On Thursday, November 2nd, family and friends joined Newfoundland and Labrador Laubach Literacy Council members and volunteers to present the organization’s annual provincial awards.

The success of the Newfoundland and Labrador Literacy Council Inc. is built upon the passion and commitment of invaluable and dedicated volunteers. The Susie Day Volunteer of the Year Award was created to recognize those who demonstrate outstanding service through participation in and leadership of Laubach programs. This year’s recipient of the Susie Day Volunteer of the Year award is Greg Smith of Corner Brook, NL. Greg has shown an outstanding level of commitment to improving literacy in this province through his efforts as a tutor and former educator.

Greg is a retired teacher who first became a trained Laubach Tutor in 2012 and has tutored consistently since. His commitment to literacy can be seen through giving much of his time to helping individuals achieve higher education. He began tutoring for NLLLC first with the Learning Centre and then moved on to tutor at the West Rock Community Centre for the ABE Level 1 program. At times he was helping up to 12 individuals at once. His efforts have made a big difference to the lives of literacy learners who required his help and he currently tutors about 48 hours every month. Greg was nominated for this award by one of his student’s Jean Blackwood. In her nomination Jean said that Greg has helped her for a very long time. Throughout the years he has given her lots of courage and makes her feel good about herself. She said he changes her life every day.

Each year Newfoundland and Labrador Laubach Literacy Council also acknowledges the achievements of its students through the Student of the Year award. John Coombs of Corner Brook has been selected to receive the Newfoundland and Labrador Laubach Literacy Council Student of the Year Achievement Award for 2017. This award is presented annually to Laubach learners who have made significant progress in learning.

For over 30 years, NLLLC has been working diligently to help adults like John Coombs achieve their goals. John has come a long way since he first sat across the table from his first tutor. John has been working at improving his literacy for many years, never giving up, consistently optimistic, and always improving. He has never lost his desire to learn and be able to improve both his literacy and math skills. John has accessed the one-on-one tutoring program as a student of the Learning Centre in Corner Brook, moved on to attend the ABE Level 1 program at the West Rock community centre and continues now as an independent student. John works with his tutor out of the Corner Brook City Library.

John was nominated for this award, by his tutor Greg Smith who explains that his reading ability has improved to the point where he is now able to select books from the local library and complete them on his own with a little help from his tutor. He has made considerable progress in improving his math skills and is now able to handle basic operations involved in addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

John is a very dedicated student and is always eager to learn new things as his tutor points out. John struggles because of learning disabilities and currently his health, however his tutor indicates that through all the difficulties he has faced, he has persisted in trying to improve his skills to the best of his ability when many others at his age and after all the difficulties would have simply given up and considered any further effort on their part hopeless. John is very deserving of this award.
Both awards were presented at Western Memorial Regional by Maureen Kennedy, President of the Newfoundland and Labrador Laubach Literacy Council, along with Margie Lewis, Executive Director of the organization.

Over 30 years ago when NLLLC was created, the founding members of Newfoundland and Labrador Laubach Literacy Council set out to addresses the need for literacy services by providing free programs including the confidential one-on-one tutoring for adults. They can be proud that their hard work and passion has helped thousands of people like John and is still making a difference today because of dedicated tutors like Greg Smith. We extend congratulations to both John and Greg on receiving their much-deserved awards. We are enormously proud of them both and of the great honor they have brought to the NLLLC by their achievements.