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NWCC staffer tops in her field

HOUSTON Northwest Community Colleges (NWCC) Dee McRae is a champion for adult literacy in the Bulkley Valley and her years-long service to this cause has been rewarded with a 2011 Council of Federation Literacy Award, announced BC Premier Christy Clark. With almost 20 years of service in the literacy field, McRae continues to contribute her commitment to quality and creative energy to innovative literacy practices. After a stint as a part-time adult literacy tutor coordinator for Houston Link to Learning, McRae began teaching in Adult Basic Education at the College. She held the position of Regional Literacy Coordinator for 12 years on a part-time contract basis with Houston Link to Learning, and then in 2008, she moved to NWCC when the College added it into their literacy portfolio. McRae has been influential developing and securing funding for seven community adult literacy programs, and has helped communities get English as a Second Language (ESL) settlement grants. As Regional Literacy Coordinator, she now supports 11 diverse community literacy programs and five ESL Settlement Assistance Programs across the Northwest. At the school district level, Dee was co-chair of the Bulkley Valley (SD54) Literacy Coalition that piloted one of the provinces first district literacy plans in 2007. This coalition continues to forge new structures and relationships, while challenging its members to work together towards district wide goals for literacy development. "This award truly recognizes the work of many college and community practitioners and administrators, said McRae. Former College President, Stephanie Forsyth, played a huge role in literacy development across the Northwest. Her understanding of literacy in relation to our college, our communities and our region is the foundation which allows me to do this work." The Council of the Federation comprises all 13 provincial and territorial premiers. Each province and territory chooses a group, individual or project that has made a significant contribution to literacy. The Council of the Federation Literacy Award selection committee considers nominees history of commitment to excellence; community and peer recognition; leadership in the promotion of partnerships and public awareness; and the introduction of new ideas in promoting literacy. Award recipients receive a medallion and a certificate signed by the Premier of their province or territory. On behalf of the Ministry of Education, I would like to congratulate Dee for receiving this award, which gives her the recognition she deserves for her efforts to improve literacy levels in B.C., said Education Minister George Abbott. About one million adults in this province have low literacy levels, and people like Dee who are committed to making a difference in these peoples lives are tremendously valuable. For information on the Council of the Federation, visit: http://www.councilofthefederation.ca

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