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.
Lori Purvis, Executive Director
Master of Library and Information Studies (MLIS)
Lori is a literacy leader who strives to eliminate barriers to learning by leading and supporting the efforts of the Centre for Literacy team. The Centre team offers remediation in reading, writing, math and French. Lori advocates for literacy, knowing that improving educational outcomes directly affects the lifelong health of an individual in every area of their life. She has been with the Centre since October 2020.
Prior to coming to the Centre, Lori successfully led a system of 12 libraries and had the privilege of building two libraries for inner city schools in Texas during an international librarianship contract. Lori also worked as a Community Librarian for the Strathcona County Library for several years, strengthening the literacy of the community and acting as an ambassador and technology trainer for clients with print disabilities, allowing for greater intellectual freedom.
Lori holds a Masters degree in Library and Information Studies from the University of Alberta and a Communications Studies Degree from the University of Calgary.
Shani Reiter, Director of Professional Development and Curricular Resources
Master of Education – Educational Research, Educational Neuroscience and Children’s Mental Health
Since coming to the Centre for Literacy in 2016, Shani has been offering intensive reading remediation for students of all ages. She is a teacher and the lead professional development coordinator at the Centre. Shani develops evidence-based training materials, rooted in the Science of Reading, for reading remediation and workshops them with Centre staff and external groups.
Shani leads the Centre’s mentoring team and is the first mentoring contact for all new staff. Part of her mentoring includes a walkthrough of a bank of evidence-based reading remediation resources that she and her team develop for the staff to use when teaching Centre students.
Lori and Shani work closely with a Senior Management/Administrative Team comprised of individuals who collectively provide advice and formulate policy on the operation of the Centre.
Heather Clarke (BEd, Elementary Education) teaches and leads the assessment and progress monitoring team, ensuring that assessments and learning profiles are completed for all students to best inform their educational support.
Theresa – Teddi – Doupe (BEd, Elementary Education/Special Education) provides literacy instruction as well as active learning strategies and executive skills coaching to Centre for Literacy students. She is a community educator and accessibility specialist, offering insight about what the Centre does and how parents, teachers and school administrators can support the learning needs of all students.
Catherine Elzinga (BEd, Elementary Education/Special Education) is a highly regarded teacher at the Centre. In addition to teaching, she oversees the math progression and supporting materials, and mentors Centre teachers who provide reading and math remediation to students.
Jaime McLachlan (BEd, Recreation Therapist) is a literacy/numeracy specialist who coordinates a collaborative project with the First Nations School Board (FNSB) in the Yukon, providing coaching to literacy teachers and assistants and instruction to FNSB students. Jaime supports the development of literacy resources used by Centre teachers.
The Centre has an amazing administrative team of three individuals:
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 is the Accounting Coordinator. Her major roles are invoicing, ensuring that client accounts remain current, and reconciling all Centre accounts. Maria and Jackie are typically the first point of contact with parents/caregivers.
Roberta Lapointe is the Human Resources Coordinator. She is responsible for payroll, teacher recruitment and onboarding.
Our Teachers! The Centre employs approximately 65 teachers, the majority of whom work on a part-time basis providing remediation and support to students from locations across Canada. Their work is impactful! We could not do this work without them.
We are proud to build on and enrich the foundation of the Centre for Literacy, notably established by former owners Kathryn Burke, Yvonne Stern and Sylvia Hannah.