Literacy conference connects to training and people

“I always feel so inspired after a conference!” says Michele Mobley, from Dawson Creek Literacy Society who has attended all four previous Decoda Literacy Conferences. “I leave feeling energized and ready to return to my community with a fresh view and renewed energy and passion.”

Literacy practitioners across BC are looking forward to connecting to professional development, to new ideas and inspiration, and to more than 200 literacy professionals in person during the Decoda Literacy Conference, May 4-6 at the Radisson Hotel Vancouver Airport in Richmond, BC.

Leaders in learning and literacy practitioners working in community-based literacy programs for people of all ages will come together for an interactive, dynamic and informative learning experience.

“After a challenging two years of working around pandemic restrictions, we are so excited to bring the literacy field together again for the literacy conference,” says Decoda Literacy Solutions’ executive director Margaret Sutherland.

“We’ve got such a fantastic lineup of speakers and workshops, plus time to connect with old friends and build new relationships that support our work. We have missed the personal connections, and meeting in person again will feel like bringing family together.”

Keynote speakers will inspire

Get inspired by the conference keynote speakers:

  • Ralf St. Clair, Dean, Faculty of Education at the University of Victoria and Decoda Literacy Board Director;
  • Angela Sterritt, award-winning CBC journalist, author and artist from the Gitanmaax band of the Gitxsan Nation will join the conference live on the big screen;
  • Craig Alexander, senior executive and leading economist in applied economics and forecasting. Craig says of literacy: “…it is hard to identify any other single issue that can have such a large payoff to individuals, the economy and society.”

The conference will wrap up with a provincial panel discussion with literacy leaders from across the country, moderated by Canadian literacy expert and As I was saying blogger Brigid Hayes.

Choose from 31 workshops

“Nonprofit literacy work means dedicating most available hours to the work itself and it can be difficult to make time for professional development,” says Margaret. “Over two days, practitioners can customize their learning by choosing from 31 workshops offered.”

Sessions range from practical workshops like Write a Winning Grant Proposal, plain language, and Canadian Adult Reading Assessment; to program ideas like Cooking on a Budget, book clubs and digital literacy; to wider-reaching social projects like Moving Beyond Polarization, the Write to Read Project, Supporting Refugee Resettlement, Trauma Informed Care and Adult Foundational Learners, and Indigenizing Curriculum and Developing First Nations Learning Materials.

See the full Decoda Literacy Conference Program Guide for keynote and workshop descriptions.

“I have attended every Decoda Literacy Conference,” says Anne Boyd from Campbell River Community Literacy Association. “My experience with literacy is extensive but I have always come away from the conference with new ideas and great connections to other communities. Connecting with a group of like-minded people all looking to improve their skills is an amazing experience. It’s a time of connection, learning and of course lots of fun. Highly recommended!”

Connecting rural and remote practitioners

For literacy practitioners who often work alone in rural and remote communities, the conference is an important connector.

“Decoda conferences are a wonderful place to make connections with other literacy practitioners, as well as share program ideas, resources, and challenges,” says Michele. “It’s also the perfect place to see the diversity of literacy roles are across the province.”

Leslie Dyck, from the Mount Waddington Family Literacy Society on North Vancouver Island, attended her first literacy conference in 2019, only a few months after she had started in the position.

“I learned so much in the classes and came away with so many resources and ideas,” says Leslie. “I had actually never met anyone else working in the literacy field, so building connections with Decoda staff and literacy practitioners across the province was really helpful.”

Elaine Storey, executive director at Autumn Services Centre in Fraser Lake has attended three Decoda Literacy Conferences over the past decade. “My favourite part of the conference is seeing old friends, forging new relationships and feeling welcomed,” she says. “For new LOCs, you get to meet with like-minded people who deliver literacy programs and deal with real people in their communities. It’s valuable to see and hear about literacy from the perspective of the experts and the people on the ground.”

Vendors support literacy

Throughout the conference, organizations will be set up during breaks and lunch to introduce their literacy-related materials and services. Book vendors include Barefoot Books, Usborne Books at Home, and Sain Enterprises. Nonprofit groups include AMSSA (Affiliation of Multicultural Societies and Service Agencies of BC), HIPPY (Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters), Capilano University’s Community Capacity Building course, and StoryWalk®.

Decoda will have information tables for The Westcoast Reader newspaper for learners and the Decoda Literacy Library, and is also hosting a Little Free Library.

Thank you to our supporters

Decoda is grateful to our supporters for making the Decoda Literacy Conference possible:

About us

Decoda Literacy Solutions is BC’s provincial literacy organization. We support community-based literacy programs and initiatives in over 400 communities across BC by providing resources, training and funds.

Our work supports children and families, youth, adults, Indigenous and immigrant communities to help build strong individuals, strong families and strong communities.

Get more details, the program guide and register for the Decoda Literacy Conference

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