Current & Previous Grants


Program and Initiative funding listed by year:

For any older funded programs, please check our annual reports.


2016 Funding

Until 2016 Calgary Learns granted funds on calendar year basis. Going forward, we will grant on a July-June funding year. To facilitate this transition, Calgary Learns provided bridge grants for the January-June 2017 period to each of our 2016-funded programs that were approximately 50% of their 2016 grants.

 

PROGRAM GRANTS:
2016 Program Grant Allocations: $1,023,074

2016 Indigenous Program Grant Allocations: $124,563

INITIATIVE GRANTS:

OTHER GRANTS:

 

ADULT BASIC LITERACY (ABL): $295,396

Bow Valley College
Adult Basic Literacy Education – Money for Everyday
ABL $19,925
The ABLE Math for Everyday course has grown out of the College’s work with literacy learners and a commitment to build learning pathways within the College and community. Participants are adults with and without diagnosed disabilities, adults with low literacy/numeracy skills who want and need math skills upgrading. The learners work at a basic level on topics related to money math in daily life. These BVC learners increasingly see themselves as college students and continuous learners with pathways to other courses and learning opportunities.

Bow Valley College
Lifeline to Literacy
ABL $38,215
Lifeline to Literacy is an evening foundational learning program that meets the needs of adult learners who are returning to learning and seeking to improve their emerging literacy skills. It is a no-fee non-credit program for adults who are unable to access other academic programs because the literacy level of the course is too high, learning pace is too fast, or courses are too expensive. Lifeline to Literacy uses a holistic approach in a setting highly supported by tutors with small class sizes and learning both in the classroom and out in the community.

Bow Valley College
Speech-Assisted Reading and Writing
ABL $42,987
SARAW is an adult literacy program that supports the development of basic reading, writing and math skills to adults with physical and/or developmental disabilities. It is designed for adults reading at below grade seven. Each learner works one-on-one with a tutor in a special classroom equipped with assistive technology. Currently serving 32 learner-tutor pairs per semester, the program is entering into a research-in-practice phase that will incorporate learnings from various research initiatives, findings from a needs assessment, and formative analysis that all lead to improvements to the program. Priorities include strengthening community connections, embedding essential skills concepts and exploring new adaptive assistive technologies.

Calgary John Howard Society
Literacy Program
ABL $97,096
This program provides foundational learning through literacy instruction to three learner populations: (1) Individuals incarcerated at the Calgary Remand Centre who receive weekly one-on-one literacy sessions and small group learning, (2) Individuals incarcerated at the Calgary Correctional Centre (CCC) who receive basic one-on-one literacy skills training, and (3) At-risk individuals living in the community and who participate in group learning sessions offered at Simon House Recovery Centre.

Further Education Society of Alberta
Calgary Community Foundational Learning Program
ABL $97,173
This program focuses on parenting, literacy and essential skills information in a strengths-based, competency-building, culturally sensitive manner. Four main program models are used: Literacy and Parenting Skills (LAPS), Parent-Child Mother Goose, Books for Babies/Jumpstart and Homespun. LAPS has been further adapted to include new topics for workplace skill development and workplace settings, for parents with children who have been affected by family violence, and for parents who are looking to increase their skills and comfort level with basic money management. All learning opportunities include essential skills development and have been adapted to meet the needs of English language learners. Small group learning is offered throughout the city in partnership with a roster of over 30 host agencies that serve adults and families at risk. Participants build their own literacy, parenting and essential skills and model good literacy practices with their children.

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ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNING (ELL): $246,512

Bow Valley College
ESL Volunteer Tutor Program
ELL $45,503
This program provides part-time ELL tutoring in an informal, small group format focusing on improving learners’ listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. This long-standing program addresses the needs of immigrant seniors and adult foundational learners with social and economic barriers. The convenient downtown location and daytime/weekend schedules make it accessible to learners, and the use of trained volunteer instructors paired with qualified supervision provides a cost effective means of delivery.

Bow Valley College
Volunteer ESL Tutor Training Project
ELL $27,973
The Volunteer ESL Tutor Training Project, referred to as VESL, partners three organizations with longstanding volunteer programs that collaborate to identify and address the volunteer ELL training needs in Calgary. The participating organizations in VESL include Bow Valley College, Calgary Catholic Immigration Society and the Calgary Public Library. This ongoing special project offers six volunteer training workshops per year for people who volunteer in organizations throughout the city. The project also manages a volunteer website called VESL.ca to facilitate and support ongoing volunteer ELL tutor development throughout Calgary.

Calgary Chinese Community Service Association
Computer Enhanced ESL Literacy
ELL $44,045
The aim of this program is twofold: (1) to reach financially barriered adult ELL learners who have low level literacy skills and who demonstrate a need for further educational opportunities, and (2) to address effective ways of integrating technology skills within adult ELL literacy learning. The program offers ELL literacy instruction taught by qualified instructors with a focus on increasing learners’ reading, writing and digital literacy.
Until 2015, this popular program had been offered at Bow Valley College. In its new home, this program  continues to serve ELL literacy learners from all language groups.

Calgary Chinese Community Service Association
Stepping Stones: Forward into the Community
ELL $67,574
Working with Chinese and Afghani learners, participants from diverse ethnic and linguistic backgrounds, who are either Canadian citizens or landed immigrants, can develop practical English skills. The Stepping Stones program is a bilingual English as a Second Language program for barriered learners who are CLB 2 or lower. The program serves learners in small, learner-centered ELL classes for linguistically homogenous learners who have little or no formal education in their first language. Bilingual facilitators use both the learners’ mother tongue and English to help learners gain confidence when speaking, and accessing community services and employment in Canada.

Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association
Pebbles in the Sand
ELL $61,417
This longstanding program serves immigrant and refugee women through innovative English as a Second Language and literacy programming. The program is designed to assist women who have very low literacy skills (0 – 7 years of education in their home countries) and face multiple learning barriers that make it difficult to transition into higher-level training and education. The program is geared toward providing necessary, basic life and language skills that are vital to daily living in Canada.

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ESSENTIAL SKILLS (ES): $233,568

Calgary Catholic Immigration Society
Computer Training for Employment
ES $50,160
This program provides affordable computer training to low-income learners who wish to enhance their competitiveness in the job market. Courses include: Introduction to Computers, Windows 7, Internet and E-mail, MS Outlook 2010, MS Word 2010 (foundation), MS Excel 2010 (foundation), Keyboarding, Online Job Searches and Applications, and Social Media.

Calgary John Howard Society
Learning Employment Enhancement Program (LEEP)
ES $67,302
LEEP is a three-week employment program offered 8 times per year (in addition to individual employment skills training workshops during the summer months) that provides ex-offenders, those at risk and other disadvantaged individuals with tools needed to succeed in the workforce and in their personal lives. LEEP offers training in Employment Preparation Skills, Self-Management, Industry tickets (H2S Alive; Construction and Petroleum Safety Training, Standard First Aid level C with CPR), Financial Literacy, (4) Basic Level Alternatives to Violence Project and Introduction to Computers. LEEP balances training with sessions that develop skills for obtaining/maintaining employment and enhancing economic and personal stability.

Calgary Public Library
Digital Literacy in the Community
ES $49,856
In partnership with 36 local social service agencies, a team of 41 specially trained instructors bring computer training to learners who might otherwise not have access to such programming. Small-group instruction enables learners to overcome multiple barriers to learning including poverty, learning disabilities, low-literacy skills and language barriers. Partner agencies choose from a wide selection of free two-hour computer training workshops based on the needs and interests of their clients. Classes are offered in on-site computer labs when possible, or utilize laptops provided by the Library. Workshop topics range from basic computing to social media and job search.

Momentum
Business Development for Foundational Learners
ES $66,250
Business Development for Foundational Learners is a suite of courses designed to support low-income individuals to exit poverty through the creation of one’s own work experience or securing a better job. It represents the only low cost, part-time business training option in the city partnering with individuals experiencing employability barriers and learning challenges such as people with disabilities (physical or mental), English as an additional language, and other literacy challenges in areas such as numeracy, computer use and document use. By further developing essential skills concurrently with business skills, individuals enhance their employability through self-employment or traditional employment.

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COMMUNITY AND FAMILY DEVELOPMENT (CFD): $247,598

Association of the Inside Out Integrated Theatre Project
Inside Out Integrated Theatre
CFD $15,000
This community-based program provides accessible, learner-centred theatre training opportunities for adults with disabilities. The program emphasizes theatre processes as a means of education and development. Learners’ stories and their day-to-day issues are brought to light through theatre training. The program is designed to help participants develop a voice, a sense of empowerment in their community, and to develop learning skills that help them better understand and meet life challenges.

Calgary SCOPE Society
Integrated Community Kitchen
CFD $15,000
This program provides a learning environment for individuals with dual diagnosis developmental disabilities on AISH. These individuals might not otherwise have an opportunity to develop skills in meal planning, meal preparation, kitchen hygiene and safe food handling. The program also provides ‘Kitchen members’ with low cost healthy meals each month. New in 2015/2016, the program has expanded to include another group of dual-diagnosis clients who meet at the SCOPE office to participate in group learning on a variety of food and community topics. Learners in both streams initially identify their foundational skills and goals and then work together with staff using customized learning plans to achieve these goals.

Canadian Mental Health Association
Peer Options Program
CFD $25,000
This program provides a guided foundational learning continuum for individuals with mental disorders through a three phase program: (1) the Art of Friendship: a nine week psycho-educational workshop that introduces the essential skills of interpersonal relationship building—oral communication, problem solving and working with others. Graduates transition to the community or to actively participate in (2) the weekly Circle of Friends: a facilitated peer support group where they further develop their newly enhanced basic skills. (3) The final phase of this learning continuum engages learners wanting to give back to their community by becoming agency volunteers. Peer Mentor training prepares volunteers as group facilitators, telephone connection/support providers, program developers and mentors.

Centre for Newcomers Society of Calgary
Women’s Life Skills Program
CFD $24,957
This program offers a structured group-based learning experience for newcomer women who are low-income earners and face barriers due to social isolation, limited coping skills and learning strategies. The Life Skills program is based on a curriculum that draws its effectiveness from the contributions of the members of the learning group, and through the facilitation of a trained life skills coach who supports learners to contribute, question and learn together. Each class is a structured discussion around topics coming from the participants’ lives and focused on developing a specific skill in self-awareness, listening and communication.

Deaf and Hear Alberta
ASL & Speechreading Instruction Fee Reduction Program
CFD $34,950
This program assists adults with fiancial barriers who are in need of ASL or speechreading instruction for improved communication among family and friends. ASL instruction serves immediate family members, extended families and friends of Deaf and hard of hearing individuals and of people with disabilities such as autism and speech impairment. Communicative ability, including knowledge of vocabulary, emphasis, intonation and grammar/sentence structure, is the intent of the ASL instruction, which relies heavily on participant input for its direction and focus. Speechreading classes provide strategies and practical communication tools that can open the door to improved hearing and communication for those dealing with hearing loss. Participants come with a desire to improve and strengthen family communication, and to gain increased resilience, inclusion and improved overall well-being of the family unit.

Families Matter Society
Community-Based Family Life Education
CFD $90,000
This program is comprised of group learning opportunities that cover a range of topics pertinent to building family resiliency and education as parents strive to guide their children effectively across all ages and stages of development. Learning opportunities are available to all families of all socioeconomic background, which reduces barriers to participation and avoids the stigma of segregated programming for those experiencing financial hardship or poverty. Calgary Learns funding supports the participation of those who qualify for fee subsidy. The program is held at Families Matter’s three community hubs, local community venues and in collaboration with other not-for-profit organizations serving Calgarians.

Immigrant Services Calgary
Citizenship Learning Project
CFD $42,691
This program provides an opportunity for immigrants to learn and appreciate Canadian geography, history culture, government systems, volunteerism, and the rights and responsibilities of citizenship. It adopts an interactive learner-centred approach to (1) help equip foundational learners for the citizenship test so they can successfully become Canadian citizens and (2) empower learners with the knowledge, confidence and initiative necessary to integrate and participate fully in Canadian society as beneficiaries and contributors. Classes are offered in simple English and at low or no cost in order to efficiently serve marginalized immigrants who face language, literacy and financial barriers.

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2016 INDIGENOUS PROGRAM GRANT ALLOCATIONS: $124,563

Elizabeth Fry Society
SAGE: Women’s Emotional Wellness and Employment Readiness Program
ALFL $39,770
SAGE program provides a pathway to healing and a foundation for Indigenous women who have not had access to learning in the community due to a variety of complex barriers. Women gain opportunities to learn and identify their own potential. The program covers four areas (1) Functional Skills, (2) Emotional Self-Expression and Personal Development, (3) Employment Skills and (4) Cultural Supports. SAGE curriculum and reflection processes are designed around the Medicine Wheel, an Indigenous model which symbolizes four dimensions of health and the cycle of life.

Further Education Society of Alberta
Indigenous Foundational Learning Program
ALFL $44,793
In partnership with Indigenous serving agencies, FESA provides a variety of free literacy and essential skills programs in Calgary using a variety of curricula that has been developed such as the Aboriginal Literacy and Parenting Skills program. Learning in small groups, participants build their own literacy skills, parenting and essential skills and model good literacy practices with their children. Programs are individualized to suit each partner agency/group needs.

St Mary’s University
Igniting the Fire: Aboriginal Literacy & Leadership
ALFL $40,000
This pilot program serves as the foundation for developing a pathway program into further education and employment for Indigenous learners who are currently at or below grade eight level of literacy. Using an arts-based approach to engaging learners and increasing literacy skills and capacities, this program will support Indigenous learners as they seek to improve their foundational skills, as well as their confidence in a formal education setting. This program integrates a holistic approach to learning that includes Indigenous ways of knowing, orality and literacy, and creates a safe learning space for all participants.

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2016 INITIATIVE GRANT ALLOCATIONS – $47,654

Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association
Skills, Needs and Progress with ESL Literacy Learners: Informative Assessment Tools—Phase 2
English Language Learning $20,000
This is Phase 2 of the 2015 Initiative research project of the same name. Phase 1 developed assessment tools for four (of 12) measurable reading and writing outcomes for ELL literacy. The applicant secured separate funding from Alberta Labour to develop tools for four more outcomes. The proposed Phase 2 continues the research to develop assessment tools for the four remaining reading and writing outcomes. The completion of the three projects will result in a 12-section tool that will assist instructors to better adapt instructional plans to struggling learners’ specific skills.

CanLearn Society for Persons with Learning Difficulties
Rising to the Reading Challenges of Adult Learners: Practioner’s Toolkit
Adult Basic Literacy $30,000
This project is to produce a Practitioner’s Toolkit to improve the effectiveness of literacy instruction for adult learners with suspected learning disabilities. Research and practice from the field of learning disabilities will be used to assist instructors to understand an adult learner’s strengths and needs, and to connect this understanding with appropriate intervention focusing on (1) practical strategies to build confidence, overcome negative self-perceptions, and increase motivation/engagement of adult learners. (2) evidence-based strategies to improve reading skills. A problem-solving approach with practical suggestions for strategies and resources to meet various needs will provide a framework to improve instruction and outcomes for adults with reading challenges.

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2016 INDIGENOUS INITIATIVE GRANT ALLOCATIONS – $49,636

Aboriginal Futures Career and Training Centre
Aboriginal Workplace Learning Circle
Indigenous Foundational Life Skills $20,000
This is a bridge grant for the continuation of an existing program that supports urban Indigenous people to enhance their employment skills, self-sufficiency and independence. The Aboriginal Workplace Learning Circle program delivers two six-week sessions to assist low income, low literacy, low-skilled, multi-barrier Indigenous learners to develop skills for success to return to work, enter school, or training. Utilizing the nine essential skills in conjunction with many lessons, learners engage in understanding workplace protocols, effective communication, conflict resolution and problem solving. Appropriate Indigenous perspectives are incorporated to equip learners with techniques to stay balanced, set defined goals and success measures that are learner centric.

Further Education Society of Alberta
Strong Roots: An Integrated Family Learning Model for Indigenous Families
Indigenous Foundational Life Skills $9,636
This grant is for the continuation of a 2015 demonstration project to introduce a holistic, integrated learning model for Indigenous parents to build essential skills as they focus on parenting. This is a collaboration between Further Education Society and the Calgary Board of Education (CBE) at the Catherine Nicholls Gunn School. Within this project, a potential partnership is being sought with Inn from the Cold or Rainbow Lodge Metis Housing. Both of these organizations serve Indigenous families whose children attend the school. The capacity of parents, families, CBE staff and community partners will be raised to understand Indigenous foundational learning needs with strategies to assist parents to build their own and their children’s literacy skills. Confidence in parenting skills and support of their children’s progress at school while building literacy and foundational skills for themselves will assist parents to build deeper connections to their children’s school, other families, and community organizations.

Elizabeth Fry Society of Calgary
Blackfoot Language and Literacy Program
Indigenous Community Capacity Building $20,000
This is a bridge grant for the continuation The Blackfoot Language and Literacy Program piloted with a 2015 Initiative grant. This program supports cultural reconnection through identity, while integrating literacy and language as a tool for creating personal and employment success. This program engages those who have not previously excelled in learning environments, and who have been separated from their cultural roots due to such interruptions as residential schools, adoptions or foster care. Essential skill-building via the acquisition of Blackfoot language allows for program content that is learner centric and culturally relevant. Integrated into E-Fry’s existing Indigenous Cultural Supports programming, this program encompass learning through oral communication, written communication, and experiential learning modalities. Re-enforcing Indigenous language into the foundation of programming assists with cultural reconnection to enhance the potential of personal well-being and self confidence.

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2016- 2018 REFUGEE LANGUAGE AND SUPPORT GRANT DESCRIPTIONS

Bow Valley College
Practitioner Training: Meeting the Needs of Refugees
English Language Learning – Literacy / Professional Development $55,538
This project is to create a professional development series to strengthen the teaching skills of ELL instructors and volunteers across the city who work with refugees. The goal is to identify, develop and delivery six customized three-hour workshops that address areas of need as outlined by the Calgary community. The resulting training will focus on successfully addressing the foundational learning needs of refugees in ELL Literacy classes.

Calgary Catholic Immigration Society
Employment Preparation and Computer Training for Refugees
Foundational Life Skills / Digital Literacy $95,244 over 2 years
The Employment Preparation and Computer Training for Refugees initiative is a basic computer and employability skills program designed to address the complex needs, and facilitate the labour market integration, of high-risk refugees. The program includes 90 hours of computer training, and 30 hours of employability skills enhancement. This program is designed to help learners prepare for the Canadian workplace, secure entry-level employment, and succeed on the job. Amharic, Tigrinya, and Arabic speaking instructors deliver the program to groups of Ethiopian, Eritrean, and Syrian refugees.

Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association
Passport to Canada: English Language, Literacy and Life Skills Preparation for Refugees
English Language Learning / Literacy / Foundational Life Skills $100,000 over 2 years
This is a community based, two-year program offered to two sets of 15 refugees with Foundational to Phase III literacy (Pre Canadian Language Benchmarks to CLB 2) and up to 7 years of first language education. The program offers training and support in English language, literacy and life skills to help refugees acquire basic survival skills and knowledge of Canadian culture. The intent is to build the social, cultural and language capacity learners need in order to participate independently and confidently in Canadian society. This program addresses the unique challenges of refugees who may not thrive in a traditional classroom environment.

CanLearn Society for Persons with Learning Difficulties
Syrian Refugee Familis: Learning Starts at Home
Adult Basic Literacy $69,218 over two years
The Learning Starts at Home program is a family literacy program for parents with young children who want to improve their language and literacy skills but find it difficult to attend community programs due to barriers such as child-rearing responsibilities, transportation challenges, etc. The program cycle consists of two-hour weekly sessions conducted through home visits over a period of three months. The first component of a home visit introduces parents to an authentic adult literacy activity aimed at helping them improve their everyday language and literacy skills. This is followed by joint parent-child interactive activities during which parents and their preschool children learn together.

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2015 Funding

Total 2015 Program Grant Allocations: $995,374

Total 2015 Initiative Grant Allocations: $198,703

 

TOTAL ADULT BASIC LITERACY: $281,743

Bow Valley College
Adult Basic Literacy Education – Money Math
ABL $10,105
ABLE a part-time, non-credit classroom-based program where adults with disabilities work alongside their non-disabled peers on topics related to money math in daily life. All learners are working at a basic level. This small grant supports the inclusion of Basic Math within the ABLE program one morning a week.

Bow Valley College
Lifeline to Literacy
ABL $23,498
Lifeline to Literacy is an evening program for adult students seeking to improve their emerging literacy skills. The program is for those whose reading, writing and math skills are below the grade seven level. It is a non-credit program for adults who are unable to access other academic programs because the literacy level of the course is too high, learning pace is too fast, or courses are too expensive.

Bow Valley College
Speech-Assisted Reading and Writing
ABL $31,990
There are few things as important as a person’s ability to communicate their thoughts, feelings and experiences. SARAW is an adult literacy program that teaches basic reading, writing and math skills to adults with physical and/or developmental disabilities. It is designed for adults reading at below grade seven. Each learner works one-on-one with a tutor in a special classroom equipped with assistive technology.

Calgary John Howard Society
Literacy Program
ABL $62,865
This program provides foundational learning through literacy instruction to two learner populations: (1) Individuals incarcerated at the Calgary Remand Centre receive weekly one-on-one literacy sessions and small group learning (2) At-risk individuals living in the community attend weekly ‘drop-in’ group sessions offered in partnership with community agencies.

Calgary John Howard Society
Words to Success
ABL $28,780
This program provides basic literacy skills training for individuals who are incarcerated at the Calgary Correctional Centre (CCC). Literacy facilitators work with learners in one-on-one sessions. The goals of the program are that learners improve literacy skills and gain confidence to continue literacy learning. Participants are monitored as to progress and feelings of accomplishment. Further direction is available to participants upon release from CCC.

Further Education Society of Alberta
Community Literacy and Essential Skills Program
ABL $94,505
This program focuses on parenting, literacy and essential skills information in a strengths-based, competency-building, culturally sensitive manner through four program models: Literacy and Parenting Skills (LAPS), Parent Child Mother Goose, Homespun and Books for Babies/ Jumpstart. LAPS also includes special curricula for workplace skill development, basic money management and for learners affected by family violence. All programming includes curricula and enhancements to meet the needs of Indigenous and immigrant learners. Small group learning is offered throughout the city in partnership with a roster of over 30 host agencies that serve adults and families at risk. Participants build their own literacy, parenting and essential skills and model good literacy practices with their children.

Mount Royal University
Transitional Vocational Program – ABE
ABL $30,000
The part-time Adult Basic Literacy Program supports adults with developmental disabilities to achieve their literacy and numeracy learning goals. Students meet with instructors to develop individual program plans based on student interest and need. Instructors incorporate adult learning principles and strive for optimal student engagement. A strengths-based approach is used, allowing students to take risks in a positive and enjoyable learning environment. Social skill development, self advocacy skills and developing more of an awareness of their communities assist students in seeing the benefits of lifelong learning.

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COMMUNITY ISSUES: $209,316

Association of the Inside Out Integrated Theatre Project
Inside Out Integrated Theatre
CI $15,000
This community-based program provides accessible, learner-centred theatre training opportunities for adults with disabilities. Learners’ stories and their day-to-day issues are brought to light through theatre training. The program emphasizes theatre process as a means of education and development. Ultimately, performance experiences allow learners to test, enhance and showcase their learning.

Calgary SCOPE Society
Integrated Community Kitchen
CI $15,000
This program provides a learning environment for individuals with dual diagnosis developmental disabilities on AISH. These individuals might not otherwise have an opportunity to develop skills in meal planning, meal preparation, kitchen hygiene and safe food handling. Learners initially identify foundational skills and goals and then work together with staff using customized learning plans to achieve these goals. The learners also face financial barriers limiting their ability to make healthy food choices and to prepare healthy meals. The program also provides them with low cost healthy meals each month.

Canadian Mental Health Association
Peer Options Workshops
CI $25,000
This program provides a guided foundational learning continuum in three phases for financially-barriered individuals with mental disorders. (1) the Art of Friendship: a nine week psycho-educational workshop that introduces the essential skills of interpersonal relationship building. Graduates transition to the community or to actively participate in (2) the weekly Circle of Friends: a peer support group where they practice and enhance their acquired skills. (3) The final phase of this learning continuum facilitates learners wanting to give back to their community by becoming Peer Mentor Volunteers. These volunteers are trained as group facilitators, telephone connection providers, program developers and mentors.

Canadian National Institute for the Blind
Independent Living Skills Workshops
CI $6,496
This program provides low-income blind, partially sighted, and deafblind Calgarians with an opportunity to learn skills to become independent at home and in the community. The program consists of five sessions including a field trip where learners apply their new skills in the community. Participants learn to safely prepare food, manage finances, organize and label, manage self-care and participate in leisure activities. They will also gain confidence, community knowledge and a peer network allowing for ongoing supportive relationships.

Centre for Newcomers Society of Calgary
Women’s Life Skills Program
CI $23,820
This program offers a weekly group-based learning experience for newcomer women who face social isolation due to limited coping skills and learning strategies. The program targets women who are not eligible for employment-oriented training or who are not (or not yet) in a position to enter the labour market. Each class session is a structured discussion around topics from participants’ lives and focused on developing skills in self-awareness, communication and problem-solving.

Families Matter Society
Community-Based Family Life Education
CI $90,000
This program is comprised of group learning opportunities that cover a diverse range of topics pertinent to families as they strive to parent their children effectively across all ages and stages of child development. Courses are available to all families in Calgary and are held in Families Matter’s three community hubs, local community venues and in partner organization facilities. Of the 2,000+ registrants each year, over 80% qualify for full or partial subsidy based on income verification.

Immigrant Services Calgary
Citizenship Learning Project
CI $34,000
This program provides learning opportunities for immigrants planning to apply for Canadian citizenship. The interactive and learner-centred approach helps participants learn about and appreciate Canada. The program (1) helps equip learners for the Citizenship Test and (2) empowers learners with the knowledge, confidence and initiative necessary to participate fully in Canadian society both as beneficiaries and contributors. Classes are offered at low or no cost and in simple English with first language interpretation support to serve marginalized immigrants who face financial and language barriers.

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ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNING: $245,008

Bow Valley College
Computer Enhanced ESL Literacy
ELL $44,405
The aim of this program is twofold: (1) to reach financially barriered adult ELL learners who have low literacy skills and demonstrate a need for further educational opportunities, and (2) to address effective ways of integrating technology skills within adult ELL literacy learning. This program offers small group ELL literacy instruction taught by qualified instructors with a focus on increasing reading, writing and digital literacy skills.

Bow Valley College
ESL Volunteer Tutor Program
ELL $30,498
The ESL Volunteer Tutor Program provides part-time ELL tutoring in an informal, small group format, focusing on improving learners’ listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. The program addresses the needs of immigrant seniors and the working poor. The convenient downtown location and daytime/weekend schedules make it accessible to learners, and the use of trained volunteers paired with qualified supervision provides a cost effective means of delivery.

Bow Valley College
Volunteer ESL Tutor Training Project
ELL $23,808
The partners behind this program are four organizations with longstanding ELL volunteer tutor programs: Bow Valley College, YWCA, Calgary Catholic Immigration Society and the Calgary Public Library. Through their collaboration, these partners identify and address the volunteer ELL training needs in Calgary. The resulting program offers six volunteer training workshops per year for people who volunteer in many organizations that offer volunteer-led ELL tutorials. The project also manages a volunteer website called VESL.ca to ensure ongoing volunteer development is supported throughout Calgary.

Calgary Chinese Community Service Association
Stepping Stones: Forward into the Community
ELL $55,085
Working with Chinese and Afghani learners, this unique program consists of small, learner-centered ELL classes for linguistically homogenous learners who have little or no formal education in their first language. Language delivery is by a trained bilingual facilitator of the same culture as the learners, with competency in both English and in the learners’ first language. The program coordinator, who possesses the experience and training in ESL/Literacy, works onsite with the bilingual facilitators to create the base curriculum and support the facilitators to use their first language as a bridge to ESL literacy.

Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association
Pebbles in the Sand
ELL $59,800
This is an ELL Literacy program for immigrant and refugee women who have very low literacy skills (0 – 7 years of education in their home countries) and who face multiple barriers to transition to higher level training and education. The program uses a learner-directed approach which encourages participants to become decision makers in their own educational process. The program is geared toward providing necessary, basic life and language skills that are vital to daily living in Canada. Another funder provides free pre-school childcare for program participants.

YWCA of Calgary
English for New Canadians
ELL $31,412
Program is has been closed. This program provided holistic, learner-centred opportunities for immigrants and new Canadian citizens. The curriculum provides instruction in basic English proficiency, essential skills and computer literacy. The program strove to address identified community issues and to support bridging learners to a level of English language ability that will lead to employment, if that is their goal. The program offered part-time classes to learners with Canadian Language Benchmarks Pre-Benchmark to CLB 4 at the time of registration. Weekday and Saturday classes were delivered at the YWCA’s 5th Avenue location in downtown Calgary.

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EMPLOYABILITY ENHANCEMENT: $259,377

Calgary Catholic Immigration Society
Computer Training for Employment
EE $48,400
This program provides affordable computer training to low-income learners who wish to enhance their competitiveness in the job market. Courses start from foundational skills and include such programs as: Intro to Computers, Intro to Windows 7, Internet and E-mail, MS Outlook 2010, MS Word 2010 (foundation), MS Excel 2010 (foundation) and Keyboarding.

Calgary John Howard Society
Learning Education Enhancement Program
EE $63,793
LEEP is a three-week employment program to provide ex-offenders and other disadvantaged individuals with the tools needed to succeed in the workforce and in their personal lives. LEEP offers (1) employment preparation skills training, (2) industry ticket training (H2S Alive, Petroleum Safety Training, First Aid level C with CPR), (3) financial literacy training, (4) basic level Alternatives to Violence (AVP) training and (5) Intro to computers. LEEP balances training with sessions that develop skills for obtaining/ maintaining employment and enhancing economic and personal stability.

Calgary Public Library
Digital Literacy in the Community
EE $45,000
In partnership with 34 local social service agencies, a team of 21 specially-trained instructors bring computer training to accessible locations across Calgary in order to reach learners who may otherwise not have access to such programming. The small-group instruction in DLIC classes enables learners to overcome multiple barriers to learning such as learning disabilities, low-literacy skills and language barriers. Partner agencies choose from a wide selection of free two-hour computer training workshops based on the needs and interests of their clients. Classes are offered in on-site computer labs when possible, or utilize laptops provided by the Library. Workshop topics range from basic computing to social media and job search.

Elizabeth Fry Society of Calgary
SAGE: Women’s Emotional Wellness and Employment Readiness Program
EE $39,184
SAGE is a 12-week full-time employment readiness program that assists Indigenouswomen who struggle with securing employment due to barriers related to literacy, trauma and involvement with the criminal justice system. The program is delivered in four components: (1) Functional Skills, (2) Emotional Self-Expression and Personal Development, (3) Employment Skills and (4) Cultural Supports.

Momentum
Business Development for Foundational Learners
EE $63,000
Business Development for Foundational Learners is a suite of programs consisting of Business Basics (15-hour or 30-hour option) and ABCs of Small Business. These programs are positioned for individuals requiring scaled-down business concepts for their simple business models. The continuum of training options within this package allows learners to gradually build their skills, confidence, and business ability. Calgary Learns supports Business Basics 30 and ABCs of Small Business. Business Basics 15 is funded through other sources.

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2015 MAIN INITIATIVE STREAM GRANTS: $78,703

Bow Valley College
‘Answers May Vary’ Guidebook and Tutorial Video Pilot Project
ABL  $19,145
This initiative is the second (piloting) phase of a 2014 Initiative project that built a Literacy and Essential Skills (LES) guidebook and tutorial videos designed to help adults with disabilities improve their reading and writing skills. This 2015 project will engage and guide clients and key agency support workers at three disability serving agencies to pilot the guidebook and tutorial videos. Through the efforts of clients and their support workers involved in the project, these agencies can take more ownership of the strategies and resources they use to incorporate LES into daily activities. Likewise, adult learners with disabilities will have increased access to supported learning opportunities that are relevant to their daily lives, fun, interesting and that build each individual’s identity as a learner.

Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association
Skills, Needs and Progress with ESL Literacy Learners: Informative Assessment Tools
ELL  $20,000
Teachers refer ESL learners to learning support services for a needs assessment who appear to be making limited progress despite their best efforts. This project is to research and develop an ESL Literacy assessment/information tool that will specify where in the foundational continuum of ESL literacy the learner lies and what skills the learner is able to do. The outcome of the proposed needs assessment is an individualized learning plan that includes recommended strategies for the teacher. Furthermore, it will identify the next set of literacy skills that the learner must work on in order to progress within the literacy skills continuum. The tool will assist instructors to better adapt instructional plans to ESL literacy learners’ skill development needs.

Canadian National Institute for the Blind
Path to Independence: Foundational Literacy for the Blind and Partially Sighted Low-Income Adults in Calgary
CI   $7,558
This project will help eight economically vulnerable, blind or partially sighted adults with essential and foundational learning skills on the following core pillars: (1) Vision loss-related reading, writing and communication skills, (2) Utilization of techniques and uses of appropriate technologies, (3) Social skills and self-advocacy. This is a new CNIB initiative that works through an evidence-based skills training approach in both one-on-one and group settings. Through this pilot, CNIB will be able to meet the needs of a vulnerable client group.

Further Education Society of Alberta
First Steps to Financial Empowerment: Preparing Foundational Learners for Financial Success
ABL  $12,000
Very few financial literacy learning opportunities exist for learners at the lowest levels of literacy who want to improve their money management skills. This project will research and develop two or three modules to augment and finalize FESA’s Basic Financial Literacy manual, which currently exists in draft form. The new modules, including one on understanding credit, will each be piloted iteratively three times, incorporating feedback from instructors and participants from the pilots to modify the curriculum and improve subsequent delivery.

Immigrant Services Calgary
Citizenship Instruction for Low Level Learners
CI  $20,000
This project develops foundational learning tools to provide additional learning support to low level learners who are facing difficulties in the agency’s current Citizenship Learning Program. The project will produce (1) A manual consisting of a curriculum framework, lesson plans and activities (based on the federal government’s Discover Canada Study Guide) targeting learners of CLB level 2/3, (2) Training for instructors of the existing Citizenship Learning Program on how to use the curriculum manual and implement effective strategies in current classroom settings to help learners with low English proficiency achieve better learning outcomes.

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2015 INDIGENOUS INITIATIVE  GRANTS: $120,000

Aborigianl Literacy and Foundational Learning (ALFL)

Aboriginal Futures Career and Training Centre
Aboriginal Workplace Learning Circle
ALFL  $20,000

This project is a continuation of existing programs that Aboriginal Futures delivers to support urban Indigenous people to enhance their employment skills, self-sufficiency and independence. This pilot was offered in the past but has not had the funding to run in over a year. The Aboriginal Workplace Learning Circle project will deliver two-six week long sessions to assist low income, low literacy, “unskilled”, multi-barrier Indigenous learners develop skills for success to return to work, enter school or training. Utilizing the nine essential skills in conjunction with many lessons, learners will engage in understanding workplace protocols, effective communication, conflict resolution and problem solving. Appropriate Indigenous perspectives will be incorporated to equip learners with techniques to stay balanced, set defined goals and success measures that are learner centric.

Bridges Social Development (Canada Bridges)
Preparing the Lodge: Decolonizing Academic Assessment & Learning for Indigenous Learners
ALFL $20,000

In partnership, Bridges and St. Mary’s University will develop the capacity of faculty, staff and  students at both organizations to better understand safe and culturally relevant assessment of Indigenous learners, as well as work collaboratively with low-income adult learners. Canada Bridges runs programs with young Indigenous adults in the areas of pre-employment and confidence building that is culturally relevant. St. Mary’s has experience working with foundational learners in their Humanities 101 programming and recognizes that there are learners who are not yet ready to enter into a university classroom. A key objective of this research project will be to develop appropriate assessments and tools to measure progress in foundational learning; both in how they measure and what indicators to look for. This project will also include a feasibility assessment to determine whether a long term partnership between St. Mary’s University and Bridges could be developed to deliver a transitional and life readiness program for low-income Indigenous learners moving from reserve to Calgary.

Elizabeth Fry Society of Calgary
Indigenous Cultural Supports: Blackfoot Language and Literacy
ALFL $20,000

The Blackfoot Language and Literacy pilot supports cultural reconnection through identity, while integrating literacy and language as a tool for creating personal and professional success. This pilot project will support engagement with learning for those that have not previously excelled in learning environments, and who have been separated from their cultural due to such interruptions as residential schools, adoptions or foster care. Essential skill building via the acquisition of Blackfoot language will also be supported and will allow for program content that will be learner centric and culturally relevant. Integrated into their existing Indigenous Cultural Supports programming this pilot will encompass learning through oral communication, written communication, reading, and experiential learning modalities. Re-enforcing Indigenous language into the foundation of programming assists with cultural reconnection to enhance the potential of personal well-being and self confidence.

Further Education Society of Alberta
Strong Roots: An Integrated Family Learning Model for Aboriginal Families
ALFL $20,000

This demonstration project pilots a holistic, integrated learning model for Indigenous parents who will build essential skills as they focus on parenting. This is a joint project in collaboration between Further Education Society and the Calgary Board of Education (CBE) at the Catherine Nicholls Gunn School. Within this project, there are also potential partnerships that may occur with Inn from the Cold and Rainbow Lodge Metis Housing that serve Indigenous families in the immediate area and whose children attend the school. The capacity of parents, families, CBE staff and community partners will be raised to understand Indigenous foundational learning needs with strategies to assist parents to build their own and their children’s literacy skills. Confidence in parenting skills and support of their children’s progress at school while building literacy and foundational skills for themselves will assist parents to build deeper connections to their children’s school, other families, and community organizations.

Métis Calgary Family Services (MCFS)
Creation of an Investment Strategy & Framework to Guide Calgary Learns’ Indigenous Literacy (Literacy & Foundational Learning for Indigenous Adults)
ALFL $40,000
MCFS with a team of Indigenous researchers will develop an investment strategy and framework with tangible tools and indicators against which assessment of future Calgary Learns Indigenous proposals may be measured. This will assist Calgary Learns to attract, assess and fund effective and culturally relevant programs with real social and learning impact. The following components will be examined and included:
1) The intersection and impact of past policies of assimilation and colonization in educational learning overall among contemporary Indigenous people
2) Reasons behind lower literacy rates, examined from the context of Indigenous perspectives, delivery mechanisms, and best practices
3) Creation of investment frameworks and tools that integrate principles of reconciliation and Indigenous methodologies of healing, reconciliation and resurgence as tools for success
4) Develop direction for CL in partnership with current stakeholders in literacy field (co-creation in strategy and relationship) for organizations that build capacity towards Indigenous programming
5) Develop the program/project assessment tools that assists CL to build capacity with current and potential deliverers of Indigenous adult learning.

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2014 Funding

Adult Basic Literacy – Total ABL funding: $264,021

Bow Valley College – Adult Basic Literacy Education (ABLE) $7,420
ABLE a part-time, non-credit classroom-based program where adults with disabilities work alongside their non-disabled peers. Learners work on reading, writing and spelling within modules such as voting, looking for work, health and nutrition. This small grant supports the inclusion of Financial Literacy/Basic Math within the ABLE program one morning a week.

Bow Valley College – Lifeline to Literacy $22,577 – 2nd year of three year funding
Lifeline to Literacy is an evening program that meets the needs of adult students who are seeking to improve their emerging literacy skills. The program is for those whose reading, writing and math skills are below the grade seven level. It is a non-credit program for adults who are unable to access other academic programs because the literacy level of the course is too high, learning pace is too fast, or courses are too expensive.

Bow Valley College – Speech-Assisted Reading and Writing $30,895 – 2nd year of three year funding
There are few things as important as a person’s ability to communicate their thoughts, feelings and experiences. SARAW is an adult literacy program that teaches basic reading, writing and math skills to adults with physical and/or developmental disabilities. It is designed for adults reading at below grade seven. Each learner works one-on-one with a tutor in a special classroom equipped with assistive technology.

Calgary John Howard Society – Literacy Program $59,794 – 3rd year of three year funding
This program provides foundational learning through literacy instruction to two learner populations: (1) individuals incarcerated at the Calgary Remand Centre receive weekly one-on-one literacy sessions and (2) at-risk individuals living in the community attend weekly ‘drop-in’ group sessions offered in partnership with Inn from the Cold.

Calgary John Howard Society – Words to Success $14,035
This program provides basic literacy skills training for selected individuals who are incarcerated at the Calgary Correctional Centre (CCC). Literacy facilitators work with learners in one-on-one sessions. The goals of the program are that learners improve literacy skills and gain confidence to continue literacy learning. Participants are monitored as to progress and feelings of accomplishment. Further direction is available to participants upon release from CCC.

Further Education Society of Alberta – Family Literacy Program $91,800 – 3rd year of three year funding
This program presents well-researched parenting and literacy information in a strengths-based, competency-building, culturally sensitive manner through four program models: Literacy and Parenting Skills (LAPS), Parent Child Mother Goose, Homespun and Books for Babies/ Jumpstart. LAPS also offers specially adapted programs for Indigenous and ESL learners. Programming is offered throughout the city in partnership with numerous community groups and organizations that provide services for at-risk parents. Programs are individualized to suit each group. Parents build their own literacy and parenting skills and model good literacy practices with their children. Facilitators share information about future learning opportunities to encourage further education in areas of interest to participants.

Mount Royal University – Transitional Vocational Program, Adult Basic Education $30,000
The part-time Adult Basic Literacy Program supports adults with developmental disabilities to achieve their literacy and numeracy learning goals. Students meet with instructors to develop individual program plans based on student interest and need. Instructors incorporate adult learning principles and strive for optimal student engagement that can maximize their foundational learning. An underlying goal of the program is to foster a positive environment whereby students enhance their self-esteem, social skill development, and appreciation of lifelong learning.

Youville Recovery Residence for Women – Youville Literacy Program $7,500 – NEW
This program helps Youville residents who present with poor language skills, reading comprehension and spelling. After a basic assessment, individuals work one-on-one with a qualified teacher, using a specialized teaching machine that uses a self-voice echo feedback technique. Each client receives 20 one-hour sessions, and practices reading and playing back material on cassette recorders between sessions.

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Community Issues – Total CI funding: $207,000

Association of the Inside Out Integrated Theatre Project – Inside Out Integrated Theatre $15,000
This community-based program provides accessible, learner-centred theatre training opportunities for adults with disabilities. The objective is to support participants in the development of communication and learning opportunities. Their stories and their day-to-day issues are brought to light through theatre training. The program emphasizes theatre process as a means of education and development. Ultimately, performance experiences allow learners to test, enhance and showcase their learning.

Calgary SCOPE Society – Integrated Community Kitchen $15,000
This program provides a learning environment for individuals with dual diagnosis developmental disabilities on AISH. These individuals might not otherwise have an opportunity to develop skills in meal planning, meal preparation, kitchen hygiene and safe food handling. Learners initially identify foundational skills and goals and then work together with staff using customized learning programs to achieve these goals. The learners also face financial barriers limiting their ability to make healthy food choices and to prepare healthy meals. The program also provides them with low cost healthy meals each month.

Canadian Mental Health Association – Peer Options Workshops $25,000
This program provides a guided foundational learning continuum in three phases for individuals with mental disorders. (1) the Art of Friendship: a nine week psycho-educational workshop that introduces the essential skills of interpersonal relationship building. Graduates transition to the community or to actively participate in (2) the weekly Circle of Friends: a peer support group where they practice and enhance their acquired skills. (3) The final phase of this learning continuum facilitates learners wanting to give back to their community by becoming Peer Mentor Volunteers. These volunteers are trained as group facilitators, telephone connection providers, program developers and mentors.

Centre for Newcomers Society of Calgary – Women’s Life Skills Program $22,000 – NEW
This program offers a weekly group-based learning experience for newcomer women who face social isolation due to limited coping skills and learning strategies. The program targets women who are not eligible for employment-oriented programs, or who are not (or not yet) in a position to enter the labour market. Each class session is a structured discussion around topics from participants’ lives and focused on developing skills in self-awareness, communication and problem-solving.

Deaf & Hard of Hearing Society – Family-focused Sign Language Instruction $10,000
Family-focused Sign Language Instruction allows adults (family members, caregivers and close family friends of a Deaf individual – either a child or adult) to learn American Sign Language, strengthening their capacity to interact positively and communicate in a meaningfully way. Communicative ability, including vocabulary, emphasis and grammar is the intent of this informal course which relies heavily on participant input for its direction and focus. The course also employs games and exercises to provide participants with practice and reinforcement.

Families Matter Society – Community-Based Family Education $90,000
This program is comprised of 16 parenting courses that cover a diverse range of topics and skill areas to meet the needs of a broad range of human developmental stages and family life transitions. In order to facilitate relationship-building, and increase confidence and understanding, courses are a minimum of three sessions long, with most being between 5 and 10 sessions. Courses are available to all families in Calgary and are held in local community venues and in partner organization facilities. Of the 2,000+ registrants each year, approximately 85% qualify for subsidy based on income verification. Program subsidies are calculated on a sliding scale through the enrollment process.

Immigrant Services Calgary – Citizenship Learning Project $30,000
This program provides learning opportunities for immigrants who plan to apply for Canadian citizenship. The interactive and learner-centred approach helps participants to increase their knowledge and appreciation of Canada. The program (1) helps equip learners for the Citizenship Test and (2) empowers learners with the knowledge, confidence and initiative necessary to participate fully in Canadian society as both beneficiaries and contributors. Classes are offered at low or no cost and in simple English with first language interpretation support to serve marginalized immigrants who face financial and language barriers.

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English Language Learning – Total ELL funding: $308,794

Bow Valley College – Computer Enhanced ESL Literacy $42,681
The aim of this program is twofold: (1) to reach financially barriered adult ELL learners who have low literacy skills and demonstrate a need for further educational opportunities, and (2) to address effective ways of integrating technology skills within adult ELL literacy learning. This program offers small group ELL literacy instruction taught by qualified instructors with a focus on increasing reading, writing and digital literacy skills.

Bow Valley College – ESL Volunteer Tutor Program $29,314 – 2nd year of three year funding
The ESL Volunteer Tutor Program provides part-time ELL tutoring in an informal, small group format, focusing on improving learners’ listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. The program addresses the needs of immigrant seniors and the working poor. The convenient downtown location and daytime and weekend schedules make it accessible to learners, and the use of trained volunteers and qualified supervision provides a cost effective means of delivery.

Bow Valley College – Volunteer ESL Tutor Training Project $22,797 – 2nd year of three year funding
The partners behind this program are four organizations with longstanding ELL volunteer tutor programs: Bow Valley College, YWCA, Calgary Catholic Immigration Society and the Calgary Public Library. Through their collaboration, these partners identify and address the volunteer ELL training needs in Calgary. The resulting program offers six volunteer training workshops per year for people who volunteer in many organizations that offer volunteer-led ELL tutorials. The project also supports a volunteer website called VESL.ca to ensure ongoing volunteer development is supported throughout Calgary.

Calgary Chinese Community Service Association – Stepping Stones: Forward into the Community $55,015
Working with Chinese and Afghani learners, this unique program consists of small, learner-centered ELL classes for linguistically homogenous learners who have little or no formal education in their first language. Language delivery is by a trained bilingual facilitator of the same culture and first language background of the learners with competency in both English and in their first language. The program coordinator, who possesses the experience and training in ESL/Literacy, works onsite with the bilingual facilitators to create the base curriculum and support the facilitators to use their first language as a bridge to ESL literacy.

Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association – Pebbles in the Sand $58,987 – 3rd year of three year funding
Pebbles in the Sand is an ELL Literacy program for immigrant and refugee women who have very low literacy skills (0 – 7 years of education in their home countries) and face multiple barriers to transition to higher level training and education. The program uses a learner-directed approach which encourages participants to become decision makers in their own educational process. The program is geared toward providing necessary, basic life and language skills that are vital to daily living in Canada. In order to further reduce barriers in accessing programming, another funder provides free pre-school childcare for program participants.

YWCA of Calgary – English for New Canadians $100,000
This program provides instruction in practical English communication and basic computer literacy skills to help learners develop and enhance their English language proficiency. The curriculum is designed to address the specific learner needs in each class, including language needs in social and cultural contexts as well as Essential Skills such as computer literacy, working together and continuous learning. Part-time classes range in ESL levels from Canadian Language Benchmarks pre-benchmark to level 4+. Classes are delivered at YWCA’s downtown location on weekdays and weekends.

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Employability Enhancement – Total EE funding: $248,485

Calgary Catholic Immigration Society – Computer Training for Employment $4,750
This program provides low-cost hands-on instruction to low-income learners who wish to strengthen their competitiveness in the job market by enhancing their computer and employability skills. The courses range from basic foundational skills to more advanced learning, and cover the following topics: Intro to Computers, Intro to Windows XP and Internet/ E-mail, MS Word (foundation), MS EXCEL (foundation), and Keyboarding. A few higher-level courses are also available: MS ACCESS (foundation), MS Office (advanced), MS PowerPoint, and MS Publisher.

Calgary Immigrant Educational Society – Computer Combo Program $47,500
This program is comprised of two courses: the 30-hour Essential Computer Skills is designed for individuals with no or limited understanding of computer usage and the 41-hour Computer Skills for Employment – for individuals with basic computer knowledge and who want to learn MS Word, Excel, job search, business communication and the Canadian workplace environment. The program serves financially challenged, low skilled and unemployed adults residing in in the greater Forest Lawn area and in northeast Calgary.

Calgary John Howard Society – Learning Education Enhancement Program $61,935 – 3rd year of three year funding
LEEP is a 3-week employment program to provide ex-offenders and other disadvantaged individuals with the tools needed to succeed in the workforce. LEEP offers (1) employment preparation skills training, (2) industry ticket training (H2S Alive, Construction Safety Training System ticket with generic WHMIS, First Aid level C with CPR), (3) financial literacy training, and (4) basic level Alternatives to Violence (AVP) training. LEEP balances training with sessions that develop skills for obtaining/ maintaining employment and enhancing economic and personal stability. The skills sessions include an introduction to computers.

Calgary Public Library – Digital Literacy in the Community $26,000
Using a mobile technology lab, this program takes the Library’s computer training programs ‘on the road’ to key partner agencies that serve low-income foundational learners. Six laptop computers and one data projector are used to provide free two-hour computer training workshops as selected by the partner agencies based on the needs and interests of their clients. Experienced library staff teach the classes on the partner agencies’ premises, utilizing in-house computer labs wherever possible. Workshop topics range from basic computing to social media and job search.

Momentum – Business Development for Foundational Learners $60,000
Business Development for Foundational Learners is a package of programs consisting of Business Basics (15-hour or 30-hour option) and ABCs of Small Business. These programs are positioned for individuals requiring scaled-down business concepts for their simple business models. The continuum of training options within this package allows learners to gradually build their skills, confidence, and business ability. Calgary Learns supports Business Basics 30 and ABCs of Small Business. Business Basics 15 is funded through other sources.

Vecova Centre for Disability Services and Research – Digital Literacy Program $5,550 – NEW
This program for persons with developmental disabilities is designed to increase employability skills and contribute to participants’ overall material wellbeing. The program includes an introduction to basic computer skills in order to develop a résumé and cover letter, an introduction to the Internet, setting up an email account and conducting online job searches, and how to use social media to enhance employment opportunities.

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Total 2014 Initiative Grant Allocations: $37,776

Bow Valley College – Answers May Vary’ Guidebook/Video Project
ABL $10,000
This project is to create a small guidebook and series of short videos that will help adults with disabilities improve their reading and writing skills. These will be supplementary course materials for volunteer tutors to use with SARAW program literacy students in and out of class. The guidebook and videos suggest successful strategies and resources that literacy tutors can use, including ideas for incorporating literacy skill-buidling activities into daily life. For example, in class, at the zoo, at a restaurant, on the bus. These resources are based on the current “Answers May Vary” research and the previous “Literacy and Disability Study research” and will be made available to anyone interested.

Calgary John Howard Society – Community Anger Management Program Pilot
CI $10,000
This project is a series of piloted courses of the Community Anger Management (CAM) program for at-risk and justice system-involved adults. The pilots will be offered at various times (day-time / evenings / weekends) and/or configurations (e.g., possibly female or male-only) to determine how best to meet the needs of voluntary and court-mandated learners. CAM will provide adults in this population with the knowledge, techniques, and resources to effectively understand and control their anger issues.

CanLearn Society  – Taking Charge Program, Curriculum Development
CI $10,000
This project will create a participatory curriculum for foundational learners experiencing multiple poverty-related disadvantages. The curriculum will be developed in collaboration with the Sunrise Community Link Resource Centre’s staff and clients. The potential learners will be involved in curriculum development at every stage of the process, from deciding the content, methods and processes of instruction to participating in evaluation.
Families Matter Society – Starting Young, Staying Strong
CI $7,776
This is a project to create an 8-week program for young parents (ages 18-23) to provide information, resources and support in the specific challenges that youth parents face. Topics will include healthy and respectful communication and problem solving, self-esteem and self-advocacy, fathering identity through Families Matter’s ‘Be a Great Dad’ overview on positive role modeling, family budgeting, healthy sexual health and communication, and then a final celebration combined with a ‘next steps’ facilitated conversation.

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2013 Funding

  • Total 2013 Program grant allocations: $1,025,575

Adult Basic Literacy (ABL) – Total ABL Funding: $282,321

Bow Valley College – Adult Basic Literacy Education (ABLE) $7,420 – NEW
ABLE a part-time, non-credit classroom-based program where adults with disabilities work alongside their non-disabled peers. Learners work on reading, writing and spelling within modules such as voting, looking for work, health and nutrition. This small grant supports the inclusion of Financial Literacy/Basic Math component within the larger ABLE program which is funded through other sources.

Bow Valley College – Lifeline to Literacy $22,577 – 1st year of three year funding
Lifeline to Literacy is an evening program that meets the needs of adult students who are seeking to improve their emerging literacy skills. The program is for those whose reading, writing and math skills are below the grade seven level. It is a non-credit program for adults who are unable to access other academic programs because the literacy level of the course is too high, learning pace is too fast, or courses are too expensive.

Bow Valley College – Speech-Assisted Reading and Writing $30,895 – 1st year of three year funding
There are few things as important as a person’s ability to communicate their thoughts, feelings and experiences. SARAW is an adult literacy program that teaches basic reading, writing and math skills to adults with physical and/or developmental disabilities. It is designed for adults reading at below grade seven. Each learner works one-on-one with a tutor in a special classroom equipped with assistive technology.

Calgary John Howard Society – Learning Opportunities Program $59,794 – 2nd year of three year funding
This program provides foundational learning through literacy instruction to two learner populations: (1) Individuals incarcerated at the Calgary Remand Centre through weekly one-on-one literacy sessions (21 – 24 hours per week) and (2) At-risk individuals living in the community through weekly ‘drop-in’ group sessions offered in partnership with Inn from the Cold (twice weekly sessions).

Calgary John Howard Society – Words to Success  $29,035
This program provides basic literacy skills training for selected individuals who are incarcerated at the Calgary Correctional Centre (CCC). Literacy facilitators work with learners in one-on-one sessions. The goals of the program are that learners improve literacy skills and gain confidence to continue literacy learning. Participants are monitored as to progress and feelings of accomplishment. Further direction is available to participants upon release from CCC.

Further Education Society of Alberta – Family Literacy Program $91,800 – 2nd year of three year funding
This program presents well-researched parenting and literacy information in a strengths-based, competency-building, culturally sensitive manner through four program models: Literacy and Parenting Skills (LAPS), Parent Child Mother Goose, Homespun and Books for Babies/ Jumpstart. LAPS also offers specially adapted programs for Indigenous and ESL learners. Programming is offered throughout the city in partnership with numerous community groups and organizations that provide services for at-risk parents. Programs are individualized to suit each group. Parents building their own literacy and parenting skills and model good literacy practices with their children. Facilitators share information about future learning opportunities to encourage further education in areas of interest to participants.

Mount Royal University – Transitional Vocational Program $40,800
The part-time Adult Basic Literacy Program supports adults with developmental disabilities to achieve their literacy and numeracy learning goals. Students meet with instructors to develop individual program plans based on student interest and need. Instructors incorporate adult learning principles and strive for optimal student engagement that can maximize their foundational learning. An underlying goal of the program is to foster a positive environment whereby students enhance their self-esteem, social skill development, and appreciation of lifelong learning.

Community Issues (CI) – Total CI Funding: $202,189

Association of Inside Out Integrated Theatre Project – Inside Out Integrated Theatre $25,000
This community-based program provides accessible, learner-centred theatre training opportunities for adults with disabilities. The objective is to support participants in the development of communication and learning opportunities. Their stories and their day-to-day issues are brought to light through theatre training. The program emphasizes theatre process as a means of education and development. Ultimately, performance experiences allow learners to test, enhance and showcase their learning.

Calgary SCOPE Society – Integrated Community Kitchen $14,994
This program provides a learning environment for individuals with dual diagnosis developmental disabilities on AISH. These individuals might not otherwise have an opportunity to develop skills in meal planning, meal preparation, kitchen hygiene and safe food handling. Learners initially identify foundational skills and goals and then work together with staff using customized learning programs to achieve these goals. The learners also face financial barriers limiting their ability to make healthy food choices and to prepare healthy meals. The program provides them with low cost healthy meals each month.

Canadian Mental Health Association – Peer Options Workshops $25,000
This program provides a guided foundational learning continuum for individuals with mental disorders in three phases. (1) the Art of Friendship: a nine week psycho-educational workshop that introduces he essential skills of interpersonal relationship building. Graduates transition to the community or to actively participate in (2) the weekly Circle of Friends: a peer support group where they practice and enhance their acquired skills. (3) The final phase of this learning continuum facilitates learners wanting to give back to their community by becoming Peer Mentor Volunteers. These volunteers are trained as group facilitators, telephone connection providers, program developers and mentors.

Deaf & Hard of Hearing Society – Family-focused Sign Language Instruction $15,625
Family-focused Sign Language Instruction allows adults (family members, caregivers and close family friends of a Deaf individual – either a child or adult) to learn American Sign Language, strengthening their capacity to interact positively and communicate in a meaningfully way. Communicative ability, including vocabulary, emphasis and grammar is the intent of this informal course which responds to participant input for its direction and focus. The course also employs games and exercises to provide participants with practice and reinforcement.

Families Matter Society – Community-Based Family Education $90,000
This program is comprised of approximately 40 parenting workshops, courses, seminars and groups covering a diverse range of topics and skill areas to meet the needs of a broad range of human developmental stages and family life transitions. Programs are available to all families in Calgary and are held in local community venues and in partner organization facilities. Of the approximately 2,000 learners who access this program, 80-85% qualify for subsidy based on income verification. Program subsidies are calculated on a sliding scale through the registration process with authentication of earnings being a requirement.

Immigrant Services Calgary – Citizenship Learning Project $31,570
This program provides learning opportunities for immigrants who plan to apply for Canadian citizenship. The interactive and learner-centred approach helps participants to increase their knowledge and appreciation of Canada. The program (1) helps equip learners for the Citizenship Test and (2) empowers learners with the knowledge, confidence and initiative necessary to participate fully in Canadian society as both beneficiaries and contributors. Classes are offered at low or no cost and in simple English with first language interpretation support to serve marginalized immigrants who face financial and language barriers.

Employability Enhancement (EE) – Total EE Funding: $231,294

Calgary Catholic Immigration Society – Computer Training for Employment $34,215
This program provides low-cost instruction to low-income learners who wish to strengthen their competitiveness in the job market by enhancing their computer and employability skills. The courses range from basic foundational skills to more advanced learning, and cover the following topics: Intro to Computers, Intro to Windows XP and Internet/ E-mail, MS Word (foundation), MS EXCEL (foundation), and Keyboarding. A few higher-level courses are also available: MS ACCESS (foundation), MS Office (advanced), MS PowerPoint, and MS Publisher.

Calgary Immigrant Educational Society – Computer Combo Program $48,835
This program is comprised of two courses: Computer Technology Made Practical and MS Word & Excel. These Saturday courses teach computer skill and knowledge to economically disadvantaged adults in the greater Forest Lawn area. Each 30-hour training provides instruction and hands-on learning activities such as components of a computer, keyboarding, functions of Windows XP, basic Internet, MS Word and Excel.

Calgary John Howard Society – Learning Education Enhancement Program  $61,935 – 2nd year of three year funding
LEEP is a 3-week employment program to provide ex-offenders and other disadvantaged individuals with the tools needed to succeed in the workforce. LEEP offers (1) employment preparation skills training, (2) industry ticket training (H2S Alive, Construction Safety Training System ticket with generic WHMIS, First Aid level C with CPR), (3) financial literacy training, and (4) basic level Alternatives to Violence (AVP) training. LEEP balances training with sessions that develop skills for obtaining/ maintaining employment and enhancing economic and personal stability. The skills sessions include an introduction to computers.

Calgary Public Library – Digital Literacy in the Community $25,395
Using a mobile technology lab, this program takes the Library’s computer training programs “on the road” to key partner agencies that serve low-income foundational learners. Six laptop computers and one data projector are used to provide free two-hour computer training workshops as selected by the partner agencies based on the needs and interests of their clients. Experienced library staff teach the classes on the partner agencies’ premises. Workshop topics range from basic computing to social media and job search.

Momentum – Business Development for Foundational Learners $60,914
Business Development for Foundational Learners is a package of programs consisting of Business Basics (15 hr or 30 hr option) and ABCs of Small Business. These programs are positioned for individuals requiring scaled-down business concepts for their simple business models. The continuum of training options within this package allows learners to gradually build their skills, confidence, and business ability. Calgary Learns supports Business Basics 30 and ABCs of Small Business. Business Basics 15 receives funding through other sources.

English Language Learning (ELL) – Total ELL Funding: $309,771

Bow Valley College – Computer Enhanced ESL Literacy $42,681 – 1st year of three year funding
The aim of this program is twofold: (1) to reach financially barriered adult ELL learners who have low literacy skills and demonstrate a need for further educational opportunities, and (2) to address effective ways of integrating technological skills within adult ELL literacy learning. This program offers small group ELL literacy instruction taught by qualified instructors with a focus on increasing reading, writing and digital literacy skills.

Bow Valley College – ESL Volunteer Tutor Program $29,314 – 1st year of three year funding
The ESL Volunteer Tutor Program provides part-time ELL tutoring in an informal, small group format, focusing on improving learners’ listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. This long-standing program addresses the needs of immigrant seniors and the working poor. The convenient downtown location and daytime and weekend schedules make it accessible to learners, and the use of trained volunteers and qualified supervision provides a cost effective means of delivery.

Bow Valley College – Volunteer ESL Tutor Training Project $22,797 – 1st year of three year funding
The four partners in this program are organizations with long standing ELL volunteer tutor programs: Bow Valley College, YWCA, Calgary Catholic Immigration Society and the Calgary Public Library. Through their collaboration, these partners identify and address the volunteer ELL training needs in Calgary. The resulting program offers six volunteer training workshops per year for people who volunteer in many organizations that offer volunteer-led ELL tutorials. The project also supports a volunteer website called VESL.ca to ensure ongoing volunteer development is supported throughout Calgary.

Calgary Chinese Community Service Association – Stepping Stones: Forward into the Community $55,060
Working with Mandarin, Cantonese and Afghani learners, this unique program consists of small, learner-centered ELL classes for linguistically homogenous learners who have little or no formal education in their first language. Language delivery is by a trained bilingual facilitator of the same culture and first language background of the learners with competency in both English and in their first language. The program coordinator, who possesses the experience and training in ESL/Literacy, works onsite with the bilingual facilitators to create the base curriculum and support the facilitators to use their first language as a bridge to ESL literacy.

Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association – Pebbles in the Sand  $58,987 – 2nd year of three year funding
Pebbles in the Sand is an ELL Literacy program for immigrant and refugee women who have very low literacy skills (0 – 7 years of education in their home countries) and face multiple barriers to transition to higher level training and education. The program uses a learner-directed approach called REFLECT. This encourages participants to become decision makers in their own educational process. The program is geared toward providing necessary, basic life and language skills that are vital to daily living in Canada. In order to further reduce barriers in accessing programming, Pebbles provides free pre-school childcare for program participants.

YWCA of Calgary – English for New Canadians $100,932
This program provides instruction in practical English communication and basic computer literacy skills to help learners develop and enhance their English language proficiency. The curriculum is designed to address the specific learner needs in each class, including language needs in social and cultural contexts as well as Essential Skills such as computer literacy, working together and continuous learning. Part-time classes range in ESL levels from Canadian Language Benchmarks pre-benchmark to level 4+, targeting many learners with low literacy. Classes are delivered at YWCA’s downtown location on weekdays and weekends.

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