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VESL Celebrates a LOLA

  • VESL Celebrates a LOLA

Calgary has a long and deep history of volunteerism. In fact, the spirit of volunteerism is a pillar in Calgary, a foundational building block for creating communities, culture and citizenship within our city. The field of ESL is no stranger to the need for volunteers, in fact there is a reliance on the energy, skill and commitment of people who give their time, share their knowledge, and impart their skills.

The Volunteer ESL Tutor Training Project, fondly referred to as VESL, recognizes and celebrates the contributions of volunteers throughout Calgary by unifying four organizations with long-standing ESL volunteer programs and their efforts to support ESL learning through volunteerism. The partnering organizations include: Bow Valley College (BVC), Calgary Catholic Immigration Society (CCIS), the Calgary Public Library (CPL) and the YWCA of Calgary.

On April 22, 2015, VESL was the proud recipient of the Calgary Learns’ Life of Learning Award (LOLA) in the category of Learning Communities. VESL recognizes the diverse ways that volunteers support adult foundational learning. Further, VESL has been designed to care for the needs of adult foundational learners while at the same time addressing the training needs of the volunteers who fuel ESL volunteer programs throughout Calgary. The training VESL provides has been integral in offering added support to numerous ESL volunteer programs and in building a community of volunteers who support one another through the sharing of ideas, insights and knowledge. The result has been a project that has increased volunteers’ abilities to better address the needs of the foundational learners they support.

The Centre would like to thank and acknowledge the VESL team for their ongoing commitment to this collaborative and innovative project. Team members there to accept the award included: Shelagh Lenon, Joanne Robarts and Diane Hardy from BVC; Marion Christensen from CCIS, Azmin Poonja from CPL. The four partnering organizations would like to thank Calgary Learns for their ongoing support of this project.

If your organization is interested in participating in sending volunteers to VESL training, please contact Shelagh Lenon at

To learn more, visit the VESL Network.