Nobody Does It Alone

I'm taking the bulk of this post from a Province of Alberta webpage and September 7, 2007 media release. The really good news is that there were 11 nominations received - a testament to the team work Mary Norton stressed in her Edmonton Journal interview: 'Norton said she had to think long and hard before agreeing to be nominated. "Hopefully, it recognizes there are many, many, many people working in the field, working together to create opportunities for people to learn and to develop through that learning," she said. "I hope it also recognizes that I haven't done this on my own."'

Edmonton adult literacy educator honoured

Edmonton... Dr. Mary Norton of Edmonton, an adult literacy educator with more than 30 years of experience in the field, is Alberta’s 2007 recipient of the Council of the Federation Literacy Award. The award was presented to Norton by Advanced Education and Technology Minister Doug Horner at an International Literacy Day celebration at Edmonton City Hall on September 7.

“Dr. Norton is committed to adult literacy and has made her study, research and teaching in this field a lifelong pursuit. Her expertise and dedication to improving literacy opportunities for Albertans are characteristic of her work as an educator. We are extremely fortunate to have someone of her calibre involved in literacy efforts along with the many remarkable literacy educators in our province whose contributions greatly benefit Albertans,” said Horner.

Norton has a doctorate in adult literacy and has written extensively about and developed innovative approaches to adult literacy, practitioner training and practitioner research. The former librarian has developed and taught graduate level courses in adult literacy, created one of the first comprehensive tutor training programs in Canada and played a key role in starting one of the first volunteer tutor adult literacy programs in Alberta. She is currently the co-coordinator of The Learning Centre Literacy Association.

“Receiving this award is a way to represent and acknowledge the contributions of literacy educators across Alberta, and to reflect the importance of community-based literacy efforts that build from the interests and strengths of adult learners and volunteers,” said Norton. “This nomination was only possible because of the many people who have provided opportunities and support for me to engage and learn through daily practice, projects and professional development. I am particularly grateful for the support, encouragement and care of all the participants, volunteers and staff at The Learning Centre.”

The Council of the Federation Literacy Award was established by Canada’s premiers in 2004 to recognize outstanding achievement, innovative practices and excellence in literacy. An award is presented annually in each province. This year in Alberta, 11 nominations were received and reviewed by a committee of individuals involved in adult learning.

Supporting adult literacy is part of Premier Ed Stelmach’s plan to build a stronger Alberta. Other priorities for the government are to govern with integrity and transparency, manage growth pressures, improve Albertans’ quality of life and provide safe and secure communities.

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