Leaders in literacy
NWT council wins national appreciation award

Dane Gibson
Northern News Services

NNSL (Oct 22/99) - The NWT Literacy Council has good reason to be proud.

Not only were they celebrating their 10th anniversary on Friday, Oct. 15, council president Lynn Fogwill also accepted the Canada Post Literacy Leadership Award on behalf of the organization.

"It was a wonderful evening for the literacy council. We received a national honour and we were able to begin what we hope will be an award process of recognizing our volunteers, who are the foundation of the council," said Fogwill.

"We also recognized our corporate sponsors for their on-going contributions. We couldn't have achieved the successes we have without those partnerships."

Executives from Canada Post arrived in Yellowknife from Ottawa to present the award, which celebrates the efforts of individual Canadians, educators and organizations which have made significant contributions to the advancement of literacy.

Fort Smith resident Archie Paulette was at the ceremony to receive the Canada Post Learner Award. He was chosen by a national panel on the basis of a story he wrote about overcoming the effects of a debilating stroke.

"I was so proud when I heard I'd won. I couldn't believe it. I thought it was a blessing," Paulette said.

"I plan to continue to write stories and I hope what I create can inspire people to overcome obstacles that they face in their lives."

Western Arctic MP Ethel Blondin-Andrew was there on behalf of the Department of Human Resources and Development Minister, Jane Stewart, to present the NWT Literacy Council with a $75,000 cheque to fund them into the new year.

A poster board was also unveiled that had the names of 20 volunteers on it who support the council with their time and energy. Every year from now on, volunteers will be added to the list.

Fogwill also thanked corporate sponsors Northern News Services and the Yellowknife Book Cellar for their unfailing support over the years.

"I think now we are on the cusp of major changes. We've just completed the division of the council into east and west so we have to set our goals and focus our energy on serving the literacy needs of the Mackenzie Valley," said Fogwill.

"We are improving literacy in the North. More children are staying in school and more students are graduating. But we still have a long way to go."