2017 Newsletters

Please note: we sent out this month's newsletter without the link to important information about the Call for Presenters for the 2018 Literacy and Learning Symposium. We are resending the newsletter with the appropriate link.

Greetings from the Chair

Karen PlourdeBy now all of us are deep into our programming…planning, hiring, arranging, booking rooms, statistic gathering and all that is required of us to meet the needs of our communities. Hold on! Christmas break is coming next month.

Do you know that you belong to one of the best organizations in our province? If you don’t know it already, you will as you continue within this organization!

I would like to take this opportunity to welcome to the CLN Board, Colleen Thiessen, the Executive Director of Wetaskiwin Community Learning Program, as she becomes an ambassador for the CALP system we serve.

In this, my last year on the CLN Board, I am looking forward to do my part serving as Chair of this dynamic organization. As in every year on this Board, I am so looking forward to the range of resource-rich expertise, strategically engaged talent and fresh perspective sure to be present at every meeting.

My involvement with the CLN Board has been a conscientious journey with changes brought about by our collaborations, engaging discussions and live presentations, provoking new insights. Consequently, we have evolved into a well-organized, accomplished organization which gives me great pride.

The board environment has been dear to me because I am here with board members committed to making a difference in our province; with this experience, I have grown and deepened my ability to serve.

I look forward as chair of the CLN Board, to continued interaction with inspirational board members who represent achievement in their professional lives, and are willing to share ideas and love of the work. I recognize and honor their work, their lives, and the diversity and friendships cultivated. I look forward to the upcoming discussions, one more year of learning, and what we will accomplish together.

As we prepare to meet the challenges that persist or arise. I am proud that we continue to push for diversity, equity, and inclusion as we seek ways to integrate literacy initiatives into the public experience.

I cherish and hold dear friendships made and look forward to one more year of an awesome experience, working with all of you who are optimistic, bright and fearless!

Karen Plourde, Chair
CLN Board of Directors

Presenting the 2017 - 2018 CLN Board of Directors

Thank you to everyone who joined us for our 30th Annual General Meeting at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Edmonton on September 27th.

This year, there were no new Board members elected, as the current Board were all eligible to either continue their current term, or stand for a new two-year term. Following the AGM, the CLN Board of Directors met to select the Executive positions on the Board. We are pleased to share with you the CLN Board of Directors for the 2017-18 year.

 CLN Board of Directors 2017-18

Back (left to right): Doray Veno, Karen Plourde,
Jana Thomson, Lil Radley

Front (left to right): Jackie Peterson, Brenda Adams, Lois Polege

Welcome back!

It truly is the most wonderful time of the year! I love the cool fall air, leaves turning brilliant colours and reconnecting with everyone, near and far.

Our team is excited to hit the road to meet with new staff and to catch up with those jumping back in the saddle, so to speak. This fall, like many others, will be filled with opportunities to learn, network, collaborate and celebrate.

Read on to learn more about what we're up to and how you can join us!

Lisa Dickner
Executive Director


As my time as Chair for the CLN ends I have been thinking a lot about gratitude. I am grateful I woke up this morning. I am grateful for the strong, supportive, dedicated staff at the CLN. I am grateful the roof in my office did not leak during the last rainfall. I am extremely grateful for the incredible group of women who have served on the CLN Board with me. I would like to use this, my final insert to the CLN Newsletter as Chair of the Board, to express my supreme gratitude to these women whom I have had the privilege of calling colleague and friend.

Thank you so much for volunteering to serve on the CLN Board over the years. I know that for all of you, it was an “add on” to the many other things that you do; including your CALP, your family, other volunteer opportunities and your social life. I appreciate that you were willing to serve and I hope you know your time and input was valued.

Thank you for taking calls and responding quickly to emails and helping brainstorm solutions. Thank you for taking the time to govern our organization appropriately.

Thank you for bringing your passion, intellect, insight, experience and resources to the table. Thank you for not allowing things in our organization that you would not have allowed in your own. I appreciate that you used all of your experience, skills, knowledge and education to move our organization forward.

Thank you for your humour and patience.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time serving as the Chair of this incredible organization and working with each one of you amazing, marvelous, fabulous people. I look forward to continuing to support the work of the CLN, as I move into a different role.

New thinking: Be Bold. Engage Others. Be Inclusive. Collective Voice. Empower. Generate. Enable others. Be the change we want to see. Be Interested. Be Curious. Be Engaged.

Have a wonderful summer!

Brenda Adams,
CLN Board Chair

Lisa DicknerHello Month of May!

After a rather longish and cool’ish start to spring, I am ever so hopeful that this month will bring colourful flowers, fresh air and green grass so we can step outside and enjoy the sights and sounds!  Speaking of getting outside – I have been enjoying our Regional Meetings over the past month and send my thanks to all of you for attending and sharing. We’ve had great participation and engagement so far and look forward to our last two events coming up this week in Big Valley and St. Paul.

This spring also brings back a crowd favourite – year-end evaluation and membership renewal!  While some may not share my enthusiasm for the collection of feedback and information, it is very important for CLN to collect this data and use it to guide our plans for the year to come.  Who needs what, when, where and how?!  We also share system trends and data with the CLN’s Board of Directors, Advanced Education and the Professional Development Advisory Committee (PDAC) to continuously shape the professional development system to meet your needs. 

We need your voice!  As you reflect on the past year, please share your thoughts, learnings and recommendations so we may continue to bring colour and fresh air to our system planning!

Lisa Dickner,
Executive Director

Karen PlourdeHappy spring to all of you!

At this time of the year, rejuvenation stirs in us all. For me, enthusiasm for being a CALP coordinator seems to increase with each year that passes. So many possibilities, and not enough time in a year to explore them all!

We are in a new era in terms of our ability to serve with the Portal at our disposal, clarity in the guidelines, and grant managers who work so diligently to improve our system and communicate openly with us. We are better connected now, with the ability to provide a rich environment for inquiry and practice for us all. Incredibly, everything from development to inspiration is provided by each of you, and it is just a click away.

We grow and change throughout the years, but commitment to improving our communities remains the core of our collective effort. This strong backbone of commitment, splendidly demonstrated by all of you, positively impacts, our learners, our communities, our province and in turn, our country.

CALP staff, boards and partners, represent the epitome of inspiration, innovation, and dedication to our learning communities. Each of you are uniquely outstanding. Within the many responsibilities you work tirelessly to fulfill, lies an opportunity for any one of us to shine a bright light on someone we know. With so many pressing duties to be fulfilled, taking the time to recognize others is easily neglected.

Each year, the CLN recognizes people in our system who provide an outstanding contribution. I know that encompasses each of you. Take the time, right now, to nominate an individual or a group who you know deserves this recognition. Click here to review the award guidelines and download the nomination form.

Enjoy the month of April and give thanks to be a part of the most dynamic organization in the province. I am honoured to be among you.

Karen Plourde
Vice-Chair, CLN Board

Brenda AdamsMarch Is Optimism Month

Some of us tend to look at optimistic people as those with their heads ‘in the clouds’ – out of touch with reality. However, optimistic people are not always smiling and chipper – they get mad and angry. Nevertheless, they are not stuck in their emotions and they appear to be better at doing one thing than those with a different attitude or outlook on life; Optimists are better at problem solving – they move quickly from problem-identification to problem solving. They believe that situations will work out, so they spend their time and energy on making these situations work, rather than focusing on their own emotional reactions.

Optimism is not a disposition you are born with. It is a learned skill, and a very important ingredient in determining your level of happiness.

Brenda’s Tips for Celebrating Optimism Month:

  • Act like an optimist. Use the word choices and body posture of optimistic people. The words we use can affect our mood. Optimists take big steps, walk faster and stand taller. Do not shuffle your feet, do not take tiny steps or walk slowly and slouch.
  • Move swiftly from problem-identification to problem solving. We all get angry and upset, but the challenge is to move past these emotions and start looking for strategies and solutions that will help you to deal with whatever the challenge is.
  • Avoid emotional leeches. Minimize your contact with those who look on the negative side of everything, who criticize you, mock, or sabotage your dreams and aspirations.
  • Be grateful. Grateful people report lower levels of depression and stress.


  • Optimists enjoy better health.
  • Optimists find more success.
  • Optimists feel less stressed during stressful times.
  • Optimists tend to have more supportive networks and resources.

“Optimism is essential to achievement and it is also the foundation of courage and true progress.”

-- Nicholas M. Butler

Brenda Adams, Chair
CLN Board of Directors

Think of February – think of passion, hearts, and love.

Think of anyone involved in literacy – think of passion, hearts, and love. The jobs that we initially liked are now jobs that we love. We are passionate about our work and strive to find ways to help learners achieve their goals.

CALP staff have the biggest hearts, managing to do everything that is involved in their multi-layered positions.

And so are our fantastic Regional Support Staff across the province. Need help? Just call them. They are diggers, finding out what we need to know, supporting us in our work, and being there when needed.

Although the name changes from time to time – currently the Indigenous and Community Connections Branch Advanced Education - what doesn’t change is the enthusiasm and passion of all of the government CALP team.

I see the passion of my fellow CLN Board members and the rest of the CLN team, committed to investing their time and energy for the community adult learning programs across the province.

Passion, big hearts, and love from all involved in this literacy and foundational learning work is positive and impactful; it changes lives! As Roberto Benigni said in the movie “Life is Beautiful”

La vita e bella; la vita e amore.
Life is beautiful; life is love.

Thank you, everyone, for helping make life beautiful for so many learners. Happy February, and a special Valentine’s Day!

Lil Radley, Secretary
CLN Board of Directors

Happy New Year!

Can you believe it is 2017? It is very difficult to believe that 2016 is now in our past. The last twelve months have been busy and full for everyone, and we hope you all had the opportunity to spend some well-earned time relaxing, enjoying the holiday season and making memories with family and friends. 2017 promises to be another exciting year full of accomplishments and developments within the Community Adult Learning Program.

“In this new year, may you have a deep understanding of your true value and worth, an absolute faith in your unlimited potential, peace of mind in the midst of uncertainty, the confidence to let go when you need to, acceptance to replace your resistance, gratitude to open your heart, the strength to meet your challenges, great love to replace your fear, forgiveness and compassion for those who offend you, clear sight to see your best and true path, hope to dispel obscurity, the conviction to make your dreams come true, meaningful and rewarding synchronicities, dear friends who truly know and love you, a childlike trust in the benevolence of the universe, the humility to remain teachable, the wisdom to fully embrace your life exactly as it is, the understanding that every soul has its own course to follow, the discernment to recognize your own unique inner voice of truth, and the courage to learn to be still.”

- Janet Rebhan

Wishing our Community Adult Learning Community all the best for 2017.

Doray Veno
CLN Treasurer