Celebrating Adult Learner’s Week

To celebrate Adult Learner’s week, the Western Quebec Literacy Council would like to share an inspirational story of a learner-volunteer pair and how embarking on a path of personal development through one-on-one tutoring lessons has changed both their lives.

Take the Leap and Become an Adult Learner

Hi my name is Bev, I am 42. In the spring of 2020, I needed something in my life. My confidence was down and my reading and writing was not good. I was having trouble helping my son with his homework. I felt like such a bad mother, but then I was on the net looking for ways to improve my reading and writing. I found the Western Quebec Literacy Council. I was scared to contact them, but I made the leap of faith and did.  It was the best decision I ever could have made! 

I was terrified to meet my tutor but went for it anyway and met Darlene. She is an amazing tutor who helped me so much. She has helped me to have confidence in what I am trying to read and write. She has helped me to understand so many things in life. She is clearly an amazing person, with a good, kind heart to help people who do not understand reading and writing. She has helped me come so far. I look so forward to our meetings together.

This is an amazing program that you do not have to be embarrassed or ashamed about. They make you feel like it is all going to be ok. They do not judge you. I was afraid people would laugh but I was treated with respect and dignity.  

Tutors are Learners Too

Darlene Pashak has worked with different adults helping them reach their goals for over a decade. This is what she had to say about her experience as a tutor for the WQLC:

To say that helping adult learners is a rewarding experience just doesn’t capture how much of a difference each person has made in my life: getting to know someone, being vulnerable together and forging a path in a future-oriented direction is such a great experience, and I feel honoured that each person has allowed me to be part of their life journey.

Many of the “lessons” designed for the learners, were also lessons for me.

Many of the “lessons” designed for the learners, were also lessons for me. I have grown as a tutor and as a person thanks to these experiences. The most important lesson for me is that adult learners are the most resourceful people I have ever met; they have figured out ways to get things done in new and different ways.

I know it is difficult to reach out for help, and I am so happy that I can provide a safe space for adults to meet their goals, either on-line or in-person. I am always pleasantly surprised when people share their struggles and successes with me, and I have been inspired to do the same in my own life. I have so much respect that they are reaching out to better themselves and their lives. The unexpected result from signing up to be a tutor is that it bettered me and my life! That is what I would call a win-win.

Have a Family Stay-Cation on Quebec March Break 2021

It’s March break in Quebec, a great time to unwind and destress with your family.  This year, things are going to look a little different with Covid-19 restrictions in place, but that does not mean you cannot have a memorable break.  With a little imagination and planning you can make March Break 2021 a memorable one. 

Here are a few ideas to make your break fun and exciting:

Home Spa Day

Turn on some relaxing music and get a little creative.  You can make your own foot soaks, relaxing spa water, and many other spa treatments right at home. Bring in some of your favorite essential oils to create a one-of-a-kind experience.

Have a Movie Marathon

There are plenty of movie series that can easily be turned in to a marathon for your viewing pleasure. If you want to go all out, try creating some themed snacks and treats that coordinate with the movies you’ve chosen. 

Hold a Gaming Tournament

Gather a few favourite board games, make a scoreboard, and hold a family tournament.  You can make a trophy out of paper mâché or medals out of tin foil. 

Do Some Family Reading

Let the kids pick a new book to read together. This can be a great way to unplug from all the technology and distractions and just be together. It’s also a fun way to explore a new book or series.  Here are some new books to consider: 

The Lunch Club - It Came from The Basement

This fun graphic novel by Dom Pelletier is perfect for older kids and tweens who are starting to read chapter books independently.  The Lunch Club - It Came From The Basement

In the Half Room

With inventive flair, Caldecott Honor winner Carson Ellis explores halves and wholes in an ingenious and thought-provoking picture book.  In The Half Room

Cat Kid Comic Club

This is the new graphic novel series by Dav Pilkey, the author and illustrator of the internationally bestselling Dog Man and Captain Underpants series.  Cat Kid Comic Club.

The Fabled Stables - Willow the Wisp

This is the first book in a magical chapter-book adventure series by the Governor General Award-winning author of Sweep, Jonathan Auxier.  The Fabled Stables - Willow The Wisp

Gurple and Preen

This wildly imaginative, crayon-inspired picture book by Linda Sue Park shows that with a bit of teamwork and a universe of creativity, anything is possible. Gurple and Preen

Disney Princess Baking

Bake like a Disney princess with this adorable cookbook inspired by your favorite animated heroines, such as Belle, Ariel, Moana, and more!  Disney Princess Baking

Take a Virtual Vacation

Have you heard of a virtual vacation? Explore the world without leaving your living room!

 1) Pick a place you’d like to visit.

2) Google and take turns reading aloud about it.

3) What is unique or most interesting about this place?

4) Discuss any specific region of that place that is interesting and why?

5)  Do a YouTube or video search about that region. Watch and imagine you are there.

6) Discuss your experience afterwards.

Here’s another great way to go on a virtual exploration!

1.) If you can’t think of a place, think of something you would like to see or do and google that. Example (howler monkeys, volcanoes, rain-forests, world’s best skiing, kayaking through mangroves, looking at or swimming in waterfalls…what is the coolest thing that you can think of?).

2) Do an internet search to find out more about those things.

3)  Take turns reading aloud about it.

4) Talk about what you find interesting or exciting.

5) Do a Youtube or video search about it. Watch and imagine you are there.

6) Discuss your experience afterwards.

-Virtual: Roller coaster/rafting/safari/museums/zoos/

Virtual Vacation Links

Here are some virtual vacation links to check out with your family! Have fun and don’t forget to pack a picnic!


Nagano, Japan 

Costa Rica

Contest: Family Literacy Passport

It’s time for WQLC’s annual Family Literacy Contest! We were inspired by ABC Life Literacy’s Family Literacy campaign and decided to explore the theme of travel.

We might not be able to pack our bags and travel anywhere further than our backyards, but we can use our imaginations, books and the internet to go on all sorts of adventures!

The contest is open to families living in the Outaouais. To play, simply complete the activities on this Family Literacy Passport and check them off. Then submit your passport by email before January 31st, 2021 to outreach@wqlc.org or send it as a message to our Facebook page.

Print this form and check off the activities you complete with your family. You can also use a touch screen to check off the activities digitally.

The winners of our contest will receive a backpack full of travel goodies and literacy essentials!

Seeking Part-time Reading Buddy Program Coordinator

The Western Quebec Literacy Council is seeking a part-time Program Coordinator for a community based literacy promotion program. The Program Coordinator will be working closely with the Executive Director to plan, implement, and evaluate this two-year project. The Program Coordinator will work independently and with a team of staff and volunteers to provide family literacy supports and implement a reading program for English-speaking elementary school students in the MRC Pontiac. The ideal candidate will be personable, responsible, detail-oriented and have the capacity to take on a variety of different tasks ranging from content and resource creation to volunteer management. 

Salary: $18-$20/hr

Schedule: 14 hrs/week, flexible schedule, occasional weekends and evenings

Click here to access the full job description:

Computer Skills Survey

The Western Quebec Literacy Council is conducting a survey to help us determine the computer skill levels of seniors and/or people who would describe themselves as having below average basic computer skills. This survey will help us assess our community’s needs and help us create content for future digital literacy programs.

We are collecting data from English-speaking residents of the Outaouais territory.

Participants will have their name entered into a draw for a chance to win one of two $50 Indigo gift cards!!

Survey deadline: December 19, 2020 at 12:00 am.

Click this link to access the survey: http://wqlc.org/computer-skills-survey/

We’re Hiring!

Communications Coordinator

Who we are:

The Western Quebec Literacy Council is a non-profit, volunteer-based, organization that provides literacy services to the English-speaking Outaouais population. For 35 years we have been recruiting, training, and supporting volunteers to tutor adults in reading, writing, numeracy, and computer skills.

The Position:

The WQ Literacy Council is seeking a part-time Communications Coordinator to develop and implement initiatives that will increase our organization’s visibility within the Outaouais. Reporting to the Executive Director, the Communications Coordinator is responsible for the development and execution of a promotional campaign whose primary focus will be to increase community awareness and recruit volunteer tutors.

The ideal candidate will:

Possess knowledge of non-profit fundraising or outreach activities; Post-secondary degree in communications, marketing, business, or related fields; Possess strong knowledge of social media and other basic marketing platforms.


Develop and execute strategies for recruiting adult learners and volunteers; develop a promotional campaign to increase community awareness; create content for the website and social media platforms; develop relationships in the community with other non-profit organizations and partners; develop a communication plan; other tasks deemed necessary as designated by the Executive Director.  

Required Skills and Qualities

Strong written skills in English; ability to work independently and with a team of professionals; excellent interpersonal and communication skills; strong organizational and time management skills; proficient computer skills (including graphics and multimedia); French spoken and written is an asset

Location: Outaouais

Type of employment: Part time contract based on 16 hours a week from December 2020 to March 2021.

$18 -$20/hour based on experience and qualifications

DEADLINE: Please submit your resume to info@wqlc.org before December 01, 2020.

Essential Skills Day

The Government of Canada identifies 9 essential skills necessary for learning, working and everyday life. These skills include reading, document use, numeracy, writing, oral communication, working with others, thinking, computer use, and continuous learning. The WQLC continues to offer free lessons in reading, writing and numeracy. We are now also offering computer lessons to Outaouais residents who would like to upgrade their digital literacy.

Computer use skills:
· Use different forms of technology
· Use word processing software
· Send and receive emails
· Create and modify spreadsheets
· Navigate the internet
Fast changing technology can make digital literacy feel overwhelming. We can help.

If you need help in any of these areas, we can help! Whether you are a literacy learner, a tutor or a member of the community we’re ready to help you learn more about this essential skill that is becoming increasingly important. Read on for information about our Connect 2 Learn program! 

Visit ABC Life Literacy for more information on digital literacy