Yesterday I received the sad news that Alberta Advanced Education and Technology has decided to stop funding English Express, a newspaper for adults wanting to improve their English reading skills. English Express was established in 1982 and is now distributed to 60,000 Albertans. It is published eight times per year (from September to May) and is the result of the hard work of many dedicated volunteers.
For a few years now I’ve been a board member at The Learning Centre Literacy Association, a local organization that offers reading, writing, math and other learning programs for adults. The Learning Centre has supported English Express with both volunteers and space for the last 15 years. Over 30 people work together and have fun preparing each issue of English Express for mailing. LCLA Coordinator Denis Lapierre said of the news:
“Many many adult learners in this province will now be without a critical and important resource necessary for their social, learning and intellectual development. As well, the English Express was a vibrant participatory vehicle that allowed learners to feel validated as respected citizens in our Alberta society.”
A campaign to save the newspaper has been launched. Swift action is being requested. If you’d like to help Save English Express, here’s what you need to do:
- Send an email to Honourable Doug Horner and cc Honourable Dave Hancock, Premier Ed Stelmach, and your own MLA. Explain why you think English Express should continue.
- Mail a physical letter to the constituency offices of all of the above.
- Phone Honourable Doug Horner’s office at 780-962-6606 and explain the importance of English Express.
It would be a shame to see the English Express disappear.