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For Immediate Release

July 18, 2011

Office of the Premier
Ministry of Education



Adult literacy advocate inspires lifelong learning


VANCOUVER – Premier Christy Clark announced today that Dee McRae of Houston, B.C. is the recipient of the 2011 Council of Federation Literacy Award, to recognize her significant contribution to improving adult literacy in B.C.


“On a given day, Dee can be found driving her adult students to appointments, delivering tutor training to a remote community or working on research,” said Premier Clark. “Dee’s contributions have helped improve the quality of life for many families in the Northwest, and her work reminds us all that literacy skills give people the confidence and access to information they need to help them pursue their dreams.”


Overall, McRae’s commitment to literacy has contributed to a healthier and more literate society. As a dedicated instructor for adult basic education, McRae has been employed with Northwest Community College since 1994. She has also authored and presented a number of publications internationally and has published several research reports and manuals for practitioners working in northern, remote-rural Aboriginal communities.


The Council of the Federation comprises all 13 provincial and territorial Premiers. Each province and territory chooses a group, individual or project that has made a significant contribution to literacy. The Council of the Federation Literacy Award selection committee considers nominees’ history of commitment to excellence; community and peer recognition; leadership in the promotion of partnerships and public awareness; and the introduction of new ideas in promoting literacy. Award recipients receive a medallion and a certificate signed by the Premier of their province or territory.


“On behalf of the Ministry of Education, I would like to congratulate Dee for receiving this award, which gives her the recognition she deserves for her efforts to improve literacy levels in B.C.,” said Education Minister George Abbott. “About one million adults in this province have low literacy levels, and people like Dee who are committed to making a difference in these people’s lives are tremendously valuable.”


“Literacy is a vital skill that opens doors for all of us. I’d like to congratulate Dee for her tremendous work and thank her for her dedication to the people in northwest B.C. Her efforts have made a great difference in many lives,” said Nechako Lakes MLA John Rustad.


This year, B.C. received several outstanding nominations. The Province would also like to acknowledge Allison Taylor McBryde, who is retiring after a 30-year career as the Coordinator of Children’s and Young Adult Services at the North Vancouver District Public Library. During her tenure, Taylor McBryde organized and contributed to various literacy initiatives and developed and taught post-secondary courses. She also wrote articles, gave workshops and organized events to make a lasting impact on a whole generation of younger children’s librarians.


Since 2001, the Province has invested approximately $1.5 billion in literacy and literacy-related initiatives such as StrongStart BC early learning programs, almost $21 million to operate the kindergarten-readiness program Ready, Set, Learn, and $2.7 million for the LEAP BC resources that encourage literacy, physical activity and healthy eating in preschool-aged children.


For information on the Council of the Federation, visit:





Government Communications and Public Engagement

Ministry of Education

250 356-5963


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