Judy Bortnik, the retiring Coordinator of the Wetaskiwin Community Literacy Program, hands off the leadership of the WCLP to Colleen Thiessen, the new Executive Director.
When Judy Bortnik retired as Coordinator of the Wetaskiwin Community Literacy Program (WCLP), the organization was actually able to surprise her with an appreciation and farewell party. For about six years, Bortnik has provided outstanding leadership which has resulted in the gradual steady growth of every aspect of the program. Volunteers and clients joined together to thank her and show their appreciation for her personal competence and dedication, and for the open, welcoming atmosphere she has developed.
Colleen Thiessen is now the Executive Director of the WCLP. She is passionate about literacy and anticipates that the program will continue to flourish and grow, building on its present strengths as well as developing in new directions.
Veronica Malcher is now the Adult Literacy Coordinator for WCLP. She has been one of the instructors for the English as a Second Language/English Language Learners classes for several years and initiated the popular English Pronunciation classes. Before immigrating from her native Columbia, she taught English as a Foreign Language.
Wendy Graham continues as the Family Literacy Coordinator.
The Wetaskiwin Community Literacy Program is very flexible and can provide assistance in improving any aspect of literacy, including mathematical ability. The original “PALS” core program involves the matching of volunteer tutors one-on-one with learners. One part of this program is Seniors Connect which provides an opportunity for seniors to learn computer skills. People wanting to learn or improve their English may attend classes or work with a tutor. Family Literacy supplies “Books for Babies” which gives new babies a bag with a couple books, a first library card and other information pertinent to very early literacy and is presented through the Wetaskiwin Community Health Centre at an early health check. “Rhyming Tots” is an interactive early literacy program for infants to five years accompanied by their parents or care givers. A similar outreach program is taken into day homes several times each year. “Little PALS” matches a volunteer tutor with elementary school children for extra one-on-one reading practice. Partnerships with local industry and other community organizations have helped more people to receive more help with various aspects of literacy.
Volunteers are at the heart of the literacy program, and WCLP very much appreciates every one of them and thanks them for all that they do, and is always ready to welcome more.
If you or anyone you know would like help in improving any literacy skills, remember that the Wetaskiwin Community Literacy Program offers “All literacy for all ages.”