Tutor Training Workshop in Aylmer

A group of eight tutors joined us at the Western Quebec Career Center for our 5 hour Tutor Training Workshop. The workshop was facilitated by Literacy Council Executive Director, Michèle Gagnon, and WQLC board member, Donna Cushman.  This workshop included both new tutors, tutors waiting to be matched and experienced tutors and teachers. This great mix lead to an afternoon of productive exchange!

Participants enjoyed a presentation by Louise Carisse, a WQLC volunteer who shared her remarkable experience tutoring a young man with Autism for over 7 years.

Pat McQuatty presented strategies for tutoring math and helped many participants dispel some of their  “math phobia.”

Participants also learned about guiding learners through goal setting and about lesson planning strategies.

We hope to offer more of these networking and strategy building workshops in the near future. Our goal is to build an interactive community for our volunteer tutors and we thank all of our participants for contributing to our network of helpers!

Our participants were: Brigitte Cayer, Louise Paradis, Louise Carisse, Marion Therien, Pat McQuatty, Kathy O’Neil, Louise Belisle, and Michele Doiron.


Rick Valin: Winner of the Freda Hudson Award!

Rick wearing his commemorative pin.

The recipient of the 2017 Freda Hudson award is Rick Valin! The Freda Hudson pin was established in 2007 by Literacy Quebec in memory of a remarkable volunteer. This pin is presented annually to an active, longstanding volunteer who has made a “remarkable” contribution to literacy.

Rick was nominated by the Western Quebec Literacy Council for his outstanding contribution to the organization as a volunteer tutor. He has been a member of the WQLC Board of Directors since 2013. Known as “Mr Valin” by many, he is a retired teacher whose generosity and passion will not let him rest.

You can find Rick in the halls of the Pontiac Continuing Education Center in Shawville greeting the students with a warm smile. He dedicates many volunteer hours every week tutoring learners in math, reading and writing. In the style of WQLC tutoring, his one-on-one lessons offer individualized attention giving each learner the boost towards reaching their goals.

Much loved by his learners and described as “kind and patient,” Rick is a teacher whose heart is invested in the success of all those he tutors.  The WQLC could not be more thankful to have Rick on our team!

Family Literacy Month Contest

Here’s your chance to win a backpack full of books and games that the whole family can enjoy together!

To play complete as many of the activities featured on our Family Literacy Bingo page as you can before January 27th. When your family completes a line (vertical or horizontal) your name is entered into the contest (Up to 5 entries per family permitted)!

Colour the squares representing the activities that your family has completed. Post a picture of your Bingo card to our Facebook page before January 27th, 2018.

The draw will be made and the winning family will be announced on January 28, 2018.

**Only one name can be entered per family a maximum of 5 times.

**Contest open to residents of Western Quebec (Outaouais, Quebec, Canada).

Click here for a printable PDF:Family Literacy Bingo

Recognizing treasured volunteers at the WQLC AGM

We’ve had a busy October at the WQLC, to say the least! We’ve officially moved from our location at 381 HWY 148, Shawville, Qc. We are now located at 106, Front Street, Campbell’s Bay, Qc. We hope you’ll join us for our open house later this fall.

On Satruday, October 21, we had our Annual General Meeting at Café 349 in Shawville Qc where we unveiled our brand new logo.

We also took some time to recognize our valued volunteers. Peter Gauthier has been a Board of Director’s member for the WQLC on two occasions. He served as Secretary from 2011 to 2012 and returned as Treasurer in 2014. He has now stepped down from the Board but continues to volunteer as a tutor. We thank him for his dedication and hard work.

Rick Valin, tutor and Board member, Mary Ann Keyzer, Board member, and Ray Cleary, tutor, were also recognized for their invaluable contributions to the organization.

We also presented Marilee DeLomard, retired Executive Director, with a certificate of appreciation for 24 years of services with the WQLC.

Our guest speaker Martin Riopel, Director of the Jardin Éducatif, presented his organization to the 18 WQLC members present. He spoke of the challenges faced  by not-for-profit organizations working in the field of education, bringing to the forefront the necessity of alternative forms of education for the development of healthy communities. Riopel stressed the importance of integrating students that may otherwise be marginalized by teaching them practical life and work skills. He added that community involvement and adequate funding are necessary to keep projects like the Jardin Éducatif alive.

We thank everyone who joined us and hope to see you all again next year!



International Literacy Day

September 8th marks international Literacy Day, officially created by UNESCO in 1965 to help raise awareness surrounding global literacy challenges. According to UNESCO statistics, 12% of the global population remains illiterate or has a literacy level that is considered non-functional. To be functionally literate individuals need to be able to use their abilities across different platforms to meet the demands of their everyday life. Without a functional literacy level individuals encounter many obstacles and challenges when it comes to employment and personal development. They may find it difficult to perform everyday tasks such as filling out forms, reading prescription medication instructions, or reading signs and labels.

Literacy is the foundation for all lifelong learning. The ability to read and write has a profound effect on the individual, allowing each person to become prepared for a role as an active, aware and economically independent member of society.

In Canada, we face literacy challenges that many people remain unaware of. Approximately 49% of Quebec adults aged 16 to 65 have limited literacy skills. 1 in 6 adults will encounter challenges throughout their lives because of serious difficulties with reading and writing.

The Western Quebec Litracy Council is a community literacy initiative that works to help improve literacy on a one-to-one basis through free, confidential and personalized tutoring. You can get involved with our organization by contacting us or making a donation. Be sure to like our Facebook page and sign up to our Newsletter to stay informed on upcoming activities.