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!

February farewell

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.

Two women stand behind a table full of books.

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.

top 10 literacy resources

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.

a path through a forest with StoryWalk signs alongside the path.

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.

Aliza Dhungana interacts with a child

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

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.

Planning 2022…

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.”

Literacy conference

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

Celebrate active learning during Family Literacy Week

“I love the active theme this year,” says Joan Exley, literacy outreach coordinator for more than 20 years at CBAL.

Fostering Literacy helps children, inspires youth

Fostering Literacy programs support children who struggle with reading and provide work experience for teens.

Past editor celebrates The Westcoast Reader’s 40 years

Past editor Joan Acosta talks about The Westcoast Reader’s 40-year success.