Celebrating Educators

The Manitoba Reading Association and The Reading Council of Greater Winnipeg are teaming up to honor educators. The hard work of educators needs to be celebrated!

Manitoba Reading Association – “Every Manitoban a Literate Manitoban”

The Manitoba Reading Association would like to honour those who support literacy initiatives across the province. Perhaps you know an administrator that has gone the extra mile to support literacy within your school or division. Or maybe you know a community member who volunteers their time to implement literacy initiatives in your area. Please see attached PDF posters on how to nominate a literacy leader in Manitoba. Nominations due April 28th, 2023

Reading Council of Greater Winnipeg (RCGW) – “Promoting literacy through professional development and community outreach”

The RCGW would like to celebrate all the teachers and community leaders who have advanced literacy throughout our province. Is there someone in your school division or community who deserves to be recognized for their outstanding work in the field of literacy?

Perhaps you know a teacher who has done some remarkable things in the areas of classroom teaching, teacher education, or research.

Maybe you’re aware of a member of the RCGW who is retiring or moving away from Manitoba who should be honoured for their accomplishments here, or a community member who has raised awareness about the importance of reading.

You may work with or know about a colleague who has made significant literary contributions at the local or provincial level.

We would love to help you honour these individuals with our Annual Awards Evening, deadline for applications is Friday, April 28th 2023.

    For more detailed information as well as a fillable nomination form please click here.

    Community Connections

    This week, members of the Manitoba Council of Reading Clinicians served dinner to hundreds of Winnipeg’s community members at Siloam Mission. This was the MCRC’s sixth annual volunteer opportunity at the Mission. Guests appreciated hot pizza, pasta, salad and a delicious dessert prepared and served by dedicated and friendly staff volunteers. Thank you Siloam for another wonderful opportunity to serve our community and thanks to the members of MCRC for all your help!

    Siloam Mission is an innovative Christian humanitarian organization that builds connecting points between the compassionate and individuals in need. Siloam Mission supports Manitobans who are experiencing homelessness, poverty, and mental health challenges. If you would like to become involved or support the ongoing initiatives of the mission please visit their website for more information.

    Scholarship Awards 2021-22


    This year, in honor of our 40th anniversary, the MCRC was please to offer scholarships to not three, but SIX incredibly deserving recipients. The awards were presented as we celebrated not only this special group of educators, but the MCRC’s 40th anniversary as well. We were all so grateful to have the opportunity to gather in person and enjoy an evening of AGM business, delicious food, and great fellowship.

    2021-2022 Scholarship Recipients

    We remember Barbara fondly as a born educator and leader who inspired both teachers and students alike. We know that in her memory, these awards will support our recipients as they move toward gaining knowledge and understanding to also inspire and support the literacy community. Sincerest congratulations goes to the following recipients:

    Jon Sorokowski

    Jon Sorokowski has always loved learning and knew he wanted to be a teacher early in life. After several years of teaching elementary, Jon discovered his passion for adolescent literacy when he began working with middle schoolers. Helping striving readers and writers and collaborating with colleagues compelled him to pursue graduate studies in Language and Literacy. He is particularly interested in becoming a reading clinician to support adolescents in French immersion. Jon believes that his studies will help him advocate for and with students so that they can develop flourishing literate lives. He thanks the Koffman family and MCRC for this opportunity. 

    Tami Berg

     Hello! My name is Tami Berg. I am a classroom teacher in the Intermediate Bridges FASD Program at David Livingstone Community School. After earning my Bachelor of Education Degree in 2010, I worked as a classroom teacher for the last 12 years in both early and middle years classrooms. I obtained my Post-Baccalaureate Diploma in Special Education at the U of M in the fall of 2019. I am currently enrolled as a student in the WSD Masters Cohort in Language and Literacy, and my course work will be completed by December 2022.

         I chose this field of study for the Master of Education program because of my interest and desire in developing the skills and knowledge to support and enhance language and literacy skills for student achievement. I have an interest in learning and researching best practices in this area, particularly for students who struggle with oral language, reading and writing. Since language and literacy are embedded in all content areas, students need to develop these skills for success in academic learning. My goal is to work as a Reading Clinician. 

    Janice Caplan

    My name is Janice Caplan and I have been an educator for almost thirty years. In the classroom, I have taught students in grades 1 through 10. It was during these years as a classroom teacher I became aware of  challenges students face when struggling to read. I took a position with The Winnipeg School Division as a Literacy Intervention Support Teacher within the Indigenous Education Team.  I supported teachers in the classroom with their literacy programmes as well as Tier 2 intervention.  I am currently enrolled in Winnipeg School Division’s Master’s Cohort for Literacy to become a Certified Reading Clinician. It has been an amazing experience so far. In January 2022, I was offered a position with the Winnipeg School Division as a reading clinician associate. I am currently part of the Diagnostic Learning Team and work with students in grades 3-6.

    Anna Choy

    My name is Anna Choy, and I am currently the Literacy Support Teacher/ Reading Recovery Teacher at King Edward Community School. I have been teaching in the Winnipeg School Division for over 9 years. I am pursuing my Master of Education degree in Language and Literacy to learn about current research, theories, strategies, and resources that can empower me to become a better literacy educator. My goal is for each student I work with to develop the skills, confidence, and agency required to be contributing literate members of society.

    Ali Kampen

    My name is Ali Kampen and for the past eight years I have taught early years in the Seine River School Division. Throughout this time, I’ve seen how quickly a student’s perception of literacy is formed.
    As a teacher, my goal is to create positive learning experiences for my students so I can foster a love of literacy. Through student voice and a strength based approach, I believe we have the ability to help students see themselves as both readers and writers.
    Thank you so much to the MCRC and family of Barbara Koffman. I am honoured!

    Becca Meachum

    Born – Saskatchewan.
    Raised – Manitoba.
    Daughter. Little sister.
    Thompson girl.
    Walked Cookie by the Burntwood River.
    Found peace in the northern woods.

    Moved – Winnipeg.
    Arts degree.
    Major: English, Minor: Theatre.
    Found a love for writing poetry.
    Tall Grass baker.
    New Zealand traveller.
    Educational assistant.

    Ross’ wife.
    Education degree.
    Tieg, Mac and Ida May’s Mom.

    Master’s student.
    New sense of purpose teaching and writing.
    Honing my theory.
    Learning strength-based strategies.
    Eager to support students’ literacy needs.
    Walking Dolly to Omand’s Creek.
    A moment to capture nature by the Assiniboine River.
    Future reading clinician.

    All the best to you moving forward in your studies from the Manitoba Council of Reading Clinicians!

    We remember…

    A Tribute to Dr. Beverley Zakaluk (nee Graham), B.A. B.Ed. M. Ed. Ph.D.

    It is with great sadness that we learned that Dr. Beverley Zakaluk, Professor Emerita, passed away on May 17, 2022. Bev was an inspiration to many people in Manitoba. She was a very devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. We are very sorry for the family’s loss.

    Bev faced the inevitable challenges in life with grace, dignity, and hard work. She obtained her first three degrees, B.A., B. Ed., and M.Ed., from the University of Manitoba.

    Bev loved teaching and completed her training at The Provincial Normal School in 1951. She first taught as an elementary classroom teacher in Bisset, Manitoba. There she met a middle school educator who was to become her devoted husband, Bernard Zakaluk. She later taught at Woodhaven Elementary School. After completing her master’s degree in education, Bev became a Reading Clinician at the Child Guidance Clinic in Winnipeg School Division, where she worked in multiple schools.

    Dr. Zakaluk later completed her doctorate at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. Bev was a doctoral student of Dr. Jay Samuels, and together they published a helpful book called Readability: Its Past, Present, and Future. For years, their book was often quoted in the literature. Later in her career, Dr. Zakaluk self-published Family Literacy Programs: The Bookmates Experience. She also had several articles published about her other initiatives as a contributor to Reading Manitoba, the former journal of the Reading Council of Greater Winnipeg, as well as other journals.

    Many teachers and reading clinicians speak very positively of Bev as an insightful mentor and supportive academic advisor. As a professor, she was demanding and rigorous. She also knew how to inspire and patiently nurture emerging potential. As a colleague, Bev modelled collaboration as she engaged in school-based research and numerous projects with other professors and school personnel. Upon her retirement, Dr. Zakaluk was honoured by being designated as Professor Emerita by the University of Manitoba. 

    Bev was a role model as a Manitoba literacy leader, becoming president of the Reading Council of Greater Winnipeg, a local council of the IRA. She planned enriching professional learning sessions and conferences with her teams. Bev was deeply honoured to become a lifetime member of the RCGW.

    Bev joined the Manitoba Council of Reading Clinicians and continued to teach graduate courses to prepare reading clinicians for service in Manitoba. She also mentored clinicians in the field to develop a rich repertoire of assessment tools and encouraged creative programming linked to Manitoba curricula. She urged new clinicians to be active in the MCRC’s activities and she attended as often as she could.

    Dr. Zakaluk was a firm believer in the power of parental involvement in literacy development. In 1984, she was one of the founders of Bookmates, Inc., which continues as a not-for-profit organization in Winnipeg. She maintained her devotion to the Bookmates’ mission to inspire families and communities to grow together through the shared joy of literacy learning. Bev remained an avid promoter of public libraries for families. Later in her career, she wrote a book, Family Literacy Programs: The Bookmates Experience to make the larger community aware of the importance of Winnipeg’s model parental involvement program to enhance literacy.

    Bev was honoured for her indefatigable dedication to education and literacy by many organizations. Her well-deserved, prestigious awards include the Lieutenant-Governor’s Medal for Literacy; the YMCA-YWCA 2002 Women of Distinction Award for Education, Training, and Development; the Dr. and Mrs. H. H. Saunderson Award for excellence in teaching and later the Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching; the UMFA Faculty of Education Merit Award; and the University of Manitoba Outreach Award.

    Bev’s devoted leadership and service to our community was also recognized nationally and internationally. She was awarded a national volunteer award for Canadian educators, the International Reading Association Celebrate Literacy Award, and a Certificate of Merit from the Reading Council of Greater Winnipeg. As a member of Manitoba Reading Association, she continued to follow the literacy initiatives of each of the reading councils with enthusiasm.

    We are truly grateful for the vision, dedication, inspiration, emotional and academic support that Dr. Zakaluk demonstrated in her long and meaningful life, as a distinguished Manitoba educator, reading clinician and professor. She will be deeply missed by many former students and colleagues. May Bev’s memory continue to inspire her family, colleagues, friends, and former students. We are grateful for her years of dedication to the development of literacy at all levels in Manitoba. She truly enhanced the literacy landscape of our province in all her endeavours.

    Barbara Koffman Scholarship

    Barbara Koffman was a distinguished reading clinician and past president of MCRC (1988-1989). She was a mentor to fellow reading clinicians and teachers in Manitoba, sharing her expertise and innovative methods in the field of literacy education. Barbara is remembered as an intelligent, humourous, collaborative, and dedicated clinician.
    In her memory, the Manitoba Council of Reading Clinicians has scholarships available each year for students pursuing certification as reading clinicians. For 2021-2022, in honour of MCRC’s 40th anniversary, up to six $1000.00 scholarships are available. Graduate students studying at the Masters or Doctorate level are eligible and are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Please note that applications received after the deadline will not be considered.

    Applicant Requirements:
    • Resident of Manitoba
    • Bachelor’s Degree in Education
    • Provincially Certified Teacher in Manitoba
    • Enrolled in an accredited post-secondary institution
    • Minimum of 2+ years successful teaching experience (or f/t equivalent)
    • Teaching experience must include literacy instruction
    • Intention to pursue requirements for certification as a reading clinician
    • If certification requirements have already been met, applicants must be pursuing further studies in clinical reading/literacy (e.g. PhD, EdD)
    • Applicants must intend to serve in some capacity in the area of clinical reading/literacy in the Province of Manitoba

    For more information and to find out how YOU can apply please click here. Deadline APRIL 1st 2022

    A Fresh Look at Phonics Workshop

    A Guided Online Workshop featuring Wiley Blevins



    Event Date and Time:
    Wednesday January 19th 2022 and Thursday, January 20th Via Zoom: 4:30- 6:00 pm CST  

    The MCRC is excited to present A Fresh Look at Phonics: Common Causes of FAILURE and 7 Ingredients for SUCCESS. In this session Wiley Blevins will share the reasons why phonics instruction fails and what can be done about it.  Wiley will also provide resources and effective strategies for implementing phonics instruction as well as a detailed scope and sequence for early years.  

    Wiley Blevins is an early reading specialist who holds a Masters of Education from Harvard University. He taught elementary school in both the United States and South America and was Director of Special Projects for Scholastic in New York City. Wiley is prolific author, having written over 75 books for children and contributed to or authored 15 for books for teachers. Some of his professional titles include Phonics from A-Z and Teaching Phonics and Word Study in the Intermediate Grades. His latest publication, and the focus of this session, is A Fresh Look at Phonics: Common Causes of Failure and 7 Ingredients for Success.

    Registration fees:  –
    $39.00 per person                 
    $99.00 for school groups of 3 or more                  
    $30.00 for teacher candidates/MRA/MCRC members
    Payment due by January 10, 2022
    For registration and payment please click here.    

    Cancellation policy: Requests received before January 15, 2022 will be honoured less a $10.00 administration fee.  Requests after that time will not be considered.