Award Requirements

To celebrate ECALA’s 20th year of investing in program excellence in Edmonton, the Board of Directors chose to recognize the legacy and contributions of Carol Aubee-Girard by creating the “Carol Aubee-Girard Award of Excellence in Community Adult Learning.”

Carol’s tenure as ECALA’s Executive Director from 1998 to 2015 contributed to excellence in programming under the Community Adult Learning Program. Carol’s professionalism and passion for ensuring organizations, programs, and learners were positively impacted by the funding allocations each year resulted in many of the practices and guidelines ECALA continues to follow.

Carol’s strong belief in funding the very small to large organizations led to many new innovative practices to better meet learner’s needs.  Carol also implemented the integration of the National Essential Skills Framework in 2008 and mandatory measurement and evaluation requirements in 2015.

The Carol Aubee-Girard Award of Excellence in Community Adult Learning recognizes agencies, staff or volunteers who demonstrate excellence in delivering ECALA funded learning opportunities based on the following principles:

  • Imbeds learner-centred best practice in their facilitation
  • Involves learners in learning opportunity design and delivery
  • Actively participates in the organization and professional development forums in the CALP system
  • Includes innovative practices to support learning
  • Is involved in creating awareness of the benefits of increasing literacy levels for adults and families in Edmonton

Nomination letters must include examples of how each principle is demonstrated during the year and the positive impact for adult foundational learners who participate in the learning opportunity.

The award recipient will be required to consent to recognition at the ECALA AGM and on social media. The award donation will be given to the recipient organization and must be used to improve the delivery of ECALA funded learning opportunities in the following grant term. The deadline to submit nominations is August 31, 2021, or until suitable nominations are received.

The award recipient will be required to consent to recognition at the ECALA AGM and on social media. The award donation will be given to the recipient organization and must be used to improve the delivery of ECALA funded learning opportunities in the current grant term.

The Nomination letter must not exceed two pages in length.  Nomination letters can be emailed to with the subject heading Carol Aubee Girard Award of Excellence.

Carol Aubee-Girard Award Recipients 2019-2020

On September 23rd during the ECALA AGM, Carol Aubee-Girard presented the award virtually to two recipients this year. Carol and the adult literacy community in Edmonton are honoured to have the opportunity to work with both of these exceptional literacy educators.

Bonnie Caron

In addition to performing her job at an exemplary level, Bonnie demonstrates an extraordinary commitment to P.A.L.S. – Project Adult Literacy Society and the entire literacy community. Bonnie Caron has been working at P.A.L.S. as the Literacy Coordinator for 13 years and has taken it upon herself to provide exceptional support and service to all the learners and volunteers. She loves to lend her expertise, knowledge, and resources in adult literacy to others. She is the go-to-person for all things literacy.

Bonnie always welcomes her learners with a smile on her face. She creates a very safe and welcoming space for them and makes them feel comfortable from the very first minute of their meeting. She spends hours during intake, trying to understand her learner’s needs and motivations to provide them with the best learning experience and set them up for success. Her willingness to assist others and her commitment to her learners and tutors are unequalled.

Bonnie created a Basic Phonics book for beginner literacy learners that was easy to follow along with a tutor’s manual. The book is used by many organizations in Alberta and other provinces.

Diane Thursby

Diane has worked closely with Edmonton’s Food Bank for over twenty years and with ECALA for ten years. Collective Kitchen courses coordinated and facilitated by Diane for adult foundational learners have resulted in over 8000 healthy and low-cost meals, while building literacy, numeracy and language skills. In her current role as Collective Kitchen Advisor, she coordinates over 50 kitchens in the City of Edmonton. Collective Kitchens are hosted by both Indigenous and non-Indigenous agencies to provide opportunities to incorporate Indigenous Ways of Knowing.  Several Collective Kitchen participants are now facilitators who have incorporated Collective Kitchens into regular programming in numerous agencies. Diane also contributed most of the material and recipes in both ECALA Collective Kitchen Handbooks.

Diane co-facilitates ECALA’s Collective Kitchen Community of Practice, and visits kitchens regularly during the funding year to provide coaching and mentoring. Diane’s partnership with ECALA, Dickensfield Amity House and Edmonton’s Food Bank ensures adult foundational learners can participate in a collective kitchen or write their Food Handling test in most areas in Edmonton.