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NWCC staff co-author guide for literacy practitioners

HOUSTON Two Northwest Community College (NWCC) employees, both tireless champions of learning and literacy in the Bulkley Valley and beyond, have been instrumental in creating a new tool for literacy practitioners. Houston-based Sandi Lavallie, Career & College Prep Instructor and Coordinator, and Dee McRae, Regional Literacy Coordinator, teamed with Anne Docherty of the Storytellers' Foundation in Hazelton to create The ACME Guide to Literacy Practice in Community: A Conversation for Literacy Practitioners. The result is an interesting and provocative look at those complexities and what it means to engage in meaningful literacy practice. Written in an innovative and engaging comic book style and addressed directly to literacy practitioners, it is an accessible and highly engaging conversation for practitioners and tutors in adult literacy settings. "This guide is about the nature of literacy and the implications for practice," said Lavallie. "It is intended as a professional development tool that will spark dialogue, debate, ideas and reflection about how we define literacy, how we define literacy progress, and other 'big picture' questions. "While it was originally intended to be a fun, informal introduction to measurement, we found that as we wrote, we kept going back to the essence of literacy practice. We first need to look closely at literacy and learning in community to really see the complexities. Lianne Gagnon, NWCC's Dean of Student Development and Instruction has read the guide, finding it to be both informative and fun. "I'm veryÿpleasedÿthat Northwest Community Collegethrough the effort, skill and passion of Sandi and Deehas played aÿsignificant partÿin creating this great new literacy resource," said Gagnon. "Sandi, Dee and Anneÿpossess a wealth of literacy experience and it is reflected in this book for practitioners. These three individuals are well knownÿfor their expertise in literacy and theirÿsuccessful grassroots initiatives. The Northwest region is a more literate place because of their endeavours.ÿI recommend theÿguide to anyone in the field of literacy." The guide is a product of the project From the Ground Up: A Research-in-Practice Approach to Outcome-Oriented Program Evaluation managed by RiPAL-BC (Research in Practice in Adult LiteracyBC) in partnership with Literacy BC and funded by the Office of Literacy and Essential Skills, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. In addition to viewing it in PDF format (, the College has six copies available at its campuses in Hazelton, Houston, Kitimat, Prince Rupert, Smithers and Terrace. NWCC is a valuable community asset, impacting the lives of students and our communities. Through its nine campuses, 500-plus employees and an annual injection of over $30 million into the local economy, NWCC is an economic engine supporting the many communities that look to us to provide innovative programs and services.

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