Club Events:  Paul Harris Fellowship Awards - May 1, 2014

 
 

Carol Coutts Receives Award from President Alex

Lesley Dunn Receives Award from President Alex

 

Carol Coutts, Music Teacher, Basinview Drive Community

Carol’s musical passion includes introducing her students to Canadian and local musicians. She wants them to know that music is accessible to them and that real music, incredible music, is being made right here in Atlantic Canada. To achieve this, Carol invited artists to visit her school for performances. The students prepared for these events by learning about the musicians and their music, and participating in related art projects. The students also prepared a presentation for each of the visiting artists.

When Joel Plaskett visited, they sang their own rendition of his tune “Love this Town”, renamed to “Love this School”. Meaghan Smith was surprised to see the students dancing the foxtrot to one of her songs. David Myles was also taken by surprise when he heard kids as young as eight, singing about getting old! Special connections were made with all these musicians.

Recently, the PTA at Basinview Drive Community School, started a fund raising campaign for a much needed playground. Carol saw this as the opportunity to record a CD. She asked 10 musicians if they would be involved, and they all said yes. Each artist sang lead, and played instruments, while all 500 students at the school added choruses, harmonies, and a few solos. Students also added percussion. The results were incredible. The participating artists were: David Myles, Joel Plaskett, Hawksley Workman, Jeremy Fisher, Meaghan Smith, Keith Mullins, Thom Swift, Ashley Moffat, Mark Bragg and Willie Stratton. Students at the school took part in the recording process, the cover art, and making decisions about CD 1manufacturing. There was press visiting the school on many occasions for radio, print and television stories.

They released the CD, called “Basinview Rocks: Music is Our Playground”, on May 23, 2013, with two sold out concerts at the school. Many of the participating artists performed with the students at the concert, making this an amazing experience for everyone. Carol and the students have been asked to perform at this year’s East Coast Music Awards and they have been nominated for an East Coast Music Award.

   Lesley Dunn, Executive Director, Dartmouth Learning Centre

This nomination is based on Lesley Dunn’s contribution to literacy in the province since she took over as the Executive Director of the Dartmouth Learning Network (DLN) in February 2012. As Executive Director, she has established or upgraded the formal governance structures of the organization including financial policies and procedures, operating procedures, staff policies and accountabilities, performance tracking and emergency procedures. Program offerings have expanded in all areas and the number of learners being served has increased by about 50%

A new federal government program, Canada Jobs Grant, threatens to reduce the funds available to Community Learning Organizations (CLO) through the current federal/provincial Labour Market Agreement. Lesley raised this issue with all CLOs and took the lead in developing and executing an influencing plan in an attempt to save the program for some of Nova Scotia’s most vulnerable citizens.

She has work tirelessly for over 10 months on behalf of the CLO community. She has conducted over 40 meetings with politicians, bureaucrats and other influential people. She has raised the media profile of this issue and was successful in getting this issue raised in the House of Commons.

Recently, the Province of Nova Scotia announced it will provide temporary funding to many of the CLOs impacted by the Canada Jobs Grant. The Dartmouth Learning Centre is one of the recipients.

The rate of literacy problems in Canada is of grave concern to Lesley. She recognized that Canada is one of the few developed countries that does not have a framework for literacy of its citizens. Lesley developed a Right to Literacy campaign to obtain signatures on a scroll which will be presented to the Prime Minister. The campaign advocates for federal action to provide leadership in developing and implementing a literacy framework. Over a thousand signatures have been collected to date with some of Canada’s most prominent citizens leading the way. The Director of the Adult Education Division of the Department of Labour & Advanced Education (funder for DLN) who said that Lesley Dunn has done more to raise the profile of literacy and bring the issue to the fore than anyone she knows.

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