Adult Learning and Literacy

Council of the Federation Literacy Award Manitoba Recipients




Manitoba Recipient for 2017 Council of the Federation Literacy Award

Honourable Ian Wishart,  Minister of Education and Training; Honourable Brian Pallister, Premier of Manitoba, and Christian Haines
Honourable Ian Wishart, Minister of Education and Training;
Honourable Brian Pallister, Premier of Manitoba, and Christian Haines

Christian Haines – Winnipeg, Manitoba

Christian Haines began attending upgrading classes in 2015 at the Open Doors Adult Literacy Program in Winnipeg. Chris identified two goals: to successfully write his GED high school equivalency tests and to enrol in courses in preparation for a career in addictions counselling. As Chris made significant strides in the program, his confidence increased. As a single parent, he not only persisted with attending literacy classes, but also became a peer tutor and enrolled in additional courses to further his literacy skills and personal development. In an effort to assist the community with a growing fentanyl drug problem, Chris shared his story with the media. In 2017 Chris obtained a GED certificate and is enrolled to train as an addictions counselor.


Manitoba Recipient for 2016 Council of the Federation Literacy Award

Minister Ian Wishart and Margaret Banasiak
Minister Ian Wishart and Margaret Banasiak

Margaret Banasiak – Winnipeg, Manitoba

The Council of the Federation Literacy Award celebrates outstanding achievement, innovative practice and excellence in literacy in each of Canada’s 13 provinces and territories. In 2016 the award recipient for Manitoba was Margaret Banasiak of Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Margaret Banasiak is a teacher and coordinator at several adult literacy programs in low-income areas of Winnipeg. In 1990, Ms. Banasiak was instrumental in the development of the Open Doors program, and in 2002, the Luxton School program. Ms. Banasiak contributed her expertise to establish the Lord Selkirk Park Adult Learning Program, which helped in the revitalisation of this housing development complex. Ms. Banasiak has co-authored several resources, presented at conferences and made invaluable contributions to committees, including the Winnipeg Foundation’s Literacy for Life Grants Committee.

After 26 years, Ms. Banasiak’s passion for literacy is evident in her willingness to mentor other teachers and in the genuine respect and appreciation she receives from learners and colleagues. Ms. Banasiak’s work creating accessible learning environments has had life-changing impacts for vulnerable individuals within a supportive community context.


Manitoba Recipient for 2015 Council of the Federation Literacy Award

Minister Flor Marcelino and Pauline Petti
Minister Flor Marcelino and Pauline Petti

Pauline Petti – Winnipeg, Manitoba

The Council of the Federation Literacy Award celebrates outstanding achievement, innovative practice and excellence in literacy in each of Canada’s 13 provinces and territories. In 2015, the award recipient for Manitoba was Pauline Petti of Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Pauline Petti enrolled in the adult literacy program at LiteracyWORKS Inc. in October 2012. After retiring from the health care field after 30 years, Pauline began the program at a Stage 1 level with a basic understanding of reading and writing.With perseverance and hard work, she progressed to Stage 2 making significant progress in her writing and in reading a variety of texts. Despite obstacles, Pauline remained motivated and continued to attend classes. With her increased confidence, she has mentored young aboriginal students and now volunteers in the community at church services and pow wows. Pauline’s goal is to achieve her Grade 12. She is an inspiration and a role model to other students.


Manitoba Recipient for 2014 Council of the Federation Literacy Award

Premier Selinger and André Tourramitouyaï
Premier Selinger and André Tourramitouyaï

André Tourramitouyaï – Winnipeg, Manitoba

Nominator: Chantal Leblanc, Pluri-elles (Manitoba) Inc.

André Tourramitouyaï arrived in Winnipeg in 2012 from the Central African Republic (via Cameroon). He had attended elementary school for three years. He learned to speak and understand French, but navigating new systems in a new country was challenging.  To help him in his daily life, he enrolled in the French language literacy program, Alphabétisation des adultes en français au Manitoba to help him in his daily life. André is a widower with four children aged 5 to 14. His participation in the literacy program as well as in many other programs offered at Pluri-elle (Manitoba) Inc. has helped him to increase his confidence and his reading and writing skills. Recently he passed his written driver’s test. André encourages his children to participate in activities. He helps other adult learners with their literacy goals and is a source of inspiration for them all.


Manitoba Recipient for 2013 Council of the Federation Literacy Award

Premier Selinger and Amanda Morhard
Premier Selinger and Amanda Morhard

Amanda Morhart  – Portage la Prairie, Manitoba

Nominator: Portage Adult Learning and Literacy Centre

Amanda Morhart entered the literacy program at the Portage Adult Learning and Literacy Centre in September 2012.  Through her hard work and dedication she was able to make significant progress toward her dream of attaining her high school diploma.  She is a full time mom to three children, works part time and regularly attends classes where she is upgrading her literacy skills and taking high school credit courses.  Amanda also volunteers as a Boy Scout leader.  As her skills improved and her confidence in her abilities grew she became an active learner and volunteer at the Centre assisting with the Open House, the Breakfast program and fundraising for graduation.  Her poem “Pain” was recently published in the Write On magazine.  Amanda is a role model and inspiration to other students.


Manitoba Recipient for 2012 Council of the Federation Literacy Award

Tina Bergen – Grunthal, Manitoba

Nominator: South Eastman English and Literacy Services

Tina Bergen had a passion for learning as a child in Paraguay where her schooling stopped at age 12.  She moved with her young family to Canada, where “a whole new world opened up and it was like her mind had come to life.” When Tina was laid off from the local manufacturing plant there was the opportunity to pursue a job in the Residential Care field.  This work required a grade 12 diploma so she enrolled at South Eastman English and Literacy Services to improve her writing skills. Within six months she finished her Stage 3, wrote a book, Turbulence, Transitions and Triumphs and enrolled in high school courses.  Tina inspires other learners through her writing, volunteering on the board and her successful transition to the adult learning centre.


Manitoba Recipient for 2011 Council of the Federation Literacy Award

Premier Selinger and Michael Moore
Premier Selinger and Michael Moore

Michael Moore – Winnipeg, Manitoba

Nominator: Diane Lonergan, LiteracyWORKS Inc.

Michael Moore kept the seriousness of his literacy problem hidden from everyone.  He developed day-to-day strategies, often saying ‘You do it, I’ve forgotten my glasses’.  To become a bus driver, he orally memorized all 75 rules and regulations. In his 40s Michael, claiming a visual problem, asked the phone operator to help him find a literacy class.  He contacted LiteracyWORKS where a tutor worked with him for three years. With increased confidence and literacy skills, Michael is now pursuing a college diploma to become a counsellor, serves on the Winnipeg Transit Critical Crisis Team and volunteers with the local suicide prevention hot-line.  Mr. Moore is a fabulous example of what courage and perseverance can do.


Manitoba Recipient for 2010 Council of the Federation Literacy Award

2010 Recipients
Angela with her sons, Premier Greg Selinger, Diane McGifford,
Minister of Advanced Education and Literacy, and nominator Norm Koe

Angela Keno - Winnipeg, Manitoba

Nominator: Norm Koe, Westgrove Learning Centre

Angela Keno always wanted to improve her literacy skills, but as a single parent of three sons she was unable to attend programs due to family commitments. In 2009 when the Westgrove Learning Centre opened in her housing complex, she enrolled and eagerly worked on strategies to improve her reading. She achieved a tremendous amount in a short time and overcame many barriers to learning. Now she helps her sons with their homework, assists other students to learn math, and volunteers with Winnipeg Harvest, a non-profit, community-based organization whose ultimate goal is to collect and share surplus food with the hungry. With her increased confidence and new literacy skills, Angela obtained part-time employment as a Community Helper at the family resource centre. She is a leader and role model who offers encouragement and support for those around her, both in the classroom and in the community.


Manitoba Recipient for 2009 Council of the Federation Literacy Award

Donald Richard - Winnipeg, Manitoba

Nominator: Jacquie Nicolson, John Howard Society of Manitoba

Donald Richard is an adult learner and an inmate at the Winnipeg Remand Centre. Mr. Richard dropped out of school at the age of 15 and although he attempted to return to school several times, events in his life interfered and he stopped attending. He felt that he had missed his opportunity. In July 2008 he joined the John Howard Society Literacy Program that helps inmates in the Remand Centre improve their literacy skills and upgrade their education. He has moved from basic literacy to planning the steps to finish grade 12. Mr. Richard is known as the ‘go-to-guy’ on his unit for anything related to literacy. In addition to helping other inmates with their homework, he helps the teacher with marking. He is trusted and respected in the institution. Mr. Richard is now using his skills in a project to make the program more accessible to those inmates with especially low literacy skills by rewriting sections of the reading materials and contributing artwork. He is also writing and illustrating an interactive children’s book that incorporates camping and counting. To quote Mr. Richard “I have rediscovered a love for reading. I’m learning new ways to describe things and as a result I’m learning new ways to appreciate things.


Manitoba Recipient for 2008 Council of the Federation Literacy Award

COF Award Recipient Anita Martens with her daughter Stephanie and Premier Gary Doer
COF Award Recipient Anita Martens with her
daughter Stephanie and Premier Gary Doer

Anita Martens – Winnipeg, Manitoba

Nominator: Kathie Remillard, Literacy Instructor, McLeod Adult Learning Centre

Anita Martens of Winnipeg, Manitoba arrived in Canada in the late 1970’s filled with hopes of a bright future.  However due to a difficult life situation she found herself years later as a single mother with three small children and limited English skills.  After a few months in a literacy course at Elmwood to upgrade her skills, Anita began to dream of continuing her education.  Her confidence grew as her skills improved.  This past year has worked hard to improve her English and to complete her grade 12 at McLeod Adult Learning Centre.  Her goal is to enter college and become a health care unit clerk.  Anita is generous of spirit and is always happy to assist others.  Anita volunteers once a week at the Health Sciences Centre, is a member of the Learner Speakers’ Bureau and the Student Advisory Group.  In April 2008 she sat on the adult learner caucus at the CMEC Pan Canadian Literacy Forum.  True to her motto, ‘I decided to get better instead of bitter’, Anita had overcome barriers of language, education, and challenges in her personal life.

News Release - Adult Literacy Award Winner Single Mother Of Three Who Overcame Language Barrier To Pursue Health-Care Work


Manitoba Recipient for 2007 Council of the Federation Literacy Award

Norine Moar and Premier Gary Doer
Norine Moar and Premier Gary Doer

Norine Moar - Swan River, Manitoba

Nominator: Lesley Betcher, Swan River Adult Education program

Norine Moar is a single mother of eight and grandmother of fourteen, a learner and a community volunteer who exemplifies how improving your literacy skills affects you in a personal way. Ms. Moar enrolled at Swan River Adult Education, Inc. in 2006. She realized that she had to find the courage to start school as a first step to finding a job to support her family. Although her formal schooling ended at about grade 6, her many years of work experience provided her with the Essential Skills to upgrade her literacy and numeracy skills and complete her high school diploma, graduating in June 2007. Norine has a natural curiosity and determination to uncover solutions and is committed to assisting others in the learning centre and in the community. She is now an educational assistant at the centre and is taking a course in counselling at the University College of the North. Norine is an amazing woman who has taken life’s hardships and barriers and created positive bridges of opportunity. As one of her instructors said, "Norine inspires others to love life, laugh more and appreciate the positive parts of our everyday walk".


Manitoba Recipient for 2006 Council of the Federation Literacy Award

L - R Marilyn Johnson, Daphne Prince, Natashia Prince and Linda Smith
Left to Right: Marilyn Johnson, Daphne Prince, Natashia Prince and Linda Smith

Daphne Joyce Prince - Winnipeg, Manitoba

Nominator: Linda Smith/Heather McCormick, Aboriginal Literacy Foundation

Daphne Prince is a single mother of four children who is determined to create a better life for herself and her family. In October 2004 Daphne enrolled in the literacy and upgrading programs at the Aboriginal Learning and Literacy Centre. She continued on to the Academic Grade 12 Diploma program and received her high school diploma in June 2006. Her determination and commitment to her education goals were evident on a daily basis and she provided leadership in program activities. Daphne is a member of the Literacy Partners of Manitoba Learners Speaker Bureau where she assists other learners and promotes the importance of literacy to volunteers, government and business leaders. To quote Ms. Prince: “I would like to work toward helping women and children, and my community. I hope that one day I will be known for a good purpose”.


Manitoba Recipient for 2005 Council of the Federation Literacy Award

Faye (centre) with Family, Friends and Staff of the Swan River Adult Education Centre
Faye (centre) with Family, Friends and Staff of the Swan River Adult Education Centre

Faye Belhumeur - Swan River

Nominator: Garth Martin, instructor, Swan River Adult Education Centre

Faye Belhumeur's message to Manitobans encourages others to follow in her footsteps. "Going to school has been the greatest experience for me," she said. "It has opened up many doors for me, not only on the outside, but also within me. I encourage anyone I know, young or old, not to be afraid to go back to school."

Belhumeur was not deterred by her difficult life situation from reaching her goal of receiving an education. Despite having doubts about her ability to learn, she enrolled at the Swan River Adult Education Centre in 2003. Since then, she has upgraded her basic literacy skills, completed the Literacy Stage Certificate, the GED and Mature Student High School Diploma.

Belhumeur volunteers three nights a week in Swan River to help other learners, tutors learners and their children in her home and assists new immigrants to Manitoba. She is currently working as a part-time education assistant while continuing her own studies.

According to her instructors, Belhumeur is the ideal literacy learner, dedicated to learning and compassionate to others.