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COW bus visits Macleod to promote family literacy


A unique black and white bus filled with ideas to inspire family literacy rolled into Fort Macleod last week.
The Alberta Prairie Classroom On Wheels (COW bus), a project of the Centre for Family Literacy, was parked in front of the Orange Cafe on Thursday.
The COW bus has been in operation since 2003 and runs year-round.
Its mandate is to visit 100 communities every year, sharing ideas and resources while building awareness of family literacy across the province.
The unique visual presence of the bus also helps to advertise local literacy programs and resources.
Local organizations work together with the Centre for Family Literacy to co-ordinate a COW bus visit. In Fort Macleod’s case it was the Willow Creek Community Adult Learning Society.
Families with young children aged six years and under were invited to explore and enjoy the many books and homemade activities that fill the bus.
Trained facilitators welcomed visitors to the bus and shared ideas about early learning and literacy development with families and local literacy practitioners.
The Centre for Family Literacy donated a small library of quality children’s books to Fort Macleod. These books are made available to families through Project Read.
Staff at the Centre for Family Literacy believes literacy development begins at birth.
A child’s home is their first school and families are the first teachers.
When children see family members study a map, jot down a shopping list or check the latest sports scores, they are learning about print and reading.
When they pull their favourite breakfast cereal out of the cupboard, scribble with their crayons, or help turn the pages of their favourite bedtime story, they are already practicing their reading and writing skills.
Literacy is an important part of everyday lives and includes all the skills that people use to get things done.
Education, health, economy, and community strengthen as people develop reading, writing and communication skills.
The Centre for Family Literacy provides a wide range of adult and family literacy programs in Edmonton, as well as training, resources, information and awareness across Alberta and Canada.
The Alberta Prairie Classroom On Wheels Project is funded by Innovation and Advanced Education.
For more information on the Alberta Prairie Classroom on Wheels project contact 780-421-7323 or or visit

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