Our Stories

Welcome to P.A.L.S.!

Welcome to P.A.L.S.! We’re changing lives through literacy!

P.A.L.S. has over 200 students and about 150 volunteers working as tutors with them. It is a busy, happening place just off Jasper in our downtown core.

Thank you for your interest in P.A.L.S. You might want to tutor, you might want to be a student. You might want to support P.A.L.S. in some other way. Everyone is welcome! Drop down and check us out!

Metro Community Choice Award

P.A.L.S. received the Metro Edmonton Community Choice Award for Community Services!

The following article was published in the August 8, 2017 Metro.

Nooria had to quit her job as a television anchor in Afghanistan because of war and threats to her life for being a woman and working outside the home. She moved to Canada by herself in 2009. In Toronto she attended school to learn English for a year. When she moved to Edmonton she worked twenty hours a day so she could have the funds to sponsor her family.  In 2014 she sponsored her family.

All this time Nooria never lost her desire to improve her skills. In April 2016, she went to P.A.L.S. to improve her math skills. After the assessment, she was matched with her tutor Paul. Paul quickly realized how hard working and self-motivated she was. So instead of two hours per week they decided to meet for four hours every week on her day off.

Her employer saw her progress and sponsored her for the pastry chef program at NAIT. To do so, Nooria had to have grade 10 math. She registered at Metro Continuing Education and continued working with Paul.  In June 2017 she passed her Math 10C. She says it was tough and at times felt like giving up, but with the help from P.A.L.S. and Paul, she accomplished her goal.

Nooria has now joined the P.A.L.S. Literacy for English Language Learners Program to improve her reading and writing skills.  She is now confident that she can pass the Pastry program at NAIT and pursue her dream job as a pastry chef.

Introducing Our New LELL Coordinator!

Marie Fontaine, Literacy for English Language Learners (LELL) Coordinator

Welcome to P.A.L.S. Marie!

Marie is the new coordinator of the LELL program. Until August Marie will be working Thursdays and Saturdays. I encourage you to e-mail or call her on those days.

Marie brings many skills to the program and a commitment to adults who have English Language challenges. She will bring her enthusiasm and energy to LELL.

Marie Fontaine, LELL Coordinator
Marie Fontaine, LELL Coordinator

Marie’s biography

She is a bilingual Canadian who has been working in the field of ESL for the past 19 years. After twenty-two years of living and teaching English in Germany, she has returned to Canada, to embark on a mission to reinvent herself. Her interests are broad ranging and include volunteering for CJSR radio, Theatre Network, Fort Edmonton Park, the Art Gallery of Alberta and Skirtsafire Women’s Festival.

Her appointment as LELL coordinator at P.A.L.S is a career move she is very excited about.

Student and Volunteer Recognition Celebration 2017

P.A.L.S. Student and Volunteer Recognition Celebration and Annual General Meeting was held at the Telus World of Science, on the evening of April 25. We are very proud of our hard-working students who’ve accomplished so much this past year, and grateful for all the time and effort our volunteers out in for helping them succeed in their goals. Thank you to Marlin Schmidt, Minister of Advanced Education, for helping us celebrate our adult learners and volunteers.

Congratulations to all our outstanding students and volunteers! (more…)

Annette, Literacy

Hi, my name is Annette. I am a full time mom and I have a full time job. I have hidden the fact that I had trouble reading and spelling my whole life. I had trouble in school and no teacher tried to help me.

Somehow I survived and lived a good life. I got married and had 3 kids. I found jobs and even worked my way up to being the Manager at an automotive shop. Then they let me go when they realized my reading and computer skills were too low. I really thought my life was over.
I had trouble finding a new job. When I told people I was dyslexic the interview was over. If I lied then I got a second interview. (more…)

Harjinder, Math Literacy

My name is Harjinder Boparai. After completing grade 10 in India, I helped my family on the farm. In 1993, my family – parents and brothers and sisters moved to Canada. I wanted to go to school but could not because of the cost. I looked for a job. It turned out to be difficult as I had no Canadian experience. After months of searching I got a job as a roofer. I worked 10 to 12 hour days during to the summer so that I could help to support my family.

After a year of working as a roofer and doing long hours, I wanted to develop myself so I could get a better job. I got my class 1 driving license after attending school for 3 months. It was still not easy to find a job. I got a job with a courier company where I was an owner operator. (more…)

Sureer, LELL – Literacy for English Language Learners

I came to Canada 35 years ago as a refugee from Somalia. I had moved away from the fighting in my own country and I had not really been to school.

I came to Canada alone and I could not speak any English, I could not even spell out my name! I have done a lot of part time jobs, I have cleaned hospitals and I put labels on cans in a factory. At that time I couldn’t read the labels only the expiry date. (more…)

Audreys Books Scratch & Dent Sale

Scratch & Dent Sale

Please check out Audreys Books (10702 Jasper Avenue) Scratch & Dent sale – find great books and help support P.A.L.S. learners!

Literacy Champion Award

Congratulations to Daniel Haines – this year’s recipient of the Literacy Champion Award!

The Edmonton Literacy Coalition established the Literacy Champion Award in 2013 to recognize and honour those in our community who have demonstrated a dedication and commitment to literacy and learning.

The award recognizes the valuable contributions made by Edmontonians to literacy and celebrates the accomplishments and contributions of literacy advocates. Recipients are honoured for their work in a diverse range of areas, including family, Aboriginal, health, workplace, and community literacy. (more…)