Wednesday, November 16, 2005

SFLO November Newsletter

Here it is!!!!


Hi there! Students for Literacy Ottawa has much to celebrate after a fantastic launch this Fall. All of our programs are now in motion and, as this newsletter’s program updates will tell you, our volunteers and learners are having a blast.

This month’s highlight is a celebratory pub night on Sunday, November 27th, at 8:00pm at the Royal Oak on Laurier. Details are included below.

You’ll also want to take note of the dates where our programs will “pause” for exams and the holiday season.

Thanks again for all the energy and ideas you’ve contributed to this Fall’s Ottawa programs! Give yourself a pat on the back, a thumbs up in the mirror, and a big piece of chocolate. (You deserve them all!)




And now, a word from our Program Coordinators… (Warning: the words that follow are incredibly encouraging and enthusiastic. Read at your own discretion.)

The Centretown Scoop

The Centretown Community Health Centre Reading Circle is half-way through its 8-week run, and we're still having fun! We see up to 5 children along with their caregivers each week: 1 girl and 4 boys ranging in age from 18 months to 3 years. We now have our full contingent of volunteer readers which means that we get to interact 1-on-1 with our young attendees. They are a varied group: one native English speaker, one East Indian, and the rest with a first language of Arabic or Somali. Even the shy ones are comfortable in our cozy room, and join in when we read a lively action book or two, to start the day.

Our "regulars" eagerly check out each week's selection of books, choose a few for us to read, and the time goes quickly by.

Although attendance is down now that the cold weather is here, hopefully the warmth of our welcome will keep 'em coming. Our last day is December 6th and we'll celebrate in fitting fashion by introducing them to Canadians' snack of choice: Timbits.

--Lorna McCrea, Program Coordinator

“Can We Come Back Tomorrow?”

Our Tuesday afternoon homework club at Sawmill Creek Elementary School launched on November 1. I’m not sure who was more excited: the tutors or the learners!

Feedback has been fantastic. Last week, one of our tutors excitedly reported: “My learner did all his homework! He had a lot! But he just got right to work and we got it all done! I was so impressed!”

The word from the learners is equally enthusiastic: “This is fun! I want to do this every night! Can we come back tomorrow?”

--Lyndsay Buehler, Program Coordinator

Can you say FUN???

The Reception House Reading Circle got off to a great start on October 25th. With 10 - 12 participants each week the 5 volunteers have jumped right in in both official languages. One-on-one reading, flash cards, scrabble, dot-to-dot; you name it, we've done it and it's only been 3 weeks. The picture bingo was a sure hit with the older crowd. What better way to increase one's vocabulary than to play full-contact Picture Bingo? Some day this game will become an olympic sport! It really is rewarding to listen to the children having so much fun. Yes, the Reception House Reading Circle is off to a tremendous start.

– Joan Ryan, RC Coordinator

“Going Global” Each Saturday

The Rideau Library Reading Circle began October 22 with six volunteers. Our returning volunteers bring a wealth of experience back to the program and our new volunteers have brought many new ideas with them. Thank you to everyone who chose to volunteer at the Rideau Circle.

So far this year, we have sent postcards to some of our volunteers from last year currently traveling abroad and have started Learning Passports – a fun new way to document the progress of our learners. We are still looking for children for our program. The program is free and for children 4-8. Anyone wishing more information should contact Lyndsay at 294-9419 or

Keep Reading!

-Louise Hayes, Program Coordinator

The Word at 88 Main Street

The 88 Main Street Reading Circle started up on October 29. The volunteers and the learners were all very eager to do some reading, crafts and games. A big thank you goes out to the Sandy Hill Community Health Centre who have again this year provided Frontier College with a comfortable room, free of charge, for our Reading Circle activities. They have also advertised our Reading Circle in the local community newspaper and local schools. We are confident this will generate a heightened awareness of the Reading Circle activities, and encourage more parents to enroll their children for this great Saturday afternoon get together.

–Cathy Bernier, Program Coordinator


Dates of Note

Dayplanner, Blackberry, Post-Its, or the back of your hand: whatever you use to record important bits of info, you’ll want to have it at the ready.

Below are key dates to note for SFLO in November and December.

November 27 (Sunday) – 8:00pm
PUB NIGHT! (@ THE OAK ON LAURIER) Last month, free nachos were involved! Who knows what kind of crazy volunteer appreciation will happen this time? You won’t want to miss this night. Come out to bust some pre-exam stress….and bring your Scrabble tiles!


Program Last Day/Re-Start Date

Centretown Dec. 5th ‘05
Sawmill Creek Nov. 29th ‘05 Jan. 17th ‘06
Reception House Nov. 25th ‘05 Jan. 20th ‘06
Rideau Library Dec. 3rd ‘05 Jan. 21st ‘06
88 Main Dec. 3rd ‘05 Jan. 21st ‘06
Arch Street ------ Jan. 19th ‘06

2006 PREVIEW….

Keep your calendars cleared for our Literacy Conference on Saturday, January 14th. This is a day of workshops and networking that is free for all of our volunteers. More details will follow, but you’ll want to keep 9:00am to 4:00pm on this day reserved for this special treat.


Exam time’s almost here! A few websites for our pals in procrastination land….

1. The Lint Project

2. Virtual Bubble Wrap

3. Best Daily Cartoon on the Internet

Psst! Did you know that we have a blog?

If you didn’t, I’m sure you’ll want to check it out! Find all the latest news related to SFLO at:

We have a Yahoo group, too!

Join our Yahoo! group and gain instant access to volunteer resources, news updates via e-mail, and even message board discussions with fellow volunteers. If you need help signing up, please let Lyndsay know by e-mailing


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