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.

    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.

    Siloam Mission

    This past weekend was the Manitoba Council of Reading Clinician’s 4th annual volunteer opportunity at Siloam Mission. This year we had the pleasure of serving lunch to hundreds of cold, vulnerable and hungry Winnipeger’s. The steaming soup and hot coffee was a welcome sight to to all those who came in from the cold. With an assembly line of 8 people and several members serving food on the floor, we were able to accomplish this great event of lunch in 1.5 hours. Prep time and clean up is a breeze with so many smiles and friendly people helping out! Thank you to all members of the Executive Council who were able to attend as well as the “plus one” attendees who were very much appreciated!


    Did you know that on March 21st from 11:00-4:00 you will find representatives from Siloam Mission at Superstore on 3193 Portage Avenue?

    There’s always that one extra item you need from the grocery store…Siloam Mission is no different!

    Come find them at the entrance of the store. You can pick up a Siloam Mission shopping list, grab a few items while you’re doing your own shopping, and drop your donated goods on your way out!

    90% of the food served daily is kindly donated to Siloam Mission from people like yourself. Your effort will help feed over 1,500 people daily!

    If you would like to donate goods today, find a list to review of their most urgently items.

    The Case for Children’s Right to Read

    “Teaching children to read open’s up a world of possibility for them. It builds their capacity for creative and critical thinking, expands their knowledge base, and develops their ability to respond with empathy and compassion to others.”

    THE INTERNATIONAL LITERACY ASSOCIATION (ILA) has long recognized the right to read as fundamental and inalienable. However, for too many children, this right is never realized.

    In 2018, the ILA Board of Directors convened a task force charged with developing a worldwide campaign around children’s rights to read—and what needs to be done to ensure these fundamental rights. This task force is composed of ILA members from Australia, Ireland, Japan, Russia, and the United States. Their work yielded a list of 10 rights, of equal importance, that every child deserves. In The Case for Children’s Rights to Read, the ILA offers a glimpse into how and why each of the 10 rights were selected. Included is a reference list of the literature drawn upon when crafting the rights. Readers are encouraged to review these resources.

    Choices Reading Lists

    Ideas For Holiday Gift Buying!

    Each year, thousands of children, young adults, and educators around the United States select their favorite recently published books for the Choices reading lists. These lists are used in classrooms, libraries, and homes to help readers of all ages find books they will enjoy. The International Reading Association provides the annotated lists for the current year, (as well as past years) posting them on-line in May with a free download available. Take advantage and find the perfect gift for the avid reader on your list.

    International Literacy Outreach

    The Manitoba Council of Reading Clinicians is honored to have the opportunity to support international literacy outreach through our very own executive member, Monica Wiebe.

    Since Jan. 28, 2007 Monica has been a friend to the teachers and students at St. Jude Primary School in the village of Bukoto, near Masaka, Uganda.  Monica taught for almost 3 months in early 2007 using only a teacher book and chalk, a stark contrast to the Smartboards, ebooks and libraries she was used to in Winnipeg. Teaching English to students who had never held a book was a challenge like none other, but Monica successfully accomplished her mission.

    in class
    New textbooks are a big hit!

    In 2009, after collecting donations from family, friends and our very own MCRC, Monica returned to Uganda, with enough funds to start a small library. Textbooks were also purchased, that proved to be valuable resources when teaching complexities such as the digestive system! The focus remained primarily on Agriculture, Science and English books for Primary/grade 2-7.

    In 2012, Monica returned to Uganda with even more financial support from friends, family and the MCRC. With this money, Monica was able to replenish books, purchase playground equipment, build a water tank designed to store rain water, and purchase mosquito nets for the dorm.

    playground equip
    New playground equipment

    During all this time Monica instilled a love of reading for fun with all she met. Rural Uganda is not extremely literate; however students who excel can get scholarships to university. Reading for fun is not common in the country side, mainly because work is manual, plentiful and exhausting.

    Today Monica continues to seek funds to help the school replace textbooks and provide new materials that will enhance literacy for this small rural community.  Through the support of donations, Monica endeavors to send money once a year. The school year begins in February,  and $1900 US was sent on March 1, 2017. The MCRC supported Monica in achieving this goal. Recently Monica received a package with 51 thank you letters from Primary 5/6 students! The letters were heartfelt and gracious, and brought season’s greetings to all who had supported this project.

    Click here to  watch a video and learn more about The Book Project since it’s inception in 2007. See first hand the amazing changes Monica has helped to achieve!