Monday, November 02, 2009

Hon. Marilyn Trenholme Counsell honoured for dedication to literacy, education and early childhood development at luncheon in Moncton


November 2, 2009
For immediate release

Hon. Marilyn Trenholme Counsell honoured for dedication to literacy, education and early childhood development at luncheon in Moncton / Justin Trudeau guest speaker at event

MONCTON, N.B. – The Hon. Marilyn Trenholme Counsell, one of New Brunswick’s – and Canada’s – foremost champions for literacy, education and early childhood development was honoured by The Learning Partnership at the 2009 Champions of Public Education New Brunswick Tribute Luncheon held on Monday, November 2, at the Delta Beauséjour Hotel in Moncton.

A tireless worker and advocate for literacy, education and early childhood development throughout her long and distinguished career, Dr. Trenholme Counsell has served as a member of the Legislative Assembly, cabinet minister, lieutenant-governor and senator, retiring from the Senate of Canada last year. She also practised family medicine for many years in Sackville.

One of Canada’s most high-profile members of Parliament will be honouring Dr. Trenholme Counsell at the event. The luncheon’s guest speaker will be Justin Trudeau, who was elected to Parliament for the Montreal-area riding of Papineau in 2007. A former teacher himself, Trudeau has long been a champion of education causes and literacy. He is the eldest son of former Canadian prime minister Pierre Trudeau and Margaret Kemper. Master of ceremonies for the luncheon will be Roxanne Reeves.

The chairman of this year’s event is David Hawkins of Couleur Co-création and a long-time personal friend of Dr. Trenholme-Counsell. “We are very excited to be honouring one of New Brunswick’s greatest advocates for literacy, education and early childhood development. I urge everyone who cares about these important issues in this province to support this worthwhile cause,” Mr. Hawkins said. “It’s also important to note that all proceeds from the event stay within New Brunswick for projects right here in the province.”

This is the second Champions of Public Education New Brunswick Tribute Luncheon held in the province. The 2007 honoree was New Brunswick industrialist J.K. Irving, who also serves as the honorary patron of this year’s luncheon. Similar events are held regularly in each province across the country to support The Learning Partnership’s programs.

As minister of state for the family, Dr. Trenholme Counsell spoke often about the family home as the cradle of learning and of love. Later, as lieutenant-governor, she called upon the people of New Brunswick to do everything possible to help each child achieve her/his potential. It was during these years that she held lieutenant-governor’s “Story Hours” in the villages, towns and cities of this province and instituted awards for early childhood literacy. Working with the IODE, Les Dames d’Acadie, the Government of New Brunswick and others, Born to Read/Le goût de lire became a program that provided a bag of books to each newborn and his/her parents in the province. Similarly, she championed Welcome to Kindergarten, on behalf of the Learning Partnership, to ensure that this national program was available in all school districts as part of the transition to school preparation.

In the Senate of Canada, she led a study on Early Childhood Education and Care: the Next Steps. Now, as president of the Literacy Coalition of New Brunswick and as a national board member on the Council for Early Child Development, she continues to inspire the families of her home province to recognize their role as the first and most important teachers any child will ever have, and to grasp the joy, the power and the comfort of books. Earlier this year, she was presented with the Sir Charles Tupper Award for Political Action by the Canadian Medical Association. She is an honorary lifetime member of the New Brunswick Teachers’ Association.

The Learning Partnership (TLP) is a national not-for-profit organization that brings together business, education, government, labour, policy-makers and the community to develop partnerships that strengthen public education in Canada. More than four million students and teachers have participated in one or more TLP programs since its inception in 1993. As champions of public education in Canada, the organization strengthens its programs through research on best practices and policy discussions.

TLP is supported across Canada by all ministries of education, the federal and provincial governments, individual citizens, Canadian businesses, community organizations, educational institutions and school boards.


For more information, please contact:

David Hawkins
(506) 863-5057

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