CMEC Launches Literacy Forum Legacy

    TORONTO, April 15 /CNW/ - A new, innovative resource aimed at improving
literacy levels in Canada was released today by the Council of Ministers of
Education, Canada (CMEC). The legacy of knowledge and materials gathered from
last year's Pan-Canadian Interactive Literacy Forum provides on-line learning
and teaching resources that will benefit educators, learners, literacy
providers, and people across Canada, now and in the future.
    Three resource modules on literacy were developed using the 130 hours of
audiovisual materials from the forum and more than 1,000 questions and
comments raised by participants. The topics of the modules are Literacy in
Canada, Community-Based Literacy Planning, and Literacy: Looking at the
Immigrant Experience. The modules use challenging questions, video clips from
forum presenters, and stimulating comments to encourage discussion and active
idea-sharing among groups of learners and educators. Over 70 new presentations
from experts, practitioners, and policy makers are also now available,
covering literacy topics from early learning to adult education to workplace
    "The legacy materials give practitioners, teachers, and learners in
communities across Canada new resources and innovative ways to help improve
literacy skills," said Kelly Lamrock, Minister of Education for New Brunswick
and the Chair of CMEC. "We are delighted that this material will further raise
awareness about the importance of literacy and help to boost literacy levels
from coast to coast to coast."
    "By working together to promote literacy through the use of innovative
technologies, last year's forum was a call to action to make Canada a place
where we move beyond traditional thinking on literacy and learning," added
Minister Lamrock. "These web-based legacy materials bring together the best of
literacy knowledge and practices from across Canada, to inspire and to
challenge all of us to do more to encourage literacy and learning at home, at
school, at work, and in our communities."
    Hosted by Canada's education ministers through their intergovernmental
body, CMEC, the Pan-Canadian Interactive Literacy Forum was held in April 2008
at nine sites across Canada. It was the first of its kind, using webcasting
technology, including real-time streaming video, to connect more than 3,000
learners, literacy experts, and representatives from the education,
non-profit, business, and labour sectors. The forum was the first step in
implementing CMEC's Literacy Action Plan, which aims to raise awareness and
increase literacy rates all across Canada.
    The legacy materials can be accessed at
    Literacy is one of the eight key activity areas identified by ministers
of education in their joint declaration, Learn Canada 2020.

    CMEC is an intergovernmental body composed of the ministers responsible
for elementary-secondary and advanced education from the provinces and
territories. Through CMEC, ministers share information and undertake projects
in areas of mutual interest and concern.

    Fact Sheet

               Pan-Canadian Interactive Literacy Forum Legacy

    The Pan-Canadian Interactive Literacy Forum, hosted by the Council of
Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC), connected 3,000 learners, literacy
experts, and delegates from a number of sectors (education, non-profit,
business, and labour) at nine sites across Canada (Vancouver, Whitehorse,
Edmonton, Regina, Winnipeg, Arviat, Toronto, Montreal, and Saint John).

    The forum legacy consists of materials presented at the forum, such as
    -   over 100 webcast presentations from policy makers, researchers,
        learners, educators, and practitioners
    -   three literacy modules, which are learning packages created from
        forum presentations and participant feedback, designed to bring
        together current thinking and ideas from across Canada on specific

    Ministers' messages on literacy

    As members of CMEC, the ministers of education from all 13 provinces and
territories provided messages on literacy for the 2008 Pan-Canadian
Interactive Literacy Forum. Each of these messages was broadcast across the
country during the forum for participants at all sites to hear.

    Keynote presentations

    Keynote presentations from leading Canadians in government, business, and
the literacy-research community, including
    -   former governor general Adrienne Clarkson
    -   former premier of New Brunswick Frank McKenna
    -   Canwest Global vice-president David Asper
    -   early-childhood-development expert Dr. Fraser Mustard
    -   Adult-literacy expert Dr. Paul Bélanger

    Literacy modules

    The literacy modules use activities, guiding questions, and video clips
of forum presenters to guide participants through structured learning tools.

    Literacy in Canada: This module introduces the key themes of the forum,
using information and presentations from that event to provide an overview of
literacy in Canada.

    Community-Based Literacy Planning: What is community-based literacy
planning? What does it look like, and who does it benefit? This module is
designed for individuals, groups, organizations, and institutions interested
in the advantages of providing a continuum of literacy services for all ages.

    Literacy - Looking at the Immigrant Experience: This module looks at some
of the challenges faced by immigrants to Canada as they seek to become
literate in English or French. It also includes resources available for
instructors to use to respond to various needs.


    Experience the literacy forum again by viewing presentations by experts,
practitioners, and policy makers from each of the nine forum sites on the
following themes:
    -   Early Learning and Literacy
    -   School-Age Literacy
    -   Adult Literacy
    -   Community Literacy
    -   Literacy for Aboriginal Populations
    -   Literacy for Francophones in Minority Settings
    -   Literacy for Newcomers
    -   Workplace and Workforce Literacy

    The forum legacy, outlined above, can be accessed online at and at

For further information:

For further information: Tamara Davis, Coordinator, Communications and
Media Relations, Cell: (416) 804-6548, Tel.: (416) 962-8100, ext. 241, E-mail:

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