Literacy contributions recognized
President Vianne Timmons with new immigrants Najma Fatma (left), Paw Paw (centre) and Maryan Jibrilin at the Regina Open Door Society where she received a Canada Post Community Literacy Award. The President and researchers in the Faculty of Education are working with the Society to develop and implement a family literacy program for new immigrants to Saskatchewan. It is a joint program with a research team in Prince Edward Island. -Photo by AV Services

President Vianne Timmons has been named one of the national winners of the Canada Post Community Literacy Awards, sponsored by Canwest. The awards acknowledge the achievements of people who have made a special effort or an important contribution to literacy.

Canada Post says that President Timmons "plays a diverse role in the lives of learners, whether through teaching the next generation of teachers, researching the most effective teaching methods or implementing new programs to enrich the lives of learners"

President Timmons is being recognized for developing and teaching literacy courses, and for creating the Adult Connections in Education program at the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI), where she taught and was a vice-president before joining the University of Regina last year. She also founded UPEI's Accessibility Services, a place where students with learning disabilities could come to learn in a barrier-free environment.

President Timmons is also being recognized for her role in promoting and improving family literacy through her research, which has involved developing a literacy program for rural families, as well as one for Aboriginal families that is in use in Alberta and all of the Atlantic provinces. She is currently working with the Regina Open Door Society as well as researchers in the Faculty of Education to develop and implement a family literacy program for new immigrants to Saskatchewan. This project is a joint one in conjunction with a team of researchers in Prince Edward Island who are working with a group of newcomers to that province.

"I have devoted much of my teaching and research career to improving family literacy, and I'm proud that my work is being recognized in this way," says President Timmons. "It is important to note, however, that my work could not have been done without the dedication of the families who helped develop the rural and Aboriginal literacy programs in recent years, and those who are currently involved in the program for new immigrants. I would also like to thank Canada Post and Canwest for doing such a wonderful job of promoting cause of literacy nation-wide."

The chair of the U of R Board of Governors, Susan Barber, says "Dr. Timmons clearly has an impact beyond our University and beyond our community. We are so proud that our President is being honoured for her work. On behalf of the University of Regina community, I'm pleased to congratulate Dr. Timmons on this national recognition."