CLICK TO CALL 780-944-0792

Fall 2021 Community News

Welcome to CCI-LEX Community News!

What are you thankful for? It is so important to take the time to reflect on the positive things in our lives, especially in these times. In what has become an annual tradition at CCI-LEX, we asked students, teachers, and staff to answer this question on a paper leaf and add it to our ‘Thanksgiving Tree.’

It always brings me joy to read the varied responses. Common themes are often repeated, such as being thankful for family, god, health, good teachers, and for being in Canada. This year we saw responses like surviving COVID, vaccines, as well as simply being thankful for the people they’ve met at CCI- LEX.  I don’t know if we’ll ever fully understand the impacts that the pandemic has had on all of us, but what I do know is that we can never underestimate the positive impact that personal connections have on our overall health and well-being.

We hope this Thanksgiving you were able to come together with loved ones and celebrate the good things in your lives. For me, that meant thinking about our amazing community of volunteers, staff, teachers, donors, and students. This community truly is what makes CCI-LEX so special, and I am incredibly thankful to be a part of this and for each and every one of you!

With Gratitude,

Anne-Marie Kallal, Executive Director

How does it feel returning to classes this fall?

An honest conversation with students and teachers.

With some classes changing from online back to in-person for September, our students, teachers and staff have had many things to adjust to. Although the decision to have some groups return to the school came with its challenges, everyone is doing their best to adapt to the ever-changing circumstances. Even amongst these transitions, our teachers and students continue to display a positive eagerness to teach and learn! 

Catalina from Chile, an international student in our CCI Program, shared that she learned a lot in her online class and was quite comfortable learning in an online setting. She is now adjusting to the in-person classes. She comments that she sometimes misses the online classes because of the changing weather and the time she saved by staying at home. However, she likes being able to leave the house and seeing her classmates in-person. Selina, one of our long-time volunteer teachers in the LEX Program shares the same sentiment, expressing that in-person classes allow her to bond better with her students. “I feel the warmth teaching in the classroom again,” she says, smiling through her mask. 

Anny, one of our High Beginner students from Korea, attended our online classes and clubs last year. “I didn’t like online classes…it was noisy and hard to concentrate.” She also conveys how much she missed face-to-face interactions. Many students from both the High Beginner and Beginner classes expressed that their teachers were able to explain concepts to them better in-person. 

“I like being able to talk to students individually,” comments Temina, one of our volunteers teaching Beginner classes. Teaching in-person, she is able to better monitor students and see exactly what they’re working on. Marie, one of her students, values the relationships she can make in the classroom with her peers and teacher. Upon asking the Beginner afternoon class what coming back to the school feels like, there was a unanimous “good, happy, and excited!” What a positive group of students we have here at CCI-LEX – they make us all feel the same way!

Building New Connections for CCI-LEX 

Highlights from our Community Liaison 


It is always a pleasure when new (and returning) members join our team!  In her second summer with CCI-LEX, Candice Oliva took on a new role as our Community Liaison. Her goals for the summer were to build relationships with ethno-cultural groups and community organizations while also connecting students with relevant community resources. In particular, she sought to provide multilingual vaccine-related information, not just to our students but to the wider ESL community. 

CCI-LEX understands that many newcomers and English learners in Edmonton have important questions and concerns about the vaccine. Indo-Canadian Women’s Association (ICWA), a local organization supporting a wide demographic of immigrants through free or low-cost programs for youth, seniors and families, shares the same sentiment. Together, we collaborated to provide a safe space for our community members to talk to medical experts in their first language.

In partnership with the Alberta International Medical Graduates’ Association (AIMGA), CCI-LEX and ICWA hosted a COVID-19 Vaccine Information Session on August 4, 2021.  Candice played a key role in the coordination of this online event. During the Vaccine Information Session, doctors from AIMGA answered participant questions in many different languages including: Arabic, Tigrinya, Somali, Bengali, Hindi, Urdu, Tagalog, French and Spanish. Learn more about the AIMGA HealthHub for Newcomers’ multilingual COVID-19 resources and ICWA’s upcoming events

In order to build on successes like this, CCI-LEX is retaining Candice in the Community Liaison role. Candice’s focus for the fall will be to continue building relationships with community organizations and ethnocultural groups, and to restructure the CCI-LEX Student Ambassador program into an online working group or network.  She will also work to provide even more information about vaccines, resources, and pop-clinics to our learners.  In fact, she has already helped to organize a vaccine clinic to be held here at CCI-LEX later this month!  We look forward to sharing more updates in future issues of Community News.

If you have any ideas about organizations CCI-LEX should connect and collaborate with, or want to know more about our student ambassador program, please contact Candice at

Student and Teacher Stories

See the Student and Teacher Stories on the Our Stories Page of our website.

Learn how teacher Sevgi Cin uses her own experience learning English to take her lessons beyond the textbook.

Read More

After emigrating from Nepal, Rama found connection and community at CCI-LEX.

Read More

Student News

Shortly after our last issue of Community News, we launched our new Student News newsletter.  Geared towards current and past students, it includes updates on activities happening around CCI-LEX, new classes and programs,  and helpful resources for learning English.  You can check out the first issue of Student News and sign up to receive it on our new Past Newsletters page.

Browse all of our past newsletters

November 30th is Giving Tuesday! Started in 2012, Giving Tuesday is a reminder during the holiday season of the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world.  Join this global movement for giving where communities rally to support their favourite causes and charities.  This Giving Tuesday, consider supporting CCI-LEX!

Upcoming Dates

Around CCI-LEX

  • October 27, 2021, 11 AM-3 PM – CCI-LEX Vaccine Clinic
  • November 5, 2021 – Volunteer Managers Day
  • November 30, 2021 – Giving Tuesday

Holiday Closures

  • November 11, 2021 – Remembrance Day
  • December 20, 2021 – January 2, 2022 – Winter Break


Subscribe to CCI-LEX Community News