September 25, 2020

Saskatchewan Honours 2020 Council of the Federation Literacy Award Winner

Today, Deputy Premier and Education Minister Gordon Wyant is proud to congratulate Renae Lech of Gravelbourg on being Saskatchewan's winner of the 2020 Council of the Federation’s Literacy award.  Lech is being recognized for her selfless and dedicated volunteer work with Great Plains College.

“I want to thank Renae for her dedicated volunteer work helping to promote and advocate for family literacy,” Wyant said.  “Volunteers like Renae are helping to improve the literacy rates for our residents and newcomers, which is vital to enhancing the lives of Saskatchewan people.”

The Council of the Federation Literacy Award (COFLA) recognizes outstanding achievement, innovative practice and excellence in literacy in each of Canada’s provinces and territories.  This is the second year that Saskatchewan is recognizing an outstanding family literacy volunteer, who has contributed significant knowledge, time and expertise to assist literacy learners, communities or organizations.

In 2015, Renae began working as a volunteer at Great Plains College in the English as an Additional Language (EAL) program in Gravelbourg.  

Her work has positively impacted the lives of many newcomers and their families and since she began volunteering, attendance has improved due to her sincere interest in the lives of newcomers and their families.

“The support for our EAL Learners has definitely improved since Renae started volunteering,” EAL program coordinator Bula Ghosh said.  “As a direct result of her hard work, we have seen an increase in enrollment and learner retention.  Every year, more and more learners in our community are benefitting from her hard work and commitment.”

Renae is fostering English-language skills and deepening relationships between community members by organizing social events for newcomers and their families in order to practice English on a more social basis. She also works to connect newcomers and their families to the community through the completion of volunteer work and she supports newcomers in completing job applications.

“It warms my heart to be recognized for something that I love to do,” Lech said.  “I love helping others and I am fortunate to volunteer with the most wonderful learners of the Gravelbourg EAL program.  I am truly blessed to be a part of their literacy journey.  Thank you to the Council of the Federation and the Ministry of Education for this great honour.”

This marks the 16th year of presenting the COFLA award across Canada.  A complete list of previous recipients of the COFLA Award in Saskatchewan is available at www.saskatchewan.ca/government/heritage-honours-and-awards/council-of-the-federation-literacy-award.

For more information about the Council of the Federation, visit http://canadaspremiers.ca.