An Overview

Located in Edmonton, Alberta, the Centre for Literacy provides instruction and support to students and families affected by learning disorders/disabilities. We also support professionals who teach students with learning disorders/disabilities and related conditions.

The Centre's major activity is supporting students to overcome difficulties in learning reading, writing and mathematics. The majority of students receive Tier 3 or one on one support from highly trained teachers. Support is organized around a student's learning challenges and strengths. Strategies or approaches used are evidence based or evidence informed; they have been assessed as effective through peer reviewed evaluation. The Centre also provides Tier 2 or small group support, primarily early intervention play based programs,  for students in Kindergarten, Grades 1 and 2.

The Centre completes reading and mathematics assessments for the purposes of informing intervention and for progress monitoring.

The Centre also seeks to empower parents or caregivers through information sessions on a variety of topics. Teachers and other professionals benefit from a variety of Professional Development Programs. They are invited to attend sessions alongside our own teaching staff.

The Centre was established in 1991. It has a proud history of serving as Edmonton's premier agency to help students with learning disabilities/disorders overcome barriers to learning.


Our Beliefs

Some important beliefs and values guide work at the Centre for Literacy. 

Everyone is capable of learning and maximizing their potential.

Being kind to each other is important.

Everyone deserves to be treated with respect and dignity. We value the diversity of our clients and staff.

Our staff have a responsibility to:

  • Work in a positive and collaborative manner with students, families, teachers, health care providers and others
  • Do their best to be great communicators
  • Dedicate time and effort to professional development

The way each of us learns is complex. There is no magic fix or pill to eliminate learning challenges. However, there is a large tool chest of strategies informed by sound scientific research.

Literacy is an important contributor to lifelong success.

Our staff are entrusted to support people with learning challenges. That trust is accompanied by a responsibility to do our absolute best.


Our Clients

The Centre serves many diverse clients.

  • Students of all ages experiencing learning difficulties
  • Young children at risk for learning difficulties in the area of reading or mathematics
  • Parents/caregivers seeking assessments for their children in reading, mathematics or writing in order to plan the appropriate support
  • Parents /caregivers seeking more information about learning disorders/disabilities
  • Professionals seeking to learn more about learning disorders
  • Professionals and community members who purchase resources that can be used to support students with learning challenges in a variety of teaching environments, at home or other venues

A student does not need to be formally coded or diagnosed with a learning disorder/disability to obtain support at the Centre for Literacy. If a student is struggling, the Centre is happy to consider providing support.  In the absence of other assessments, testing in reading, mathematics or writing is conducted early in the support process to provide both a baseline and tool for continuous progress monitoring.

The Centre staff do not diagnose learning disorders or disabilities. The diagnosis of learning disorders/disabilities is the domain of registered psychologists. The Centre routinely refers families to highly qualified registered psychologists who are able to conduct comprehensive psycho-educational assessments accepted by school districts.

Our Staff

Executive Director:  Kathryn Burke, BA (Hon), MA

Administrative and Program Support:

  • Jackie Soprovich, Administrative Coordinator (Job Share)
  • Roberta Lapointe, Administrative Coordinator (Job Share)
  • Maria Burjour, Reception and Scheduling
  • Seth Krahn, Testing Technician
  • Susan Irving, Program Assistant

Leadership Team: 

  • Kathryn Burke, M.A., Executive Director, Assessments (Reading, Mathematics, Writing)
  • Marcia Langenberg, M.Ed., Coordinator-Professional Development, Mentor, Teacher
  • Yvonne Stern, M.Ed., Professional Development, Mentor, Teacher
  • Eva Blaskovic, Mentor, Teacher
  • Barb Marsh, Mentor, Teacher
  • Pat Melnick, Mentor, Teacher
  • Iona Thomas, Mentor, Teacher

Program Leads:

  • Ashley McPherson, Resource Development, Bilingual Programming, Teacher (English and French)
  • Jan Hamilton, Early Intervention Programs (Word Play and Number Sense), Teacher
  • Jaime McLachlan, Coordinator – Autism Games Night (Recreation Therapist)
  • Ann Sinnott, Intake, Assessments, Teacher
  • Heather Clarke, Intake, Teacher

Associated Professionals:

  • Michael Roemmich (Counselling)
  • Lisa Boone (Assistive Technology)

Teaching Staff:*

  • Sara Al Souqi
  • Mel Anthony
  • Pat Arnold
  • Bobbi Belsek
  • Karen Boschee
  • Kaylee Chan (Math)
  • Teddi Doupe
  • Shani Ferguson
  • Catherine Friesen
  • Poonum Gill
  • Will Hotson
  • Seth Krahn (Math and Science)
  • Kyle Mair
  • Sarah McGuffin
  • Cameron McKay (Math)
  • Lisa Orser
  • Kelly Petryk
  • Ileiren Poon (Writing and Reading Comprehension)
  • Kyle Reid (Math and Science)
  • Sarah Richards (Math and Science)
  • Alisa Safari Gorji
  • Marshall Thiessen
  • Sharlene Venter
  • Mandy Wu

*At September 4, 2018.

Brackets after a teachers name indicates area of focus or specialized skills.