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Lana Faessler Award

2014 Lana Faessler Award Winner: Robyn Cook-Ritchie (Grand Erie Learning Alternatives in Brantford)

Robyn played a major part in the Bridges to Success Program being co-located with Careerlink in order to develop a better partnership between employment services and literacy services.


She has produced numerous proposals for additional finances for the Bridges to Success Program in order to ensure the best education can be provided with the most up to date technology. Most recently she spear-headed and initiative to provide the Bridges to Success program with Apple iPads. She went up against various obstacles yet was still successful.

Robyn attends several workshops, meetings and conferences throughout the province every month. She makes sure to educate all involved parties about the Bridges to Success program as well as about adult literacy in general including, but not limited to, new classroom materials that are available and new policies and procedures.

She also regularly attends workshop sessions or classroom hours at the Bridges to Success Program on a volunteer basis in order to assist, offer advice and/or educate staff about new materials. Robyn has voluntarily become a mentor to a number of individuals in the city who are new to the literacy world. She offers advice and shares stories from her own experiences.

Robyn has integrated topic specific programming in the form of workshops into the Bridges to Success Program's available curricula. Some workshops include Essential Skills for the 21st Century and Parenting. Robyn attends frequent courses and workshops that enable her to constantly incorporate new, creative and innovative ways to make literacy fun and interesting for all clients. Most recently she attended a workshop called "Learning with Swagger". She was able to create a fun way for clients to sign in and indicate their mood to the instructor when arrive to class each day.

She is involved in almost every aspect of the adult literacy world in the province of Ontario. Her ability to manage, instruct, educate, train and learn is incredible. Her knowledge of literacy programming in the province is above any other's.

Above all, she is always willing to share her wisdom with others.

Name of Nominator: Kari Dumesnil, Grand Erie Learning Alternatives

Past Recipients:

  • 2013: Lucie Johanna (Jo) Mutch, North Bay Literacy Council     
  • 2012: Carol Risidore of The Literacy Group of Kitchener
  • 2011: Jane Jackson, Executive Director, Northbay Literacy Council
  • 2010: Connie Morgan, Executive Director, Barrie Reading Council
  • 2009: Sue Bannon, Executive Director, Midland Area Reading Council
  • 2008: Margaret Maynard, Executive Director, Literacy Council of Niagara West
  • 2007: Val Sadler, Executive Director, Hamilton Literacy Council
  • 2006: Lana Faessler, Executive Director, Laubach Literacy Ontario

What does it take to qualify for the Lana Faessler Outstanding Service Award?


The Criteria
  1. The employee will be currently employed with the member council and have worked at their agency for a minimum of 5 years. The employee will have shown a dedication to their agency and to advancing the cause of literacy in their community.
  2. The employee will have generated initiatives in their community that raised awareness and/or funds for their agency.
  3. The employee will have also accrued volunteer hours over and above his/her work schedule through tutoring, training, public awareness campaigns, fund raising events or committee work.
  4. The employee has upgraded his/her skills as related to his/her daily work and/or their volunteer commitment.
The Process
  1. The member agency will submit a written nomination form with supporting documentation for claims of outstanding service, to the LLO board of directors.
  2. The nomination forms will be submitted by a predetermined date prior to the Annual General Meeting of LLO.
  3. An Ad Hoc committee will review all nominations submitted on time and determine the award winner. The winner will be announced at the LLO Annual Conference.
  4. The winner will receive a personal plaque declaring he/she is a winner of this award. The winner will keep this plaque.
  5. The nominating agency will be presented with a plaque announcing their winner. The agency will keep that plaque for one year and return it to the LLO office in time for LLO to present to the next year’s winner and their agency.
  6. A picture of the winner will be taken and used in the LLO newsletter and on the LLO website.