The Centre for Literacy provides instruction and support to students across Canada, and Canadians abroad. Headquartered in Edmonton, Alberta, the Centre’s major activity is supporting students to overcome difficulties in learning reading, writing and math. Most students receive one on one support from highly trained teachers. Small group support, primarily early intervention play-based programs, for students in Kindergarten and Grades 1 and 2 is also available.
Support is organized around a student’s learning challenges, and strengths. Strategies used for teaching are evidence-based or evidence-informed; they have been assessed as effective through peer reviewed evaluation.
Reading, writing and math assessments are completed for the purpose of informing intervention and monitoring progress.
Empowering parents/guardians through information sessions on relevant topics is also a priority. Teachers and other professionals benefit from a variety of Professional Development programs. They are invited to attend sessions alongside the Centre’s teaching staff.
Kathryn Burke, Executive Director: Kathryn has managed the Centre since 2013. She has held multiple roles in the health and human services sector. She served as the Executive Director of the Learning Disabilities Association of Alberta and in senior management roles in health administration at Edmonton’s Royal Alexandra Hospital and the University of Alberta Hospitals. She has worked as a consultant in healthcare, completing multiple projects in children’s mental health, an organ and tissue donation and transplantation. She holds and honours undergraduate and master’s degree in Sociology from the University of Calgary, with concentration on research methods and social psychology. Work at the Centre for Literacy is personal for Kathryn. Her eldest son lives with Autism and other complex mental health issues and learning disabilities/disorders. Her experience advocating for her son enables her to identify in a very real manner with the role of parent advocate. She shared her own family’s story in a nonfiction bestseller book, An Accidental Advocate.
Yvonne Stern, Senior Mentor/Consultant: Yvonne is an expert in reading remediation, having completed her master’s degree in Specialized Education at the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa, with enhanced training in language and linguistics at the University of London and further practical application in the speech department at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, an affiliate to the University of London. Yvonne has worked at the Centre since her arrival in Canada in the early nineties. She took over management and ownership of the Centre for Literacy in 1998, stepping back in 2013 to move to semi-retirement. During her 15-year tenure managing the Centre, she helped countless students directly, and indirectly through a core of exceptional teachers working under her direction. She presently provides an invaluable role as senior mentor and consultant, passing along her expertise to other teachers and helping to ensure the highest quality standards of practice.
Management Advisory Committee: In addition to Kathryn and Yvonne, the Senior Management Team is comprised of five individuals who collectively provide advice and formulate policy on the operation of the Centre.
Shani Reiter serves in the role of Professional Development Coordinator. She has lead responsibility for ensuring new teacher recruits to the Centre become fully proficient in providing support to students using evidence-based remediation strategies.
Heather Clarke serves as the Student Coordinator, working with other members of the team to ensure that learning profiles are completed for all students to inform their support.
Theresa (Teddi) Doupe serves in the role of Development Manager. She takes the lead role in working with external agencies to organize Centre provided professional development.
Lori Purvis serves as the Communications Specialist responsible for the Centre’s website and online presence. She shares the responsibility of teacher recruitment with Administrative Coordinator, Roberta Lapointe.
Lynne Nadema plays an important role in conducting new parent interviews and in providing teaching expertise from over two decades of classroom based teaching in the special education field. She has extensive experience in supporting students with complex needs.
Administrative Team: The Centre has a fabulous administrative team who are generally the first point of contact with parents/caregivers.
Maria Burjour is the Scheduling Coordinator. Her major responsibility is to work with teachers and parents/caregivers and clients on all matters related to scheduling.
Jackie Soprovich and Roberta Lapointe job share the role of Administrative Coordinator. Their major role is to handle invoicing, payroll and related functions. Roberta also shares the responsibility of teacher recruitment and onboarding.
The Centre employs approximately 60 teachers, the majority of whom work on a part-time basis, providing support to students from locations across Canada.