Welcome to CFCR Community Connect - where we help to connect you with local community organizations in Saskatoon. 

We are excited to help you connect with Foundations Learning & Skills Saskatchewan for the month of April 2024. 

Since 1979, Foundations Learning & Skills Saskatchewan has been marking their history as a local literacy organization offering free learning opportunities to adults and families with the help of training volunteers and community partners. 

What types of programs or activities do you offer? What's your most successful program? 

We describe our adult, financial, children's, and family literacy programs as creating access to information. Our adult tutoring program provides strategics to improve literacy skills to be applied in their everyday life whether that is in the workplace, post-secondary school, or in their community. 

Our financial literacy programs provide access to better navigate complicated financial systems and highlight opportunities for positive change in public and private financial services and systems (SEDI, 2012). 

Our family literacy programs provide opportunities for families to acquire new skills in reading, writing, speaking, and listening, and our children's literacy program creates opportunities for children to increase their reading strategies with the goal of reading at grade level. We also run workshops for parents/caregivers on ways they can improve their child's reading and writing skills in the home. 

All programs evaluate learning outcomes. We use this data to ensure we are meeting community need, and to make future program decisions. 

Are there specific demographics of communities you primarily serve? 

Foundations brings learning opportunities to families in community spaces where they feel most safe and comfortable to learn. Our programs and events target low-income populations that have multiple barriers to access educational opportunities. 

Our literacy programs aim to increase community resilience in groups who experience multiple barriers, such as poverty, culture shock / urbanization, past trauma, low educational attainment, learning disabilities, discrimination / racism. 

How have you seens your organization's work make a difference? Can you share any success stories or provide examples of positive outcomes directly impacted by your organization? 

2018 - 2023 five-year program average results: 

Adult literacy program:

  • 95% of adults showed improved literacy and / or numeracy skills
  • 73% completion rate for adults participating in Lead, Foundations' one-to-one tutoring program

Children's literacy program:

  • 96% of teachers report increased reading strategies for children participating in Spark
  • 98% of parents whose children participate in Spark recommend the program to other parents 

Family literacy program:

  • 92% of parents who participate in family literacy programs report increased literacy activities to support children's emerging literacy development 


  • 84% of volunteers report Foundations' training allows them to feel prepared and effective in their role
  • 98% of volunteers report being happy with the support they receive from Foundations
  • 90% of those trained in financial, child, or family literacy deliver the program in one or more communities 
  • 83% of trained facilitators throughout Saskatchewan report they have a strong understanding of and can confidently deliver Foundations' programs thanks to the guidance and quality of supporting materials provided 

Financial literacy program:

  • 93% of participants increase their financial literacy skills, awareness, and access to information and services 
  • 87% of adults participating in financial literacy programs report changing the way they spend and/or save, which 
  • 80% report the follow a budget more successfully 

Last year, we recognized Seabaschine for his perserverance and dedication in Lead, our adult literacy program. In his speech he wrote how the program has impacted his life. "Since joining the program, I feel more confident when I am reading, and I can recognize mistakes quickly when I am reading aloud, writing, or spelling. I can recognize and read signs on buses and feel more confident when I come across signs around the city. I have an easier time recognizing words in text messages and books as well sounding out new words. I also have a lot of books at work that I can now read on my own. I'm more confident in my abilities when the time comes for me to move on from the program." 


“Since being in the program, I use the bookmark – strategies … I am a pretty good reader now. I like to read books on my own. I started reading a book you sent me – Diary of an Ice Princess. I've read the first chapter already. It is my first chapter book that I've read on my own.” (Cienna, Spark, Grade 3)


“Wow! My tutor showed me math steps instead of giving me the answer. She helped me pass my math and complete my GED. I almost gave up, waited 30 years to finish my education. My tutor gave me the confidence to finish.” (Bonnie, learner, Lead program)

Do you collaborate with other non-profits, agencies, or businesses to provide programs or resources? How do these collaborations enhance the effectiveness of your programs? 

Foundations never works in isolation. 

Last year, we collaborated with 241 community partners. We utilize our partnerships to recruit participants and/or volunteers, run programming, and train facilitators. 

We would not be able to run our programs without these strong relationships. 

What are any challenges or obstacles your organization has faced? How were they overcome? 

COVID caused our agency to evaluate the way we run our programs and recruit participants. We turned to online solution which led to a stronger provincial reach, ultimately leading to our name change in 2022. 

Do you have a long-term vision or dream for your organization? 

Our vision is that all Saskatchewan communities and individuals have equitable access to quality learning opportunities so everyone can fully participate and thrive. 

How can the community help your organization reach its goals?

There are several ways to give to Foundations. We are always looking for program volunteers and encourage workplaces to get involved. People can also donate to the agency. Monthly donors are extremely valuable to agencies as well as one-time donations.  

What volunteer opportunities are there within your organization? How can individuals or groups get involved and support your organization through volunteering? 

Foundations provides training and support for all volunteers and we work hard to ensure everyone - learners and volunteers alike - feels like a part of the team. 

All volunteers begin their journey by attending a one-hour agency orientation. They are held monthly September - May. Participants can register on our website here. 

Spark (Children’s Literacy)

Foundations provides one-to-one support to strengthen children's reading strategies. We aim to teach a holistic view of reading: students demonstrate an enhanced use of reading strategies and display positive reading habits through practice exercises, review of qualities of successful readers, and reading out loud. Reading guides are matched with a student in grades 2-4 with the goal of bringing that student’s reading to grade level.

We focus on children reading below grade level in schools in core neighbourhoods. This program is currently running online and in-person in Saskatoon and Regina and online in remote communities. 

Training: Reading Guides attend a 3-hour training on reading methods and strategies and will be provided all resources needed.

Commitment: twice/week for a 1-hour block (2 hours per week) for a minimum of 8 weeks.

Lead (Adult Literacy)

Adults know what they need to learn to meet their goals. The clients bring their specific learning goals, and the literacy coach uses materials to practice and improve the program participant’s skills. Some learners focus on academic skills (GED, Post-Secondary), some focus on home and community (reading to kids or grandkids), or workplace skills (documents, and forms); all gain a deeper understanding of their own strengths and abilities through their tutoring experience.

We offer flexible support to individuals who cannot attend full-time programming, (e.g.: those that work full-time, those that require supplemental and customized academic support).

Foundations provides one-to-one adult instruction. Volunteers are matched with an adult learner to meet weekly. Learning sessions last between one and one and a half hours and take place either in person (in public locations such as our office or branches of the Saskatoon Public Library) or online.

Training: Our volunteer tutors receive a seven-hour training that includes cultural competencies, adult learning principles, and reading and writing strategies.

Ongoing training is provided to tutors by the Adult Coordinator using online and print resources. The work of tutors is monitored with regular evaluation processes and program support.

Commitment: 1-1 1/2 hours/week for six months (minimum), plus 30 minutes to 1 hour/week to prepare for sessions

Family Literacy

The need for family literacy is on the rise in our province: nearly one-third of Saskatchewan children who arrive for their first day of kindergarten are not ready to learn (Saskatchewan Ministry of Education’s Early Years Evaluation). Many children have not been read a bedtime story or accessed other early learning opportunities.

Foundations provides four programs for children ages 3-5 and their caregivers and one program for children ages 0-3 and their caregivers.

Each 2-hour session includes a circle time, literacy activities, and a separate parent session. READ Saskatoon provides resources for parents and caregivers to support literacy and learning at home and in the community. We offer a relaxed and inclusive learning environment; a snack and take-home book are also provided each week (for in-person programming).

Volunteers help with activities, engage with families, and watch the children in the play area while parents attend the parent session in the adjoining room.

Training: “on the job”

Commitment: 2 hours/week per session; sessions are 6-, 8-, or 12- weeks.

We also have two family literacy school and community-based events: Saskatchewan Odyssey and Payday Playday (financial literacy based).

These programs take place in the evenings. Activity stations are set up in the gym or around the school where families create, read, write, puzzle, build, and skip their way through 10-12 literacy stations.

These stations are run by volunteers who set up, manage, and take down their station. This is a great team-building activity for staff or communities.

Training: “on the job”

Commitment: Can do one evening or more!

What about fundraising or donating opportunities? 

We run three events annually: LIT UP! (our gala), a golf tournament, and We Are Story (a storytelling event with local authors). People are invited to attend an event or donate (also mentioned above). 

Coming up in May is LIT UP!, one of our leading fundraisers, a fun-filled gala in support of Foundation. In 2023, we hosted 340 guests and raiser over $60,000 through this event. One-of-a-kind experiences were auctioned off while guests enjoyed delivious dinner and cocktails. This year's event will take place on Thursday, May 2nd, 2024 at the Sheraton Cavalier. 

To get tickets or to learn more about sponsorship opportunities, visit: 


What is something you wish more people knew about your organization? 

Foundations knows that a person's quality of life is directly related to their literacy skills. Low literacy skills are linked to poor health, poverty, as well as high unemployment. 

To Foundations, literacy is more than just reading and writing skills, cand cannot be defined by grade levels. Problem-solving in technology-rich environments, reading, writing, and numeracy skill development are particularly important for adults and families. 

Strong literacy skills are foundational: all other skills depend on them. 

Literacy is linked to success; the jobs people find, salaries they earn, educational attainment, and their ability to participate in their community are all directly related to literacy. 

Literacy affects opportunities, quality of life, and the social and economic stability of individuals, families, and communities. 

To learn more about Foundations Learning & Skills Saskatchewan, to access their resources, or to learn more about the events and programming they offer, click below!