February 2016   |   Volume 13   |   Issue 6
News From Literacy Nova Scotia
Executive Director's Message
It is with a heavy heart that I share the news of the sudden passing of Gary Mason, Practitioner Training Facilitator and strong supporter of Literacy Nova Scotia. Gary was an integral part of the LNS team, his community and his family. We pass along condolences to all those affected by this loss. Gary will be missed.

As part of the Practitioner Training Program, we have many experienced practitioners who mentor others during the practicum. Many of these mentors are not currently enrolled in the program and are volunteering their time and knowledge for the betterment of the field. I would like to acknowledge their support of the program and their efforts:
  • Noreen Battaglia
  • Sandy Beckwith
  • Jocelyn Boyd-Johnson
  • Shannon Davis
  • Kathie Gartner
  • Birgit Jensen
  • Sheri MacNeil
  • Lorna Marks
  • Cheryl Mycroft
  • Linda Oakley
  • Allison Parsons
  • Pat Roberts
  • Matt Taylor
We had a wonderful event in Fall River at the home of LIFE on LIFE Initiative co-founder Claude Hamilton. Approximately 200 people from the LIFE on LIFE Initiative teamed up with Literacy Nova Scotia to help pack and distribute 2000 new books to celebrate Family Literacy Day. Families and organizations, including 20 of the community-based learning organizations received new books delivered free of charge. We were pleased to have in attendance Darren Fisher, MP Dartmouth-Cole Harbour, Darrell Samson, MP Sackville-Preston-Chezzetcook, Bill Horne, MLA Waverley-Fall River-Beaverbank, representing the province on behalf of the Premier, and HRM Deputy Mayor Matt Whitman, Councillor in HRM District 13. Watch the video.

The Scholarship and Bursary applications for the fall of 2016 are now available. The eligibility criteria has been revised. The stipulation that learners needed to have been attending programs in the past has been removed. All learners enrolled and attending in the fall will be eligible.

We are very excited about the line-up of speakers and sessions at the PD Conference on March 31 and April 1st. Registration is now open and details will be added to the website as sessions are confirmed.

Check out the great work of the Antigonish County Adult Learning Association and the East Hants Adult Learning Association, our members in the spotlight. Contact us if you would like to be in the spotlight!

Join the Literacy Nova Scotia Scotiabank Blue Nose Charity Challenge Team
On May 20 – 22, meet us in Halifax and walk, run or wheel 5k, 10k or a half or full marathon. You don’t have to be an athlete to join our fundraising team! All you need is a passion for literacy because that’s what unites us and carries us all over the finish line. Register by February 29th and receive the early bird discount! Read more

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What's New
Opportunities for Learners
Applications for 2016 NSPGI Adult Learner Recognition Awards Available
Applications are now being accepted for the 2016 Adult Learner Recognition Awards which will be presented at the NSPGI Golf Tournament on June 8. These awards are given to adult learners in Nova Scotia who have shown exceptional progress and achievement in learning and literacy. Please share this information with learners in your program who may be eligible.

The Nova Scotia Business Inc. Learner Achievement Award recognizes an adult learner attending Levels 1, 2, or 3 of an Adult Learning Program and who plans to continue in the learning program.

The Nova Learning Nova Scotia Learner Award recognizes an adult learner who has completed the Nova Scotia Adult High School Diploma or the GED and who plans to move on or has moved on to post-secondary education. Application deadline: May 13, 2016.

LNS Scholarship and Bursary Awards Available for Adult Learners
Applications for Scholarship and Bursary Awards are now being accepted for 2016. The money for these awards comes from the PGI Golf Tournaments for Literacy.

Three bursaries of $500 are awarded to adults who did not finish Grade 12 in the public school system and who are currently enrolled in, or planning to attend, an adult upgrading program in the fall of 2016. Bursary Application

Two scholarships of $1,500 (one of which is designated for a NSCC Truro Campus Student) are for adults who have completed their grade 12 through an adult learning program, and are going on to, or continuing in college, university, or a trades and technology program. Scholarship Application
Application deadline: October 21, 2016.

Literacy Changes Lives iPad Mini Draw 2016
Enter your learning story for a chance to win an iPad Mini. Literacy Nova Scotia promotes the importance of improving literacy. Your stories inspire others to return to learning. All stories with the theme Literacy Changes Lives will be published in the Adult Learners’ Week ebooklet.
Who can enter? Any Nova Scotian enrolled in a program in one of the following:
  • Community-based learning organizations
  • Adult High Schools
  • NSCC (ALP, CCA LINC, Achieve, CANS works)
  • Work Activity groups
To be eligible for the draw: Your learning story is written - up to 500 words in the form of an essay, poem, or song or a video - one to two minutes and posted to YouTube. Deadline is Friday, March 4, 2016 at noon. Entry form

Opportunities for Practitioners
Practitioner Training (PT) Modules scheduled to start on January 31 have been postponed. We will keep you informed on when the modules will begin and will make announcements on LNS eCampus, and social media – Facebook and Twitter.

Check out the Practitioner Training webpage for more details on the program, modules, and tuition schedule. The program is tuition free for members of Literacy Nova Scotia who are with a NSSAL funded program. Anyone can take the training. If you are interested in becoming a practitioner, register today.

Is there a PD opportunity that would benefit your learning organization?
Apply to the PD Fund. You can read about what others have learned through training funded by the PD Fund. All practitioners (tutors, instructors), coordinators, and board members are eligible for funding up to $1000 per year for professional development relevant to their role at their community-based learning network.

Save the Date! PD Conference in Truro on March 31 - April 1, 2016
at Holiday Inn, Prince Street, Truro.

The Professional Development Conference for Practitioners open to all practitioners and coordinators who are looking for professional development to help them better support under-skilled and under-employed Nova Scotians. In particular, we invite practitioners and coordinators from the Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning (community-based, adult high school, NSCC), work activity programs, career resource centres, workforce development programs and others.
Online Registration Form       Deadline for registration: February 24th
Read more

Opportunities for Organizations
Community-based learning organizations can apply every year for free computer systems and laptops. Organizations should be replacing older systems each year. Apply today! These come with Windows 7 and Microsoft Office 2010 installed. Other computer accessories are also available through our partnership with Computers for Schools.

Community-based learning organizations funded under NSSAL can apply for ipad minis and other assistive technology.

PGI grant reports and applications are due March 1st.

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In The News
LNS Volunteers Deliver 2000+ Donated Books to Literacy Organizations Across Nova Scotia for Family Literacy Day
Volunteers from Life on Life Network gathered at the home of LIFE Leadership co-founder Claude Hamilton to pack and organize the book shipments on January 9. LNS received approximately $20,000 worth of books for children and families from First Book Canada. Read more   Photos

LIFE on LIFE teams up with Literacy Nova Scotia
On Saturday, January 9, the LIFE on LIFE Initiative teamed up with Literacy Nova Scotia to host the inaugural book packing and delivery event. Members of both the local and LIFE community came out to help prepare the books for delivery. Read more

Community Education Courses Are Coming to Kings and Annapolis Counties
Valley Community Learning Association, in partnership with PeopleWorx and Community INC will launch a series of Community Education courses in February 2016 in Kings and Annapolis Counties. The courses will provide sessions that are both educational and engaging. Read more

Announcement from the Dartmouth Learning Network Board of Directors
DLN Board of Directors wishes to announce that they have accepted the resignation of Lesley Dunn from the position of Executive Director of DLN, effective December 31, 2015. They would like to thank Lesley for her contributions and wish her well in her future endeavors. Read more

DLN's Moving On Up eLearning: Mobilizing Adult Literacy
In an effort to reduce the number of potential learners on wait lists and equip all working-aged Nova Scotians with the skills needed for work, family and community engagement, The Dartmouth Learning Network is mobilizing adult literacy with their new elearning platform, Moving On Up.    Read more

Gaming App Tests Reading Skills
Leah Skerry is working to create technology that catches children with reading issues early and efficiently. “We began working on eye tracking to measure the usability of websites, but we didn't think it was user-friendly,” said the CEO and co-founder of EyeRead. Read more

Is Your Organization an Innovative Rural Non-Profit?
The Rural Communities Foundation of Nova Scotia is working to bring more funding support to innovative grassroots rural organizations. If you want your organization to be included in this list at no charge, fill in the form.

Author James Patterson, Honored For His Literacy Work, Says We Must Do More
"Remember the old line: ‘It’s the economy, stupid’? Well, the future of the economy is education, stupid. But people just don’t care enough. I don’t think there’s ever been a time when we needed schools more." Read more

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Western Counties Regional Library Events
Find out what literacy events are offered at libraries in western Nova Scotia.

Upcoming Tech Tuesdays Webinars from AlphaPlus
AlphaPlus offers free, technology-related webinars to explore new and exciting tools for your classroom and/or program. Tech Tuesdays are one-hour GoToWebinars that focus on digital tools for administrators, instructors and learners. Read more

Crafting a Communications Strategy
Friday, February 12 from 9:30am to 4:30pm in Halifax NS
A one-day workshop for non-profit groups' staff, board members and volunteers. We will focus on low-budget, big impact solutions. Read more

Volunteer Management Professionals of Canada Conference
May 25 - 28 at the Delta Halifax
This year’s conference ‘Beyond the Waves: the Potential of Volunteer Management'. is about exploring new ideas, sharing tools and techniques, and gaining new perspectives. Read more

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Best Free Digital Storytelling Tools for Teachers
Digital stories allow learners to take a linear series of events and turn them into a multidimensional experience. It encourages them to communicate, collaborate, and research as well as to infuse media into the process. Resource

Seven Useful Microsoft Excel Features You May Not Be Using
Microsoft Excel is packed with useful data management features. If you’re just using excel to sum and chart columns, this graphic can show you some other tools to help you become the spreadsheet ninja. Resource