Raising local literacy levels.

Renfrew-Collingwood Literacy Project

In 2008, with funding from 2010 Legacies Now administered through the Vancouver School board, the Renfrew-Collingwood neighbourhood worked together to create a local literacy plan. Then, it started working to implement the plan, work that continues to this day. Members of the committee represent CNH, the local libraries, the Windermere Family of Schools, and local residents.

Community’s Vision for Literacy

In 2008, the community came together to create a vision for literacy. The main strategies that were identified were the following:

  • Know your neighbourhood
  • Connect residents
  • Connect service providers
  • Expand capacity
  • Develop programs

The current programs that are running to implement these strategies are the weekly conversation groups at Collingwood Towers, Book Exchange kiosk and Community Business Walks. Timothy Shay is the current Literacy Outreach Coordinator for Renfrew-Collingwood.

Click here to see the full report.

Book Exchange Kiosk

Thanks to the Raise-a-Reader grant, we purchased two book kiosks for our “Take a book, leave a book” exchange for families to use. If you have any books for kids 0 to 6 years old, please contact us at











Collingwood Towers Conversation Group

PhotoFor the past two years, seniors of various cultural backgrounds have been attending the weekly conversation group that happens in the building.

The purpose is to connect residents with each other, inform them of existing programs in the community and provides an opportunity for them to speak English. Very meaningful relationships have developed from this group and they have had great potlucks!

We want to thank volunteers who have attended the weekly conversation groups and contributed their talents and skills to this group.

Click here to see more pictures.


Community Walks


In 2011, people explored the the neighbourhood at the Collingwood History Walk and Renfrew Arts Walk.

In October 2012, we piloted a Community Business Walk to enhance residents’ knowledge of businesses that exist in the community. We began the walk with a traffic safety session with Heather Brown at the Collingwood Community Policing Centre, the Burnaby Thrift Shop, Joyce Bakery and DVD Palace.

Participants said that the walk was very helpful, particularly the traffic safety tips and visiting businesses they have never visited before. Click here to read the full story.

Click here to see all the pictures from the walk.

For more information, please call Collingwood Neighbourhood House at 604-435-0323.

Photo  Photo


Literacy Notes

By Timothy Shay, Literacy Outreach Coordinator,

Collingwood Neighbourhood House.

The Reading Circle 

During July 2013 a weekly reading circle was launched. With attendance between 10-14, we are reading the novel; The Joy Luck Club, (by Amy Tan,) out loud, then discussing pronunciations and meanings. Morton Chen and Christina Chen have provided Chinese translation and helpful leadership for this enjoyable CNH Literacy program. The group meets every Friday at 10:30 AM, Collingwood Neighbourhood House, Child Minding Room.

The Tower Conversation Group

The Tower Conversation group meets every Thursday morning at 10 AM at the Collingwood Tower Seniors Housing apartments. The group is very self-directed and has currently grown to more than ten regular attendees. We share conversation, practice utilitarian English phrases, and have a monthly potluck for the group. Invitations are sent out to all residents of the Tower, many of them experiencing social isolation. Subsequently the group grows every moth. Thanks to Ann Rivard for assistance with organizing our weekly meetings plus providing her great baking for the group. Special thanks to Janet Lee for her assistance in producing weekly lesson plans and for her Mandarin, Cantonese, and English translations for the group.

Legacy Interviews

The fourth in the Legacy Interviews of Collingwood community members appears in this issue of the Renfrew Collingwood News. Mona Lee, an enthusiastic participant in the Collingwood Neighbourhood House community tells her story of a life in pursuit of learning. Interviews are ongoing.

Word Factory: Youth Creative Writing

Beginning on Thursday September 19th 2013 from 4-5PM  the CNH Literacy Outreach in partnership with the Collingwood Branch of the Vancouver Public Library will launch “Word Factory” a weekly youth drop-in creative writing workshop which will introduce writing from prompts, journaling, editing, presentation, publication, and special guests from the Poetry/Spoken Word and Slam community in Vancouver.

Recipe Book Project

A Potluck Cookbook is planned for the Spring of 2014. Leave your favourite comfort food or potluck Recipe at the CNH front desk. Mark it “To Timothy Shay, LOC”. ) Children from the Renfrew Collingwood School catchment will provide illustrations and haiku poetry for the book.



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