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Annual Report 2021-2022


The Power of Words


Without words, we couldn’t express ideas. Without ideas there would be no stories. Stories reflect our values and build understanding. Through understanding comes enlightenment, and it all starts with literacy.

Further Education Society has been bringing the power of words and the importance of literacy to children, adults, families, and communities for 26 years. But perhaps this past year stands out as exceptional, characterized by three powerful words:

Successful, transformational, Influential

President's letter

Calgary programs


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adult learners and 

families engaged

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children reached through

family literacy programs

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facilitators trained to

deliver FESA programs

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of learners showed

increased confidence

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of learners applied their

skills outside the classroom

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of learners progressed 

towards their learning goals

Impact in numbers
Calgary Programs

Calgary programs

This year, as we began returning to in-person programs our focus was on building partnerships and engaging learners in new and fun ways, inspiring and building confidence in the capable learners they are.

We held various community events and activities to introduce literacy and essential skills in different ways including: week long Children’s Spring and Summer Programs, Family Day, Financial Literacy Day and National Children’s Day events, a Children’s Public Speaking program, a colouring competition and delivering holiday gift baskets and literacy kits to our program partners.

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Fun with FESA

For our last children’s programs of the summer, we were able to meet for two hours each day from August 2nd to 5th at the Nepalese Community Society of Calgary. Participants joined in-person to develop social and literacy skills through interacting with each other and fun activities.


Susie is from our Reading and Writing Circles program that's delivered at the Women in Need Society.

Reading and Writing Circles provides a safe environment where learners can read and write freely, at their own pace, and receive non-judgmental, personalized help with reading, writing and conversational English.

This year at the Women in Need Society, we delivered a hybrid program with a small group of participants in-person and a small group online simultaneously. We did this for several reasons: some participants were not comfortable coming in-person due to COVID-19, prior commitments like work, and problems with transportation. In addition, participants had grown to know each other and wanted to continue in the same group.

‘There were specific times where learners would struggle to answer a question on their worksheet and through guiding questions, they would reach the answer and instantly
have an ‘ah ha’ moment. Other enjoyable moments included the learners completing their worksheets and sharing their sense of accomplishment, taking a break from working and enjoying conversations, and making mistakes. My favourite part of the program was the way we all laughed together when words were mispronounced and misspelled, and all the learners helped each other build on their skills in a fun way. As a facilitator I misspelled and sometimes made small errors and was corrected by the learners. This created alighthearted, easy going, and non-judgemental environment where mistakes were learning opportunities.’

- Minahil, FESA Facilitator


Thomas first joined FESA as a practicum student completing his Social Work Diploma. He returned as a summer student the following year as the Education Assistant.

Each year students from the Department of Child Studies and Social Work at Mount Royal University are referred to us to complete their practicum. This year we had 11 students learning about our programs, facilitating, creating lesson plans and activities and developing program partnerships.

Going the Distance

Our national ‘Going the Distance’ project started on May 14, 2017, as a cultural and community response to the under-representation of Indigenous peoples employed in the Tourism and Hospitality industry across Canada.

Recognizing that many times limited Skills for Success are a barrier to entry and advancement in the workforce, Indigenous communities and organizations, literacy and essential skill specialists and employers came together to create localized responses for their individual communities.


Now five years later, we’re bringing together the work, learning and success of our journeys across Canada in an Indigenous Workplace Learning Framework that will be given away to assist other communities to create their own response. It will be available online and provide guidance, resources, training, and practical tools to help Indigenous communities, bridging organizations (organizations that provide job resources and skills training support), and employers in the Tourism and Hospitality industry build inclusive workplaces.

In anticipation of the Framework, we want to celebrate the unique, innovative and invaluable contributions of the Indigenous communities who built it, and the enthusiasm and generosity of our employer partners. Here are a few highlights from an amazing journey (with a focus on the last and final year of the project).

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Celebrations of Success


Held at Stoney Nakoda Resort and Casino and at Grey Eagle Resort and Casino for the Stoney Nakoda and Tsuut’ina communities. Led by Elders, community leaders and employers, the events were a cultural celebration and a platform for employees, potential employees, and employers to learn from one another.

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Co-developed with Saugeen First Nation and Coady Institute. The workshop started with a song, smudge
ceremony, and the Seven Grandfather teachings
led by community Elder Lori Kewaquom. Participants took part in leadership, self-confidence, and team-building exercisesthroughout the day. 

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IABCD Training


Indigenous Asset Based Community Development for Hospitality and Tourism with Coady International Institute, St.Francis Xavier University at Stoney Nakoda and Saugeen First Nation.

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Workshops for Pursuit Banff/Jasper. The workshops focused on storytelling, literacy and the culture and traditions of the Stoney people and the relationship of these to workplace success.



is the winner of ABC

Life Literacy Canada's



AWARD 2022


Indigenous Workplace Learning Circles (IWLC) is a program FESA developed in consultation with Indigenous communities that helps foundational learners, people new to the workplace and people returning to work. The program builds on learners strengths and incorporates
traditional culture and language with employment readiness training to build their
confidence and literacy skills. Participants learn about transferable skills, develop literacy and essential skills, build resumes, practice job interviews, work through real workplace scenarios, network, receive mentorship and build confidence.


Over the course of Going the Distance IWLC was delivered with many partners including Stoney Nakoda Job Resource Center, Bullhead Adult Education Centre and Eden Valley Bearspaw HRD. It was adapted for different communities, and as a component of other programs like SkillsLink and Cooks with Stones.

Some of the highlights for IWLC programs this year:

Stoney Nakoda Job Resource Center hosted a job fair with local Tourism and Hospitality
employers on March 15th and 16th for former IWLC Eden Valley participants. Local employers included Canmore Tourism, and Stoney Nakoda Resort and Casino.


Going the Distance
Learning Awards

Full Annual Report 2021-2022

You can download and read more about Calgary Programs, Going the Distance, Pathways, our Celebration of Learning Awards. Also includes our finances, people and thank you to all our funders, donors and partners.

Annual Report 2021- 2022
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