Thursday, November 03, 2005

Update from SFL UQAM

Hi guys,

Attached is an update from the Students for Literacy Group at the University of Quebec in Montreal...most inspiring (these guys are busy!)


Hi Everyone!

Following this summer's much appreciated conference in Toronto, Frontier College - UQAM decided to publish a monthly newsletter to create a Frontier College community across the campuses and a forum where events and ideas can be shared.

It seemed like the perfect way to build on the energy and motivation created at the conference. In Toronto, we met and learned from our a diverse group of people all working towards a common goal.

Below, you'll find attached to this email the first edition of the newsletter. We hope that you will enjoy reading it and will share it with your colleagues.

We hope to hear from you soon!

UQAM SFL Newsletter

November First Edition 2005 by Noëmi Ral, President and editor, design by Nicolas Tremblay

First of all: hello to the whole Frontier College family

Following our annual conference, held in Toronto, we decided that it was time to establish a link between the Canadian Frontier College campuses. We wanted this for two main reasons.

Firstly, to avoid reinventing the wheel every time we encounter a problem or when we are looking for ideas for fund raising or community awareness. Secondly, we hope that through this newsletter, we can help motivate other campuses and volunteers by keeping them abreast of are activities, so we can all feel like part of the team.

In the news…

As you already know, the 8th of September is International literacy day. On that day, with volunteers from Concordia and l’Université de Montréal, we distributed 1200 brochures to raise awareness concerning the alarmingly high illiteracy rate in Quebec.

Sadly, our other plans (an outdoors scrabble tent, sidewalk graffiti and games) were literally washes away by the rain. On the same day, we represented Frontier College at the RGPAQ symposium on “The impact of neo-liberal politics on education, adult education and literacy” held and the Grande Bibliothèque.

As always, we’ve been working hard on recruitment. The total number of volunteers is slightly down, but still good: 35 new recruits have joined us, 12 in tutoring roles, 10 in reading circles, 4 with homework helpers and 9 with the organizing committee. We also have 3 interns, from communications, human resources and our dear Nicolas, our treasurer from finance. Like every year, despite a couple of exceptions, we haven’t been able to attract any male recruits, so please any (decents!) ideas are welcome to attract the rarest of the rare, the male literacy volunteer.

Also, the Awareness Committee will benefit from the help and inspiration of a former student of Frontier College, Linda Brunet, who will be our official spokesperson. We are very happy to have her with us.

Lastly, our regional coordinator, Diego Gallego, represented us during the public consultations held by Claudette Bradshaw, the Minister of State. Were she met various literacy groups in order to prepare (at last!!!) her national strategy on Literacy.

New initiatives:

We will be represented as an accredited group on the Student Life committee (Frontier College – UQAM also benefits from grants from UQAM) by Stéphanie2, to help promote our interests and our visibility at the university.

The Awareness committee was interviewed by CIBL radio on the 11th of October on the subject of adult literacy in Canada. As we have 25 new students/learners pairs, we were invited to voice our opinion on the status of literacy in Canada and to inform their listeners about our work.

This was also our new Spokesperson’s baptism by fire, she came through with flying colors.

We are working on an eventual collaboration with Art students, which we hope will bring original works of art, canvases, pictures, sculptures etc… with literacy themes that will increase our visibility and help out our young artistes at the same time.

We’ve updated our internet site, adding downloadable exercises for tutors and learners.

We also looked for and found professors with expertise in the literacy field to act as mentors, to help us promote and recruit. They will also present a workshop on Family literacy day in January.

In the spirit of « Montreal, World Book Capital 2005 », we will hold a literacy tent in Complexe Desjardins during the Montreal “All-Nighter”

Lastly, we published an article in the Political Science and Law Students paper and were interviewed by the UQAM radio station, Choq FM, all will the goal of raising awareness about the literacy situation in Canada.

We hope to hear from you soon! Please share you successes, failures (to help us avoid our own) and recommendations! Keep up the good work!


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