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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.

Active Learning

by Christine P - 2 Comment(s)

Navjot Virk exudes warmth, friendliness and intelligence. She and Piyush have been reading partners in the TD Read With Me program for the past two and a half years. They’ve met once a week for an hour over that period at a Calgary Public Library branch to read and enjoy literacy together. Piyush graduated from the program in June 2012, following the completion of his Gr. 6 school year.

According to Shalini, Piyush’s mom, his graduation comes a few years too soon. ‘I would have liked it if he could have stayed in the program through his junior high years. Navjot has really helped him, not only with his reading, but also with personal growth. He sees her as a role model and a ‘big sister’. Their personalities matched very well. You can’t just give him a book and sit and read straight for an hour. Navjot recognized that and made program sessions interactive for him, playing board games and doing different activities with him, and kept him engaged.’

Piyush agrees, stating that working with Navjot over the years has been ‘really good.’ He has improved his reading skills a lot. He elaborates that Navjot ‘helps you with your homework, if you have some. [Our program sessions] were interesting. It was never the same thing…[the activities were] always mixed-up…so it wasn’t just reading all the time but we played games together too. It was fun.’

Navjot concurs. ‘Piyush is awesome and I think I learn more from him than he does from me. The coolest thing has been seeing his self-confidence increase. We’ve been paired together for so long that we’ve really developed a relationship and it’s been neat to see him make progress through the years’.

Shalini has no doubt that the next child paired with Navjot in the program will see similar benefits from her support. The staff at Calgary Public Library could not agree more.

Thank you, Navjot! And best of luck in Junior High in the fall, Piyush!

If you want to learn more about the TD Read With Me program, click here.

A 'Living Library' Book Talks

by Christine P - 0 Comment(s)

Living Library gives readers an opportunity to borrow a person or “living book”. Volunteers, who are the living books, share stories about their personal experiences of diversity in a safe and welcoming environment.

Here is one of our book's perspective on why they volunteer at the Library:

I like volunteering simply because it's in the family. I was raised in Winnipeg where my parents set a strong example. They never talked about it; they just did it. In the various places I've lived outside of Canada volunteering has helped me to meet people in need as well as those who help . I learned from each and every one of them.

My favorite part of volunteering in Calgary is meeting so many "new" Canadians; I can sympathize with many of them and the challenges of their new way of life and language. I think the library is an ideal place for them to learn, seek and receive help.

Volunteer as our Mascot Curious

by Christine P - 0 Comment(s)

Curious the Chameleon with his pal, Mayor Nenshi

Have you ever wanted to be a giant chameleon?

 

We are looking for volunteers to go into costume and become our loveable mascot, Curious the Chameleon.

If dressing up isn't your cup of tea, volunteers are also needed to help the mascot as they walk around, and answer questions about the mascot. No costume necessary!

Volunteers who are flexible and able to travel to multiple Library locations are preferred, as Curious makes public appearances at a variety of special events all around the city! Training is provided and it's a great chance to dress up and make people smile.

To learn more about Curious, click here.

If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Christine Pinkney at 403-260-2632.

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