate, Cookies and Cards

 

Little Libraries:  Community Reads

If you are interested in having a “Community Reads” box on your property contact Sue at s.stegmeier@litforlife.com. We have started a list of people who are interested in their own little library. It was first come first served and presently have a wait list.

Highwood HighSchool Industrial Arts class has agreed to make our libraries as a school project. We are excited to partner with the young people at that school.  They will start construction in January.

All those that have indicated they wanted a library will be invited to a work bee to paint and decorate their library.  Once they are painted the individuals/families can take them home and set them up on their property.  Help will be provided to install if needed.  It will be the responsibility of the owner of the “Community Reads” box to maintain the books and the library.

Some boxes will also be set up on public property.  A map will be made showing where all Community Read boxes are located. The map will be available on our website as well as Our High River, Town of High River and other appropriate locations.

More information to follow.

Preserving Memories – Technology, Seniors and Youth

If anyone is interested in becoming a mentor for seniors to learn more about technology or to get help to preserve memories to digital contact the High River Library at 403.652.2917. Training will be provided for mentors to learn about the new technology and some tips on working with the senior population.

This project is a partnership between Literacy for Life Foundation, High River Library, Bow Valley College and McBride Career Services.

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 the funds would be used to purchase equipment that would be housed at the library to transcribe these memories to a digital format.  The second part of the project is providing volunteer mentors to help support the senior’s learning. (Partially funded by the New Horizon Federal Grant).

Grate Groan Up Spelling Bee – October 1st 2016 at the Wales Theatre. 

Watch for information in February 2017.  The 5th Annual Bee will be held on September 30th 2017.

The 4th Annual Grate Groan Up Spelling Bee held on October 1st 2016 at the historic Wales Theatre was a success. Raised: $26,225.00 

Gratest Spellers – Big Rockies, Town of Okotoks

Gratest Pledges Raised – Wild Roses

2nd Gratest Pledges Raised – Tie – The Kaliedoscopes and the Super Bees

3rd Gratest Pledges Raised – The Business Babes

Gratest Costumes – The Kaliedoscopes

 

Check out the 2015 video. Thank you Meagan and Christina for volunteering your time to create this GRATE video.

 

Grate Groan Up Spelling Bee
Grate Groan Up Spelling Bee

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 info@litforlife.com.

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 info@litforlife.com or call (403) 652-5090.

volunteers-a-gift

 

We are Winners!

Thank you to all that supported Literacy for Life in the Elevate Calgary contest. We are winners because of the support we received from our community. We made it to the finals after two rounds. We have had over 700 people view our video. We also increased the likes on our business page to 212 by the end of the contest and have 219 as of today.  The more likes the further our reach when it comes to sharing information about literacy and learning.  We won 1000 business cards and $500.00 in business support from ArcReactions.  Thank you to ArcReactions for providing the opportunity.

We learned many lessons from entering the contest and will put these lessons to use as we build different ways of sharing with people. Technology and social media are important tools in our new world however we were reminded of the importance of making personal contact with people in getting the word out!

The contest is done but if you have’t watched our video go to our website at Literacy for Life Foundation and click on YouTube icon or at You Tube .   It is only 3 minutes but it gives you a snapshot of what Literacy for Life does for adults, children and families in the Foothills.

Our fall programs are starting soon.  Register online or call the office at 403.652.5090. High River Programs will happen although until the library reopens it will be at different locations.

The following was in a previous blog.  It is sometimes hard to play when things are tough! It is the best thing for all ages to maintain health and best learning.  We need to take time even in the midst of a disaster.

A pioneer in research on play, Stuart Brown says humor, games, roughhousing, and fantasy are more than just fun. Plenty of play in childhood makes for happy, smart adults — and keeping it up can make us smarter at any age.  “Play” changes the way our brains perceive the word-  it allows us to explore the possible and is essential for brain development.  The basis of human trust is established through play signals.

Check out the great video from Ted’s Talk:  PLAY IS MORE THAN FUN!

Sue Stegmeier, Executive Director

Mother and Daughter Enjoying a Video Game

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Volunteers don’t get paid, not because they’re worthless, but because they’re priceless. ~Sherry Anderson

Literacy for Life thrives due to the work of volunteers. .  The organization is thankful for the dedicated volunteers that support the work of the society.  Each person brings skills; passion and dedication to helping people meet their literacy and learning potential.

This year, National Volunteer Week in Canada is April 21 – 27. It’s a week-long recognition and celebration of the commitment of the roughly 13.3-million volunteers across Canada.  Literacy for Life celebrates the commitment of volunteers that share themselves with the communities in the Foothills.Key to my heart

Volunteers are the key to the governance of the organization.  7 dedicated people devote hours to making sure Literacy for Life meets its mission and mandate. This is a tremendous responsibility.  Thank you to present and past Board members!

Volunteers are an important key to providing our programs.  Thank you to the Learning Coaches (tutors), group facilitators, Dog Tale volunteers and their dogs and all the people that sew bags and stuff the bags and envelopes for the Books for Babies Program.

Volunteers are an important key to fundraising!  Thank you to the casino workers, fund raising committee, and all volunteers that have worked to ensure funds are available to do the work in the community.

Volunteering is an accepted part of being a staff member.  Not because they are made to but because they know it helps the people they serve. Thank you to our staff that provides service above and beyond.

The First Ever Grate Groan up Spelling Bee in the West is happening as a fundraiser for Literacy for Life.  This event would not happen without volunteers.  Volunteers are needed to organize, promote, put on the event and participate in the event.  Thank you to the Spelling Bee Committee and Sandra McGrogan (chair), the Municipal Councils of High River, Okotoks, Black Diamond, Turner Valley and the MD of Foothills and to our very own BEEs – Naydene and Dianne!Bee Logo - no words

Our volunteers work in many ways to improve the lives of so many, so it’s important to say thank-you.

You can never say that enough.

To be a volunteer, it takes…

Generosity, a willingness to give your time to others
Understanding, because their lives might be very different from your own
Empathy, an ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and feel what they must feel
Compassion, to truly care about making someone else’s life better
Patience, because the process doesn’t always go as smoothly as it might
Dedication, to stick with the project and see it through

You’ve shown these qualities and so much more, so thank you for all that you do.

volunteers-a-gift