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Ontario Recognizes Outstanding Literacy Volunteer

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Ontario Recognizes Outstanding Literacy Volunteer

Premier Congratulates Adult Literacy Award Winner: Leslie Ion

Office of the Premier

Premier Dalton McGuinty today congratulated Leslie Ion, who was chosen as Ontario's winner of an award that recognizes people who champion literacy in their communities.

"On behalf of all Ontarians, I want to congratulate Ms. Ion on her Council of the Federation Literacy Award," said Premier McGuinty. "Her passion and dedication to helping adults achieve literacy and find the opportunity it brings is an inspiration to us all."

The Council of the Federation Literacy Award is given to people who have done a tremendous job of promoting adult literacy through learning, teaching, fundraising or volunteering.

Canada's premiers created the award in 2004 to recognize the importance of literacy in building a vibrant society and strong economy. It is presented annually to one individual from each province and territory.

This year's winner, Ms. Ion, has volunteered with the Literacy Council of Brantford and District for the last 10 years, where she has worked as a tutor, fundraiser and passionate advocate for literacy. She has served on the council's Board of Directors and as fundraiser chair for their "Loonies for Literacy" campaign. She is also an active member of the organization's "Corporate Spelling Bee for Literacy" drive. Since 1996, she has worked more than 1,000 volunteer hours to help promote literacy in the City of Brantford.

Ms. Ion was selected from a list of provincial nominees by a panel of her peers. At a special ceremony later this year, she will be presented with a medallion in recognition of her work.

"Ontario can only reach its full potential when each and every Ontarian is given the opportunity to reach their potential," said Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities Chris Bentley. "That's why adult literacy is so important to our future, and why those who champion adult literacy -- such as Leslie Ion -- are so important to our province."

Recognizing leaders in literacy is just one of the ways the McGuinty government is working on the side of families who want their sons and daughters to find opportunity. Other initiatives include:

  • Expanding academic upgrading for students who leave high school early
  • Doubling student aid, so families can afford higher education
  • Increasing the number of new apprentices by 7,000 to 26,000 each year by 2007-08.

"Strong literacy skills are the foundation for a well-educated and highly skilled workforce -- and that's why people who champion literacy deserve our recognition," said Premier McGuinty. "By working together to build opportunity for every Ontarian, we will ensure Ontario remains strong and prosperous for years to come."



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