Friday, June 28, 2019

Action Read Picnic 2019

The picnic was held at the pavilion at Riverside Park. We had jugglers come from the University of Guelph to teach us how to juggle. I tried really hard to do it. We also got to blow bubbles.

To eat, we had pizza from Domino’s and it was really spicy. Other people brought chips, lots of different salads, cheese and crackers, veggies and dip, and all kinds of desserts. I liked some of the food, especially the swiss cheese.

I also saw many of my friends, like Jason, Suzanne and Joanne. It was very fun with so many people. I super liked the Action Read Picnic.

By Tasha Urry
Action Read learner
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Monday, December 24, 2018

Holiday Party 2018

We had another fantastic holiday party!  The food was amazing thanks to the cooking of chefs Stephen Aspinall and Emily Quinton, as well as a team of talented volunteers.  We enjoyed lively Celtic music by Fiona and Mika McCairley. So much fun! Happy Holidays all!

Group of cheerful holiday party attendees.
A community party!

Happy tutor-learner pair enjoying themselves at the holiday party.
Tutor and Board member James with his learner Craig

Two cheerful female volunteers helping out in the kitchen.
Laila and Susan share a laugh

Group of party attendees focusing on making a holiday craft.
Making holiday crafts

A mother-daughter fiddler and pianist playing music.
Celtic Musicians Fiona and Mika McCairley

Young boy proudly showing off his bird craft with mom looking proudly on in the background.
Holiday creativity!

Group of happy friends enjoying food and conversation.
Good friends - good conversation

Woman proudly showing off the new books she got at the holiday party!
Tasha showing off her new books

Attractive display of wrapped donations for party attendees.
Fantastic book donations for our members

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Welcome to Adam!


Hello, my name is Adam Gonsalves and I am the new Group Learning Coordinator here at Action Read.  I am happy to join the team here, having come from Grade Learning Center in Milton, where I helped several people gain skills in customer service and Microsoft office, as well as literacy and math.  Prior to that, I was an instructor at Conestoga College, teaching courses for the Liberal Studies and communications department.  In the few months I have been here, I have met so many new people, and seen so many of our learners make strides towards accomplishing their learning goals.  Most recently, I delivered our cashier training course, and helped these learners obtain a certificate in our program. 

Diverse group of Action Read adult learners holding their cashier course certificates.
Individuals who recently completed Action Read's Cashier Training course

I am thoroughly enjoying helping new and current learners who have joined our Northstar computer groups, our Pre-GED group and currently, our Receptionist Training Program.  I look forward to continuing to provide support for all our learning groups. I am also excited to expand our offerings on Friday mornings by providing support to the online learning platform Good Learning Anywhere. 


Thursday, November 1, 2018

Board Orientation Retreat


The new Action Read board that was elected at the September Annual General Meeting recently came together for an orientation retreat. We got to know one another, shared some great stories, got creative and learned all about the roles and responsibilities of the board.
We had a very productive day, filled with valuable information and open conversations, and we had a few laughs too! We also enjoyed a delicious vegetarian lunch from 'With the Grain'.  

I’m so excited to work with this dynamic group of individuals who are going the extra mile to serve this 'small but mighty' organization!  ~ Mira Clarke, Executive Director

Left to Right - Jeff Guitard, Cindy Garland, Leah Sadler, Colleen Harper, Joyce Allen, Courtney Townsend, Vanessa Morton, Cheryl Turner, James Gray.  Missing John Dack and Paul Mesman


Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Dispatches from "Coming from the Heart"

Boozhoo (warm hello)! This group, led by long-time Action Read staff member and elder Jan Sherman, explores creative writing through a First Nations, Metis, and Inuit perspective.

Since returning from the summer break, this devoted group of learners has explored a number of writing topics.  They have responded to quotes from a traditional perspective based on spirit, heart, body, and mind; have written about traditional to contemporary Indigenous music; have written about what a Territorial Acknowledgment means to them and have written responses to other people’s writing from River Bundles a local publication.  They have even done some nature based creative writing exercises (e.g. what kind of tree you would be and why!). Members continue to show greater understanding of their uniqueness as learners at every session.

Jan Sherman discussing the medicine wheel with learners
The group has also explored Anna Bowen’s writing about the land we live on, and spoke to Anna directly when she lead a special class. 

There is so much to cover in this group, and the energy and passion of the learners continue to drive it forward!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Diversity Workshops

In the spring 2018, with the support of the Guelph Community Foundation, Action Read held a series of workshops to celebrate diversity, and to create a comfortable and inspiring context in which to share ideas and experiences around issues of identity, culture, and abilities. Our Project Coordinator Dawn Matheson brought her own unique perspective and considerable experience to the project.  She immediately identified the need to
approach each workshop through a “kind and compassionate” lens. Seemingly a small thing, it set a very
positive and non-judgmental tone to the project, which served to encourage participation and engagement.

We held 6 very well attended, highly engaging workshops. The project created new learning partnerships, built new community connections and created a sense of belonging. Workshop topics included spoken word poetry writing and performance, film, advocacy letter writing, music as therapy and community drumming.

Approximately 40 learners participated in the project and all of them agreed that the learning activities were valuable and enriching.

Huge thanks to the Guelph Community Foundation for their support of this special project!

"Music for Community Building" with Gary Diggins
Action Read staff member Laine




Noah Irvine "Mental Health and Addiction. Getting Your Voice Heard" 



"Poetry Potluck" with Kevin Sutton 

"Transported" Workshop with Dawn Matheson


Here are a few comments about what people appreciated about the workshops;

·          “The amazing pleasure of trying something I honestly felt I had no “feeling” for or about”

·         “The talk about the Syrian and Kenyan Refugees and their stories about their immigration to Canada”

·         “The writing round to the poem in a group of four or three.”

·         “The inclusivity and open-mindedness.”

·         “Interesting stories, all unpredictable and sweet. Gained knowledge about others.”

·          “Seeing everyone drum together was awesome!  It was easy for everyone to participate. And it was so fun!”

·          “I like the sharing that went around in the room. Also the fact it doesn’t matter where we are from, there is community.”

·       "We had a lot of fun and laughter"

       "We created community!"


Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Board Breakfast


Members of the Board and staff met for a delicious breakfast at Angels Diner, to say good-bye to our Board Chair Michael Brodzikowski. We really appreciate the diligence and focus Mike provided to the Board, not to mention his gentle approach and upbeat attitude. We know that Mike will go on to great things in his engineering career, and wish him every success!

Board Staff Breakfast at Angels Diner

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