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Summer 2021 Community News

Welcome to CCI-LEX Community News!

What a summer it has been so far! Even with many classes out for the summer, we’ve been busy: our second virtual Annual General Meeting was a resounding success; we achieved our goal (and then some) in the June Giving Challenge, and we’ve celebrated our students’ achievements with the My Success in Canada Writing Contest.

The past few months have demonstrated just how much the support of our community contributes to CCI-LEX, and we’re glad to have you with us as we move towards more students joining us to learn and connect, whether they’re excitedly walking through the doors of CCI-LEX for the first time, or familiar faces returning to classes this fall.

As always, if you have any suggestions for what you’d like to see in this newsletter, or would like to contribute, please feel free to get in touch.

Happy reading!

Anne-Marie Kallal, Executive Director


Our Second Virtual Annual General Meeting

“We Made It!”

June 21st marked our second virtual Annual General Meeting since the pandemic. While we miss having our AGM in Edmonton’s beautiful City Hall, (and the tasty snacks afterwards!) attending this special event from the comforts of our own homes was definitely a unique experience. Please see below for some quick highlights of our Annual General Meeting!

Guests who arrived early were greeted with a slideshow of photos highlighting various virtual and in-person memories from the past year. Familiar faces and names popped up on screen as we got closer to the starting time.  Shannon Leblanc, outgoing President of our Board of Directors, chaired the meeting. Shannon provided some amazing highlights from the past year including the launch of our monthly giving program, Club Lexicon, and that we received our highest amount of donations to date, at just over $35,000! The Board also embarked on a strategic planning process, setting new goals around improving student supports, strengthening partnerships, and expanding market reach. As Shannon details in her report, “COVID has brought many challenges but also an excellent opportunity to envision our way forward.”

Our Executive Director, Anne-Marie Kallal,  presented her report on the past year, recounting the overwhelming support we’ve received from funders, board, staff, and volunteers. The past year allowed for a lot of new, innovative work to be done to continue supporting student engagement and learning. Looking into the new year, we hope to continue leveraging technology and working creatively alongside teachers, volunteers and students to become more resilient in adversity and outstanding in our commitment to excellence!

Word cloud of goals of and descriptors of CCI-LEX

As in previous years, the highlight of our meeting was when our students from both CCI and LEX programs shared their “My Success in Canada” stories. We had a diverse group of students share their accomplishments and explain what success meant for them as they adapted to life in a new country. Please see our next featured story for more details about our student stories.

Thank you to all 51 participants who joined us for our annual event. Also, a great big thank you to outgoing Board Members Azelda Payne and Emeka Ekwosimba – we appreciate your hard work and your commitment to CCI-LEX over the past few years. We look forward to seeing everyone again at our next Annual General Meeting!

You can find the reports from the Executive Director and President of the Board in our Annual Report, along with quotes and stories from students on the impact CCI-LEX had over the past 12 months.

Read the Annual Report

My Success in Canada

“Viva la Canada! Long live Canada!”

At our Annual General Meeting this year, seven of our students shared their stories, detailing their experiences of hardship, improvement, and success in their new life in Canada. Every year we invite students to submit stories for our “My Success in Canada” writing contest, and then a group of volunteers have the difficult job of choosing the best ones. We are always moved by the reliance and optimism that our students exhibit and are excited to celebrate their success alongside them!

This year, four contest winners were chosen from the LEX program and three were chosen from the CCI program:

Faduma Abdi Musa from our LEX Beginner class and Ying Zhu from our LEX Intermediate class explain their struggles in communicating with others in a new country. They both share how their hard work and improvement in English allowed them to accomplish their goals.

Marie Denise Refuse from the LEX High Beginner class and Jesus Lopez Omana from our CCI Intermediate A class recount not only their own success in Canada, but that of their family and children as well.

Fouzia Lachi from our LEX Low Intermediate class, Ganna Skliarenko from our CCI Advanced class and Tomasz Latawiec  from our CCI Intermediate B class share different details about their daily life, volunteer experience, work in Canada, and the opportunities that learning English provided them in their current circumstances.

We are so proud of our students for their courage and hard work in learning English and adjusting to their new lives here. Thank you so much to all the students who were willing to share their personal stories with us. We hope to continue being a part of their journey and supporting them to achieve their goals.

Read the full stories in our Annual Report or, even better, watch some videos of students reading their stories!

Collaboration with Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues

Promising opportunities for cultural exchange and connections!

CCI-LEX has been venturing into community-building opportunities with the Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues (EFCL). Representatives from EFCL joined our student Conversation Club for an introductory conversation about what leagues are and how our students can become more involved and connected in their neighbourhoods.

Running since January, our online Conversation Club has been a success.  Involving over 30 students, the Club has allowed learners to stay connected and practice conversation while learning from various guest speakers. Our chat with EFCL allowed us to see the opportunity for future collaboration and how we can support students to connect with their neighbourhoods through Community Leagues, something that many of our learners are unfamiliar with or have never been exposed to in their own countries.

EFCL aspires to make their programs more accessible, and make Community Leagues more inclusive and diverse. We hope to aid students to learn about their local League and to become more involved in their neighbourhoods!  This fall, CCI-LEX will work with EFCL to plan some visits to local Community Leagues in order to introduce students to the activities, services, and membership they offer.

Are you involved with your local Community League? Do you want to help us and our students connect with the Leagues? Please reach out to us if this is something you are passionate about!

You can learn more about Community Leagues and EFCL’s work, as well as find your local League at

Student and Teacher Stories

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

Helen and Luisa are our school administrators now, but did you know that they were both students at CCI-LEX? Read their reflections about being CCI-LEX students below:

Read More

Learn how volunteer teacher Tony found the perfect balance of his passion for teaching and building community through CCI-LEX:

Read More

This past June, CCI-LEX participated in the Great Canadian Giving Challenge, putting out a call to all of our donors, teachers, volunteers, and friends to support us as we prepare to welcome more students back to classrooms this fall. We’re pleased to announce that you helped us raise $6,050, plus with a generous donation match of $5,000, we reached an incredible total of over $11,000!  Your support makes it possible to provide an encouraging atmosphere, welcoming environment, and outstanding English language learning experiences for all of our students.  Together, we can achieve great things, and we can’t thank you enough.

Upcoming Dates

Back to School for Fall!

Most classes will be in-person, but we’ll have some online too!

August 30, 2021 – CCI Term Starts

September, 7, 2021 – LEX Term Starts


In March, CCI-LEX launched “Club Lexicon”, a monthly giving program for supporters of CCI-LEX to make their donations simpler. If you’re interested, we encourage you to join the club!

Join Club Lexicon


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