Saskatchewan Announces New Literacy Commision

Premier Lorne Calvert today announced the establishment of a new Saskatchewan
Literacy Commission and the SaskSmart – Literacy for Life initiative.

SaskSmart is a new initiative designed to provide all Saskatchewan people with
basic literacy and essential skills they require in English, Mathematics and
Science and Technology. SaskSmart will build on the successes of existing
literacy programs and services in the public, private and volunteer sectors.
This initiative will provide a strong, co-ordinated approach to basic literacy
and essential skills for learners throughout life.

As part of this announcement, Premier Calvert presented Lynda Richards with
the first Saskatchewan Council of the Federation Premier’s Literacy Award for
her courage, perseverance and commitment to increasing her literacy skills.

“Strong literacy skills help to build strong families and communities. The
power of Ms. Richards’ literacy journey to improve her literacy and quality of
life is an inspiration to us all. The impact of her story offers support and
encouragement for all learners. Literacy turned her life around. Not only has
she realized incredible personal achievements, she has also given much back to
the literacy community. The SaskSmart – Literacy for Life initiative will
support others to do what she has done,” Calvert said.

The Saskatchewan Literacy Commission has been established to raise public
awareness of the importance of literacy and provide a strong, co-ordinated
approach to basic literacy and essential skills for learners throughout life.
The Commission will direct the SaskSmart-Literacy for Life initiative.

“Literacy is crucial to the success of each citizen and the province.
SaskSmart will concentrate on the life-long development of essential skills
through early learning and child care initiatives, in formal K – 12 education,
in apprenticeship programs, in post-secondary education and skills training,
adult basic education, learning in the workplace, family literacy and senior
years literacy,” Calvert said.

“Saskatchewan’s economy is growing at a remarkable rate. In order to ensure
that Saskatchewan people can take full advantage of this growth we need to
make sure they have the appropriate skills to participate fully in the social
and economic life of the province. Basic and advanced literacy skills are
essential to ensuring our economy and our communities continue to grow,”
Learning Minister Andrew Thomson said.

Dr. Margaret Lipp, a Saskatchewan educator, has been appointed as Literacy
Commissioner and Chair of the Commission’s Advisory Board. The Commissioner
will bring together a broad range of individuals involved in literacy
programming. Members of the Commission’s Advisory Board will liaise with the
following: the Saskatchewan Literacy Network, educational institutions, First
Nations and Métis peoples, libraries, KidsFirst, business and industry, adult
basic education, community-based and volunteer organizations and the research
community.

“During her time at the Department of Learning, Dr. Lipp has been instrumental
in the development of the provincial Core Curriculum and e-learning
activities. With her wealth of experience, Dr. Lipp is uniquely poised to take
on this exciting new challenge,” Calvert said.

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