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Literacy Team

Meet Our Literacy Team

At CanLearn, we have a diverse and passionate team of professionals. We look forward to helping you on your journey no matter where you are starting. 

Nada Jerkovic, Manager, Literacy Programs

Nada is currently the Manager of Literacy Programs at CanLearn. She has worked in family and adult literacy for over twenty years, serving in various roles: instructor, coordinator, program developer, professional development facilitator, and regional family literacy network coordinator. Nada’s background includes teaching experience at elementary, high school and community college levels. Nada’s work is rooted in the belief that learning is foundational to life success.

Debbie Weigum

Debbie started her teaching career as an Outdoor Ed Teacher, then moved on to Special
Education.  After taking a few years off to raise her family, Debbie then taught in a PUF program
and mild-moderate speech and language program, for 18 years.  She is now working with
CanLearn Society in the Learning Starts At Home program.  Debbie really enjoys collaborating
with families to enhance learning, confidence, and a love for reading.

Gwen Schaefer

Gwen Schaefer is a Family Literacy Facilitator with CanLearn. Currently, she facilitates the WordPlay program. In the past she was the Coordinator of the WordPlay program as well as Share the Magic. Gwen has a B. Ed. in Early Childhood Education from the University of Saskatchewan and was a preschool teacher for 14 years. She spends her time enriching young children’s lives interacting with them through storytime with Share the Magic and through her YouTube channel.

Janice Fisher

Janice joined the CanLearn Literacy team at the beginning of 2021 as a Learning Starts at Home Facilitator and as Coordinator of the Share the Magic Program. Before joining the Literacy Team, Janice volunteered for the Share the Magic Program, visiting kindergarten programs to share the magic of stories and literacy activities with young learners and their families. Janice is a “retired” schoolteacher with over 30 years of teaching experience with the Calgary Board of Education as an elementary school teacher. She has a B.Ed. from the University of Alberta and a M.Ed. in Early Literacy from the University of Calgary. Janice is thrilled to be a part of the CanLearn team, where she can continue her own learning and teaching journey and support family literacy in our communities.

Jayne Clarke

Jayne is currently a Literacy Coordinator at Canlearn. She began as a volunteer with Magic Carpet Ride as it was getting off the ground and then became an assistant coordinator for the program. Jayne has been involved with and facilitated both family and adult literacy programs for over twenty years. Jayne’s experience also includes literacy specialist activities such as Plain Language and Literacy Awareness workshops and Workplace Literacy. Jayne is currently facilitating Magic Carpet Ride, Learning Starts at Home, Reading Connections and Taking charge programs. A dedicated Early Childhood and Literacy educator, Jayne’s greatest satisfaction comes from knowing how she helps the adults in her programs to reach their goals. Jayne has an Early Childhood Education diploma from MRU, Foundations in Family Literacy from Vancouver Community College, Literacy Specialist and Work Up training, and keeps up to date with the newest research and best practices.

Kim Parke

Kim Parke is a member of the Family Literacy team at the CanLearn Society. For the past 15 years, she has had the pleasure of supporting adult and family literacy through programs such as Learning Starts at Home, WordPlay and Magic Carpet Ride. Kim values the many learning opportunities she has had supporting families’ diverse strengths, abilities, and perspectives and celebrates the relationships she has made by meeting families worldwide. A native of Toronto, Ontario, Kim holds a B.A. from the University of Waterloo.

Sandy Ireland

Sandy Ireland is currently a Literacy Coordinator at CanLearn. She has been a member of our literacy team for more than 20 years. She has facilitated Learning Starts at Home, Magic Carpet Ride, and WordPlay. She also taught the three-year-old program at a community preschool for eight years. Sandy’s education includes early childhood education and numerous certifications from seminars and workshops in the field of literacy. Sandy has worked with many families and is passionate about helping them build knowledge, skills, desire and devotion to becoming lifelong learners.

Sarah Grunau

Sarah has served as a Literacy Facilitator with CanLearn for six years. She loves to empower people of all ages to grow their confidence and competence as learners. She gets to do just that as she facilitates various programs, including Learning Starts at Home, Reading Connections, and Magic Carpet Ride. Through CanLearn, Sarah has the opportunity to work with learners with diversities of all kinds, which she highly values. Her background is in early childhood, elementary, and adult education.

Shannon Bannister

Shannon is currently an Adult Foundational Learning facilitator at CanLearn. Shannon worked with older adults in her former role and did various planning, program development, and learning facilitation for a municipal government and a busy seniors’ centre. Shannon’s educational background is rooted in Ecotourism and Outdoor Leadership, followed by a Bachelor of Education and then a Master of Education. She has a passion for literacy and lifelong learning and takes great joy in helping others succeed and reach their learning goals.

Shreya Bandyopadhyay

Shreya is currently a Literacy Program Facilitator at CanLearn and works with learners of all ages in the Community Access to Literacy Learning and WordPlay programs. Her education includes a B.A. in History and a BEd in Secondary Education. She greatly values the opportunity to work together with learners to reach their goals and enjoys learning from and alongside them. Shreya takes joy in seeing people gain confidence as they continue their learning journeys.