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Library volunteer awarded Council of the Federation Award

by Christine P - 0 Comment(s)

Congratulations Lisa O’Blenis!

Lisa has been selected to receive the Council of the Federation Award for her work as a Literacy volunteer in the Learning Advantage program at the Calgary Public Library.

The award recognizes outstanding achievement, innovative practices, and excellence in literacy and is awarded to one person in each province. We are so pleased that Lisa is representing the Calgary Public Library and Alberta!

Learning Advantage pairs volunteers with adult literacy learners to assist them in achieving their goals in reading, writing, and numeracy.

If you are interested in our Learning Advantage program, click here.

Also, September 8th is International Literacy Day! What better way to celebrate your skills than to donate your time to help others in their reading, writing, and numeracy!

Bonding Over Books

by Christine P - 0 Comment(s)

Patient, kind, warm, calm. These are examples of words that have been used to describe Safina Sachedina, a volunteer with the Calgary Public Library’s ‘TD Read With Me’ program since 2009. Safina’s been working and reading with her young buddy, Shenise, for an hour a week at a library branch since October 2009. Shenise will graduate from the program later in Summer 2012, as she’s completed Gr. 6, and she credits Safina with helping her a lot over the almost three years they’ve worked together:

‘It’s been really, really good working with Safina. I feel really confident in my reading now. She’s really, really nice and doesn’t get frustrated if I don’t understand. I feel comfortable with Safina and she really understands when I have rough days…I don’t have to read then, we can play games instead. We’ve become friends.’

Michelle, Shenise’s mom, elaborates on the help that Safina has provided to her daughter through the program:

‘It’s been wonderful. We couldn’t have asked for a better fit than we got with Safina. She’s the most patient person I’ve ever met. She’s been able to break-down the barriers that Shenise puts up on bad days. They’re very in-tune with each other and have developed a real friendship. Safina has not only helped to develop Shenise’s reading skills but has also helped to raise her self-esteem and has been more like a mentor to her.’

According to Safina, the feeling goes both ways. ‘It’s been really good, working with Shenise and her family. I’ve really gotten to know her well and she’s a good girl and so fun. We’ve bonded really well and I’ve seen her grow a lot in confidence in general across the years. I see her going far in life. She’ll have to work hard (don’t we all! J) but she’ll get there!’

Thank you, Safina, for all your dedication to the program over the past 3 years! And best of luck to you, Shenise, in junior high in the fall!

The Library Celebrates Two Teen Volunteers

by Christine P - 0 Comment(s)

We would like to congratulate two of our library volunteers, Sarena Dharshi and Alisha Ebrahim!

Sarena was the recipient of the City of Calgary’s prestigious 2012 Calgary Awards in the youth category. Volunteer Resources nominated Sarena for her outstanding commitment to the community and her contributions to the Calgary Public Library’s youth volunteer programs. Sarena is a long-time library volunteer, having been with us since 2008, and has volunteered for five different programs as well as serving as co-chair to our Youth Advisory Council. To see all of the City of Calgary’s Calgary Awards recipients click here.

Alisha entered the Imperial Oil Foundation Famous 5 Middle School Contest and was one of five lucky recipients of an Apple Macbook laptop! Alisha has only been a Calgary Public Library volunteer for 7 months but has already contributed a great deal to our programs and we are very grateful to have her as part of our team of youth volunteers! To learn more about the Famous 5 Foundation’s youth awards program click here.

Congratulations Sarena and Alisha!

Sarena Dharshi and Azmin Poonja

Sarena Dharshi, Calgary Awards winner, and Azmin Poonja, Manager of Volunteer Resources at the Library.

Sushila

by Christine P - 0 Comment(s)

The Spanish Conversation Club is a free class offered to members of the public who wish to increase their oral language skills and gain confidence in speaking. It is facilitated by volunteers who guide participants in their Spanish conversations, answer questions, and ensure the group runs smoothly and has fun!

Sushila is one of our cherished volunteers with the Spanish Conversation Club at the Memorial Park Library, where she has been volunteering for the last year and a half.

Originally from Venezuela, Sushila is pursuing a career in the field of child care but enjoys teaching Spanish for fun on the side. All of the volunteers who work with Sushila say how friendly and organized she is. She is great at communicating with all the staff and volunteers, and has been affectionately called ‘the boss’ by a fellow volunteer. The participants of the club thoroughly enjoy having Sushila as a teacher, comments such as this one are commonplace for Sushila; “I really enjoyed the friendliness of the instructors and their sense of humour. They made us feel very at ease thereby making it easy to speak."

Sushila says that volunteering has positively impacted her life: “The staff at the library are so friendly. When I first came here I didn’t know any Canadians, but I have met many new people through the Spanish Conversation Club.”

Thank you Sushila for all of your dedication teaching Spanish to your fellow Calgarians!

Filza

by Christine P - 7 Comment(s)

Filza is one of the newest additions to our team of youth volunteers and we are very happy to have her! She began volunteering just over a month ago and has since been hooked; in just a short period of time she has been involved with CyberSeniors Connect, Computer Buddies and ESL Teen Talk.

Filza enjoys volunteering because it gives her the opportunity to communicate with members of the community. “The greatest part of volunteering is that you are able to interact with a diverse group of participants and are able to help the community strive to accomplish a goal.”

Over spring break Filza volunteered for ESL Teen Talk, a program where youth English language learners can practice their language skills while enjoying conversation, fun activities and interaction with peer volunteers. She obviously enjoyed her time: “In the ESL Teen Talk program it was amazing how there were people from eleven different countries gathered into one room. Despite our differences we were all able to unite as a collective group and were successfully able to interact and make friends. This program is unlike any other in the sense that a bond was created among the group. My favorite part is that the volunteers and the participants are not only comfortable in sharing one and others ideas, but are also encouraging and appreciating each other.”

If you are interested in learning more about our youth volunteer opportunities click here.

ESL Volunteers make a difference

by Christine P - 0 Comment(s)

Here are the lovely Memorial Park ESL Conversation Club volunteers in action.

From left to right: Ida, Marianna, Sudha, Salik, and Glenn

Thank you for helping English learners improve their skills!

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