Decoda Literacy Solutions’ 2021 year-in-review
2021 was an inspiring year of milestones, celebrations, and shared stories about Decoda Literacy Solutions’ projects and resources that help to support literacy programs and organizations in more than 400 BC communities.
We’re all working together for literacy, and we think this description explains Decoda’s role perfectly:
“It’s really important to have a provincial organization like Decoda,” says Leona Gadsby, who retired as Decoda’s Director of Programs and Services in 2016. “It can be hard to get started and know where the resources are. It provides a pilot light and support for all the literacy organizations. It provides guidance, resources and the overall view of literacy in BC.”
Here are Decoda’s month by month highlights of the year!
January celebrated Family Literacy Week, a new look and a new guide
Community groups, libraries and schools across the province celebrated Family Literacy Week Jan. 24-31 with the theme “Let’s Be Active! Move * Play * Learn.”
We shared family literacy stories from two BC literacy organizations in Celebrate active learning during Family Literacy Week and Literacy Matters Abbotsford adapts for pandemic.
We released a new publication, the Play and Learn Together: a Guide to Family Literacy in BC.
We also launched our new branding and website!
In February we said farewell to Decoda’s librarian Tina Chau in Decoda Literacy Library’s greatest resource retires. Thankfully, we still have Tina writing our weekly newsletter to literacy practitioners.
March focused on workers’ skills
In March, we announced the final phase of our Displaced Workers project – 11 communities beta-testing programs to help displaced workers – in Testing new programs to upgrade job seekers’ skills.
We updated the Building Resilient Workers: Health & Safety at Work Facilitator Guide and workbooks.
April welcomed literacy librarian
In April, we introduced our new librarian Lea Edgar in New librarian dedicated to helping you find literacy resources.
May celebrated 10 years as BC’s provincial literacy organization
In May, we celebrated Decoda’s 10th anniversary as BC’s provincial literacy organization with a #TopTen4Literacy book list contest. We received dozens of wonderful comments through our online guestbook.
We also shared the history of Decoda in Celebrating a decade of working together for literacy, and heard from a 25-year literacy practitioner in Long-time literacy practitioner values Decoda’s collaboration and support.
June introduced workplace literacy director and community case studies
In June we introduced Decoda’s Director of Adult literacy and Workplace Learning, Heather Deal, and her role in Decoda’s federally funded Enhancing Displaced Workers’ Literacy and Essential Skills research project in Optimism drives workplace literacy director.
July celebrated BC StoryWalks®
In July we shared the many StoryWalks happening around the province in BC StoryWalks® to visit this summer.
August highlighted Sock it to literacy! sponsor owner
In August, we prepared for Literacy Month fundraising with a profile of Marilyn Cobban, owner of Blue Sky Clothing Co, who has helped raise more than $42,000 for literacy in BC through sales of socks for literacy: Success sparks Sock it to Literacy campaign.
As of November, funds raised exceed $53,000!
September celebrated Literacy Month, connections, newcomers and giving
In September, we celebrated the ‘Literacy connects us!’ Literacy Month theme with a colouring contest, YouTube videos and our second online Team Trivia Challenge fundraiser.
We introduced our Director of Fund Development, Gail Hanney, in Every gift has the power to impact lives, and highlighted the IPALS (Parents as Literacy Supporters in Immigrant Communities) program in Literacy connects families new to Canada.
October introduced new training resources and our new training specialist
We introduced Decoda’s training opportunities and new Training Specialist, Jade Chan, in Training Specialist supports professional development.
We released the new Adult Literacy Program: Virtual Tutor Training resources.
November highlighted financial literacy, Decoda’s controller and Fostering Literacy
In November we introduced Decoda’s controller, Fanny Romeyn, and learned why literacy and financial literacy are important to her, what it takes to be fiscally responsible, and the importance of a work-life balance in Controller values accountability and workplace culture.
In our Giving Tuesday campaign we inspired people to help change a child’s future with a gift to Decoda Literacy to support Fostering Literacy tutor programs around BC.
December celebrated The Westcoast Reader’s 40th anniversary
In December we celebrated The Westcoast Reader’s 40th anniversary with a special issue, free digital issue and contest draw for a one-year subscription. We shared the paper’s history in Past editor celebrates The Westcoast Reader’s 40 years.
Throughout the year
- Our Read All About Lit blog highlighted resources available in the Decoda Literacy Library.
- We hosted professional development webinars to support the literacy field.
- We published 10 issues of The Westcoast Reader newspaper for learners.
- We released three YouTube videos for Literacy Month and Family Literacy Week.
- We posted regularly to our social media channels on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.
- We highlighted nine BC community case studies that tell the stories of workers who have been displaced from their jobs as part of our Displaced Workers research project.
- We supported a network of 100 Literacy Outreach Coordinators who provide community-based literacy programs in over 400 BC communities.
- We provided BC’s 94 Community Adult Literacy Programs (CALP) with training, resources and support.
Board and Staff transitions
We expressed our gratitude to Anne Cooper for serving on the Board of Directors, particularly for her leadership during her term as board chair, and welcomed Manmeet Bhatia as a new director.
Decoda librarian Tina Chau retired, and three new staff members joined the team: Lea Edgar, Librarian; Trish Weatherall, Communications Specialist; Jade Chan, Training Specialist.
We’re just getting started but exciting things are just weeks away!
Family Literacy Week
We’re planning to celebrate Family Literacy Week January 23-30 with the theme ‘Let’s connect! Care * Play * Listen.”
March 2-4, 2022, we look forward to meeting with leaders in adult learning, key members of the public and private sector, and literacy practitioners working in community-based literacy programs at the Decoda Literacy Conference in Richmond, BC!
Related Blog Posts
Long-time literacy practitioner values Decoda’s collaboration and support
The Director of Literacy Quesnel discusses how Decoda supports community literacy.
Our path forward
Decoda’s 2022-2025 strategic plan focuses on literacy advocacy, leadership and sustainability.
Plain language tips to reach your readers
Learn tips for writing to reach your readers from plain language specialist Kaitlyn Vecchio.