New Year’s Resolutions

This New Year came in more with a limp than a bang – the current wave of the pandemic cast a shadow over curtailed celebrations and 2022 hasn’t been quite the fresh start we had hoped to see. We can however remain hopeful and excited about what is around the corner, in doing so, have you made a New Year’s resolution yet? ...
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Laughter is the Best Medicine

Laughter is the Best Medicine (Thank you Readers Digest for providing the title) The pandemic wreaked havoc around the globe. Some lost beloved family members and some people lost their jobs, but it also brought out the best in human nature.  Doctors, nurses and other front line workers battled tirelessly against overwhelming odds.  Covid-19 and its variants are still with us but we will overcome this problem and if we can find some humour in our present situation, we just might be able to deal better with this grim reality ...
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“An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away”

Did you know that today is “National Eat a Red Apple Day?” Not only are apples a nutritious and delicious snack, but they also have a long association with teachers and have become symbolic as the perfect gift for them in some form. The image of apples often appears on mugs, journals, paperweights and awards, presented to teachers during or at the end of the school year. In fact, gaining favour with the teacher was the origin of Bing Crosby’s 1939 song “An apple for the teacher will always do the trick when you don’t know your arithmetic.” However, the subject of today’s blog is not about apples, although I could talk up their uses until the cows come home. It’s about teaching and in particular, introducing phrasal verbs and idioms to adult learners ...
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Lest We Forget

In Hamilton, a solemn ceremony marked Remembrance Day which commemorates the service men and women who have died since the onset of World War I ...
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Volunteering…………sign me up!

Like so many other not-for-profit organizations, volunteers are at the core of our success, angels working by our sides giving their time and energy and yet asking little in return. Without them, our literacy program would look quite different, and it would be challenging for us to provide customized, one-to-one tutoring for the adult learners in Hamilton and share so many success stories. But why do people volunteer and what are the benefits? ...
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Orange Shirt Day

September 30th marked the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation which was created as a federal statutory holiday.  At the heart of this day was a chance to acknowledge, remember and engage in dialogues about the tragic legacy of the Residential schools.  Like many other organizations in the Province, the Hamilton Literacy Council staff were given the day off to observe, listen and reflect ...
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Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Part II

Today in Part II we look at some of the effects of FAS.  There is no cure for FAS but it can certainly be prevented.  We only need to remember one simple truth – A pregnant woman never drinks alone ...
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Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) Part I

At the Hamilton Literacy Council, we often have students with Learning Difficulties.  On one occasion I did meet a young lady with FAS.  We had had a fair number of students with FAS but something about her struck a chord.  As a consequence, I wanted to learn as much as I could about FAS.  I have written, in this blog, some of the things that I learned.  It is not comprehensive, by any means, but it will shed some light on the subject ...
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Book Clubs

Reading is the lifeblood of the Hamilton Literacy Council.  It is also the same, in varying degrees, for many people in the community.  Helping to foster and nurture this love of reading are the many Book Clubs in the city.  In this context, we would like to make a special mention of the Knox Book Club in Waterdown for their support and generosity to the Hamilton Literacy Council over the years ...
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The Magic of Music and Math

During the pandemic, many people have been experiencing anxiety while trying to cope with being shuttered in their homes, without the usual outlets for socialization and entertainment.  Interestingly, another trigger for anxiety in a multitude of people is the subject of math.  There is a direct correlation between the two and yet music is magical, it is able to sooth our souls, bring wonder back into our life and help us create new memories ...
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What do you mean ‘Double Click’?

“If it is important to you, you will find a way.  If not, you will find an excuse”.  This quote seemed to speak directly to me and my reluctance to fully accept the digital world.  However, computers are here to stay.  So, for anyone, like me, still wary of computers – it is time to discard those excuses and find a way ...
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Conversation with………..

For many of us, reading for enjoyment is such an integral part of our lives.  However, for our adult students, the ability to read can be a struggle when navigating everyday life such as reading road signs, ingredients on food packages or filling out forms at the doctor’s office.  Over time as their reading and comprehension skills develop, some discover the joy of reading a book for the very first time ...
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Where There’s a Will

For over a year now, we have lived in the long shadow of the pandemic.  Loved ones gone, businesses ruined, young children robbed of simple joys, jobs lost and fears of an uncertain future.  In the midst of this darkness, there have been beacons of light, casting a soft glow around them.  I speak of the doctors, nurses, frontline and essential workers, volunteers and countless others.  They have thrown aside their own burdens to bring solace to others, to light a path out of this darkness. They show us that where there is a will, there is a way. They are our heroes ...
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Student Highlight

  Each year, there is the potential for a student from the Hamilton Literacy Council to be awarded The Hamilton Spectator Adult Learner Literacy Award.  The award is presented at ABEA’s annual Leaders in Literacy Breakfast event which will be held virtually again this year, on June 10th. This award celebrates the achievements of adult learners who embody the spirit of lifelong learning and show commitment in moving towards their goal(s). This year we are happy to announce that Noura Mahamat will be receiving the award as recognition of her determination and achievements.  Please keep an eye out for the video which we will post to our website following the LLB event.  In the meantime, take a moment to learn a little bit about Noura ...
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I Can’t Read

Literacy can mean different things to different people.  There are even different types of literacy – functional, basic, technological, advanced and more.  However, at its very core, literacy is simply the ability to read and write. One would therefore imagine that becoming literate would be an easy enough goal to achieve.  Wrong ...
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The Write Stuff

On May 26th Hamilton Literacy Council (HLC) is launching a blog. As much as the pandemic has wreaked havoc on our lives, it has given us pause to reflect on what we do, how we do it, and the importance of being connected with the community ...
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