Regional Action Plan

At the conclusion of the literacy forum, the Council of Atlantic Ministers of Education and Training (CAMET) announced that a regional action plan to improve literacy skills in Atlantic Canada would be developed.This plan was adopted by the ministers of education of the Atlantic provinces in September 2009, and is available from CAMET.

Early Learning and Literacy

  • Newfoundland and Labrador is developing an early-childhood learning strategy that will be universal. The strategy will include accessible programs for children from birth to six years of age and their families and will have a focus on language and literacy development.
  • In the year prior to kindergarten, children and their parents participate in a school-transition program called Kinderstart. The program consists of orientation sessions that support children's adjustment to the school environment and provide parents/caregivers with information on how to support their children's learning at home.
  • The province has piloted the Early Development Instrument (EDI). This information helps to plan programs and services, based on identified community needs.

School-Age Literacy

  • Each year, school resource centres receive texts to supplement their own collections. These texts are connected to curriculum outcomes and cover a wide range of topics and subjects. They also strongly reflect the culture and heritage of Newfoundland and Labrador.
  • “Of Character: Newfoundland and Labrador” comprises 20 posters profiling significant women and Aboriginal people who have influenced the history and culture of Newfoundland and Labrador. This is a Cultural Connections project designed to supplement the Grade 8 history course, but can also be used as a resource for other subjects, such as language arts, art, and social studies.
  • Two annotated bibliographies have been completed. One focuses on the elementary grades while the other concentrates on Grades 7 to 9. Selected novels will be distributed to schools to accompany the bibliographies.
  • Two senior–high school courses, Drama and World Literature, were implemented in 2009.
  • The Department of Education is in the process of preparing a provincial entry-to-12 literacy plan that will inform the strategic direction of curriculum development and other literacy projects in the years to come.

Adult Literacy

  • In June 2008, the province initiated a consultation process to develop a provincial Strategic Adult Literacy Plan. A discussion paper was developed, focusing on major adult–literacy topics, including program delivery and access, workplace literacy, public awareness and recruitment, funding for literacy programs, evaluation and assessment, professional development, and support for an intergenerational context. This Strategic Adult Literacy Plan will guide Newfoundland and Labrador in prioritizing and responding to the province's adult-literacy needs.
  • The province continued to fund Successful Post-Secondary Transition Scholarships, which recognize the achievements of graduates of the provincial Adult Basic Education (ABE) program, the General Educational Development (GED) program, or the Comprehensive Arts and Science (CAS) College Transition program. Applicants must be enrolled in their first year of a full-time undergraduate program of studies at a postsecondary institution. A maximum of 25 scholarships, valued at $2,000 each, are awarded each year in each of the five geographic regions of Newfoundland and Labrador (Avalon, Eastern, Central, Western, and Labrador).

Community Literacy

  • In May 2008, as a follow-up to the literacy forum, the province invited forum participants to a half-day videoconference to discuss CMEC's Learn Canada 2020 declaration and its relevance to Newfoundland and Labrador.
  • In 2008-09, the province continued to provide grant funding to community-based organizations delivering Level I of the provincial Adult Basic Education program and basic adult-literacy tutoring programs.

Literacy for Aboriginal Populations

  • The government has hired a consultant to support Aboriginal adult–literacy development. This Aboriginal Consultant will partner with stakeholders to articulate and develop Aboriginal adult–literacy priorities.
  • The Department of Education continues to support Aboriginal-education initiatives, which include instructional support for literacy in English and Aboriginal languages. Recently, the Department of Education collaborated in the first formal attempt by the Innu to develop their own language resources for their school-aged children.

Literacy for Newcomers

The Department of Education has developed and is piloting a literacy and numeracy program, Literacy Enrichment and Academic Readiness for Newcomers (LEARN), aimed at government-assisted refugee students with major gaps in schooling. Additional teaching units have been allocated to deliver the LEARN program to identified students registered in Grades 7 to 12. The students spend approximately 50 per cent of their day in the LEARN program and 50 per cent in mainstream courses that are appropriate for their literacy level.