Fun! Laughter, Creativity! Cardboard Challenge! Adult Spelling Bee! Support Literacy!

Grate Groan Up Spelling Bee

 

 

There are a number of ways you can participate or support building literacy in the Foothills.  Literacy can not stand alone.  It is a community responsibility. Check out this website for information on the work Literacy for Life does in in the community:

  1. Enter a team of 3 ADULTS to compete for the title of the “Gratest Spelling Team” for 2017 (event will have a max. of 12 teams and 10 are registered to date).
    • $50 registration fee plus (optional)$100 for mulligans.
    • Collect donations. Use this easy online fundraising tool! Grate prizes for the teams that raise the “Gratest Pledges”: 1st place , 2nd place and 3rd place.
    • (optional) Sell a book of raffle tickets to raise extra funds. Only 1,500 tickets being printed at $10 each. Prize is $3,000 in Air Canada travel cards and an awesome travel goody bag.
    • On event day, your team members should arrive in their “Awesome Costumes”.  Invite family and friends to come and cheer you on! *New* this year is a prize to the Audience Member with the Gratest Costume!

Go to this LINK for more information on the bee and to get your entry forms.

If entering a team isn’t your bag but you still want to help:

    • Sell raffle tickets – email info@litforlife.com or call Stephanie @ 403-652-5090.
    • Purchase a raffle ticket(s) for $10 each – contact the Literacy for Life office at 403-652-5090 or watch for volunteers at various community events – e.g. High River Hospital, and High River Farmer’s Markets to name just a few).  The draw date is December 27th – Grate gifts for Christmas – do your charitable giving with the chance of winning a grate prize.
    • Donate – all funds support literacy programs in the MD of Foothills.  Each team will have an onlinne fundraising page.  Support your favorite team by following this link!
    • Like Literacy for Life’s Facebook page and Instagram, or follow them on Twitter and share posts/tweets about the Bee:
  1. Join us in the Foothills Cardboard Challenge from June to September. Literacy for Life is challenging families in the Foothills to have fun and get creative. Post a picture of your creation to our Facebook and/or Instagram. On September 30th 2017, from 12:30 to 3:30 pm  come down to the Grate Groan Up Spelling Bee,  have fun and participate in some creative play. Material will be provided.  We will take pictures and post them to our Instagram and print them to post on our Creativity Board.  You can take your item home and enjoy.  (We are hoping families and schools would get involved over June, the summer and into July) Check out this link to find out more about the Foothills Cardboard Challenge

    Build Community and Creativity – Global Cardboard Challenge

  2. Buy a Bee for Literacy!  June 1st to June 30th you can support literacy in the Foothills by purchasing a bee for only a Toonie at the Okotoks and High River Sobeys and AG Country Mart in Black Diamond. Every little bit helps.

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?

 

Have Fun as a Family! Community Family Literacy Bingo Card!

bingo card

The Community Bingo Card was launched on January 27th 2016 and continued until the Family Day weekend in February.  This was a community partnership to promote literacy in the Foothills. Families picked up their cards from the High River Library, Sheep River Library, Okotoks Public Library, Museum of the Highwood and Literacy for Life Foundation office.  As well, all children in Grade 3 were given a card to take home.

Once families completed the activities on the bingo card they handed it in to one of the libraries and their name was draw for a prize donated by Literacy for Life.

The three winners of the Telus Spark Family Pass, $100.00 gift certificate to Boston Pizza, Family Recreation Passes and a Board Game were:

Oktotoks Public Library: Felicia Phillips and family

High River Library: Marissa and Madden

High River Winner

Sheep River Library:  TBA

The Bingo card is done but that doesn’t mean the activities stop.  Literacy is built day by day in the home.

Go to this link for More ideas on how to build literacy as a family and have fun doing it!

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

Support Literacy – #GGUSBEE Raffle Prize Winner

Winner of the 2015 Raffle – Athenna Ledoux 

Congratulations and have fun with your family on this wonderful trip!
Congratulations and have fun with your family on this wonderful trip!

Her choose was the Orlando Adventure – hotel, flights and  1-day tickets to SeaWorld Orlando and 1-day/1-park tickets to Universal Resort Orlando – For 4

Sea World and more
Sea World and more
Grate Groan Up Spelling Bee
Grate Groan Up Spelling Bee

Time to Register – March 9th 2015

Literacy for Life offers a wide range of programs for families and adults. Check out our Parent/Child Pre-School Programs, School Aged Programs and Adult ProgramsOnline registration or call the office at 403.652.5090 starting March 9th 2015 for Spring Registration.

Our programs are free or low-cost and are open to all residents of the Municipal District of Foothills #31 in Alberta, Canada. Part of our service to the community is to provide information and resources for parents and agencies.  Visit our FaceBook and Pinterest for current information and resources

Literacy and learning are keys to success in life. It is never too late to make a difference in our learning. Literacy for Life programs provide a way for adults to seek out and engage in lifelong learning opportunities in the community – for themselves and their family. These programs help build the nine essential skills needed for work, family and community.

dad-reading-with-two-children

“It is important to affect an individual’s literacy development early, but as literacy and learning are a lifetime process, it is never too late and never too early.”

CTV video demonstrating the importance of the early years.