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Summer 2023 Community News

Welcome to CCI-LEX Community News!

I hope all of you are enjoying the summer and spending time outdoors in our beautiful city and province! Although we have fewer classes in the summer, there are still many activities happening at CCI-LEX!  Since spring we have held many great events, hosting our first Open House, celebrating our 20th Anniversary and AGM, enjoying our annual Summer Celebration, and many more field trips and activities for students.  You can catch up on all the news here! Summer is going by very quickly though, and we are already getting ready for fall classes.  We know this fall term is going to be very busy and we look forward to welcoming many new students.  We hope to see all of you in September! Happy Reading, Anne-Marie Kallal, Executive Director

Celebrating 20 Years of CCI-LEX at our AGM!


The CCI-LEX Annual General Meeting held at the Stanley A. Milner library consisted of a room full of eager attendees awaiting to hear about the success of CCI-LEX in not only the past year but the past 20 years!

The evening officially began with a message from President and Chair Peter Leveille emphasizing the busyness of this past year for staff, volunteers, and students alike. The transition out of the pandemic was a long and tricky one; however, the flip side of that was CCI-LEX being able to host more successful in person events including the AGM, the Winter Celebration, the Summer Celebration, and after a three-year hiatus, the Board is looking forward to getting together for a retreat.

One of the highlights of this year included the big move to our new location. With the help of a $100K donation to our Classroom Campaign from the Edmonton Civic Employees Charitable Assistance Fund (ECECAF), CCI-LEX welcomed a new space this year with upgraded furniture and technology along with a large student lounge.

A huge thank you to all the funders and donors who made this year possible, In the words of President Peter Leveille, it is the resilience and teamwork of everyone that will “no doubt serve CCI-LEX on a path of continuous success. Here’s to another 20 years!”

Beautiful words were said by our Executive Director Anne-Marie Kallal about the progress here at CCI-LEX. Since last fall, our class sizes have seen a dramatic rebound, with majority of our new students originating from Somalia, Ukraine, Mexico, Turkey, Colombia, and Ethiopia. Although the big move appeared seamless, it happened after years of exploring potential locations and with the help of many individuals, especially our office team who ensured the move went smoothly while simultaneously handling day-to-day duties. It has been six months since the move, yet the new space continues to radiate a welcoming ambiance and is still being regularly praised by staff and students.

Attendees were taken down memory lane as stories were shared about CCI-LEX’s humble beginnings. The focus was on the immense growth of the organization within the first ten years going from 322 students to 1111 students and the joy felt by being awarded charitable status in 2014, which opened the doors to many more funding and donation opportunities.

One of CCI-LEX’s more seasoned participants, Harry Paynter, recalled his 23-year long journey with CCI-LEX that started all the way the location on 107th St. The long-time contributor and ambassador expressed his most valuable lessons and memories attached to his unique teaching experience, including teachers previously being required to plan their own material. Everything at CCI-LEX—the equipment, the technology, and the curriculum—slowly but surely became more professional, but no matter where the organization went, it remained a great place to be. Harry closed his moving speech with an analogy:

CCI-LEX is like an apple tree. Apple trees start with seeds, then seedlings, they expand their roots into small branches, then bigger branches, then into blossoms, and then those blossoms turn into apples.

CCI-LEX has undergone many changes in the past twenty years; however, there remains a commitment to improvement, flexibility, and accessibility, a responsive and understanding environment, as well as an emphasis on the value of volunteerism. The evening concluded on a high note, with attendees being given an opportunity to network with each other while enjoying the delicious food. Overall, the 2023 AGM was a success, and it is all thanks to the many people who continue to support the mission here at CCI-LEX.


My Success in Canada 2023! 

The highlight of the Annual General Meeting continues to be the personal stories from students about their success in Canada. Success stories are a way for students to reflect on the fruits of their labor by writing about their journey in a new country so far, their goals, and even how CCI-LEX fits into it all. Students were able to present either live or virtually at the AGM, and have their work up on display at CCI-LEX! This year’s student presentations included stories from Marvelli, Farida, Bakhshali, Adriano, and concluded with Svitlana. Check out the videos of them sharing their stories below!

Our First Open House!

In May, CCI-LEX hosted their very first open house filled with optimism, joy, and excitement! The student ambassadors did a tremendous job of giving a tour of the school; guests were welcome to check out the new space equipped with updated technology and brand-new furniture! Among the attendees were members of the Board of Directors, as well as a variety of donors, partners at other community agencies, former and current staff and volunteers, and prospective students. A huge thank you to all who made the Open House not only possible, but a success!


Another Successful Summer Celebration

Face-painting, balloon animals, hotdogs and potato-sack races! 

It has been a tradition here at CCI-LEX to host a huge summer celebration every July that honors the hard work that students, staff, and volunteers have put in all year long!

The blue skies and warm weather made for a perfect day spent at the Legislature Grounds! Family and friends gathered together to enjoy the delicious food, including a return of Fat Franks hot dogs, watermelon, chips, drinks, and of course ice cream!  A special thank you to Royal Treats who donated all the ice cream treats for our party!

Guests were seen participating in all the fun activities, such as the potato-sack race, frisbee, soccer, and the face-painting station! Our summer celebration would not be complete without the presence of a bright red nose! Clown Mikey Macaroni’s appearance and balloon-making talents surely lifted the spirits of the children who were present and gave everyone there a reason to smile!

Thank you to each and every volunteer who helped make the Summer Celebration a day worth remembering. Here’s to more amazing memories with CCI-LEX!

Great Canadian Giving Challenge

Our amazing community came together once again for a very successful donation campaign during the Great Canadian Giving Challenge in June!

We raised an impressive total of $9,500, just shy of our goal of $10,000. We are thrilled with this amount!  Our community continues to step up to make this our largest donation campaign year after year.

 When I came I met a lot of local people, but I was very shy and nervous when I talked with them, because I didn’t speak English well.  After two courses, I felt transform my English. The teachers are friendly and lovely the same as a family.  So, I feel confident with my English.  – Minh, Vietnam

Thank you to all our donors and supporters who make it possible for us to provide a welcoming environment and outstanding learning experiences day in and day out at CCI-LEX, putting our newcomer students on the road to success.  

Missed your chance to donate during the Giving Challenge?  No problem! You can make a donation to CCI-LEX at any time, just click here!

Student and Teacher Stories

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

With dreams of pursuing higher education in the future, Farida and Bakhshali cherish the connections they’ve made with classmates from various countries and look forward to progressing to higher levels at CCI-LEX. With dreams of studying in college or university in the future, they are grateful for the friendships they’ve made and the opportunities ahead.

Read More

Despite the initial challenges of transitioning from a trades background to teaching, Bram’s laid-back and fun approach to education has helped him form strong bonds with his students while also deepening his own understanding of English grammar.

Read More

Upcoming Dates

  • August 28 – CCI Program, New Term Starts
  • September 4 – Closed, Labour Day
  • September 5  – LEX Program, New Term Starts
  • October 9 – Closed, Thanksgiving
  • November 13 – Closed, In lieu of Remembrance Day
  • December 1 – CCI-LEX Winter Celebration



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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