Community Partnership

Learning Disabilities Association of Alberta

The Learning Disabilities Association of Alberta (LDAA) is a registered charity established in 1968 that represents the interests of approximately 400,000 Albertans who live with learning disabilities (LD). In partnership with chapters in Edmonton and Red Deer, the mandate is to support people with LD so they may achieve their full potential. Our signature program is Catching Children Before They Fail... the Right to Read Program.

The Program Vision

  • Every child at potential risk for reading problems will be provided with support at the earliest possible stage in their educational career
  • Every child in kindergarten and grade one will be screened for potential reading difficulties
  • All teachers will have the capacity to provide effective intervention to children at risk for reading problems.

The main objectives of the Right to Read program are to screen every Alberta student by grade one to identify potential risk of reading problems, and to give teachers the tools and skills they need to carry out appropriate interventions that will maximize the potential for a child to have a solid foundation in literacy and reading.

The Learner’s Licence Prep Kit is a social enterprise that funds the Right to Read Program.  Available at most registries across the province, the Prep Kits help all types of learners prepare for their Class 7 knowledge test.  Canada’s Citizenship Prep Kits are a new product that helps newcomers learn the essential information in the Discover Canada Guide so that they are prepared for their citizenship exam. AARA has been instrumental in facilitating the relationship between the LDAA and the registries. The efforts of the registry agents to promote these learning tools have resulted in a steady source of income for the Right to Read Program, and have helped thousands of learners pass their learner’s and citizenship exams.

For more information about the Prep Kits visit: 

To learn about the Right to Read Program visit:

Registry Agents Collect $22,704.68!!!!

Yes, that is correct. Calgary Registry Agents collected in a month and a half, $22,704.68 for the annual Calgary Mayor's Christmas Food Drive.
Absolutely amazing. Not bad for our first year as a partner in this program.
Calgary Agents can be very proud of their efforts and know that they are truly making a difference in their community. This money will allow the Food Bank to distribute $113,523.40 worth of quality emergency food to those in need.

If we can do that in a month and half, just think what we can do as a group in 2014. Now that we have started, let's keep at it. Your clerks should now be comfortable with ASKING for a donation so it should be fairly simple to just keep on collecting. The need for donations is year round, not just at Christmas time. All of you should now have Food Bank collection boxes ( we still have a few to deliver) and the signage on the boxes have been updated for the coming year. Be careful that you do not leave too much money in the boxes ( a five dollar bill in the box is great bait money) as we have had boxes stolen. When you wish to have someone pickup the donations simply call the Food Bank at the number on the back of the collection box. A Food Bank volunteer will drop by and pick up the money. When the volunteer arrives, make sure you ask to see their Food Bank ID. The volunteer will simply pick the money up, he/she will not count it. The actual counting will be done at the Food Bank. I have attached a record sheet that you may find helpful to record when these pickups are made.

A very special thanks to all of you for getting involved and motivating your staff to make this happen. We can build on this and do great things in 2014.
All your staff have to do is ask - Calgarians are very generous. Simply leaving the box out to collect loose change doesn't cut it. Calgarians want to donate, just ask them.

I want to also thank your AARA directors, Gayle See and Harry Woo for their help in this campaign. They spent many hours of their own time driving around the city, dropping off collection boxes, posters and then doing it all over again to pick up the donations. Just another example of what we can accomplish if we all work together.

Dennis Howie

PS: Make collecting fun. Start competitions among your staff. Have focus days where your staff dress up for the Food Bank. With a little imagination you can make collecting a great team building exercise.

Association of Alberta Registry Agents and War Amps Key Tag Service

When you renew your licence, Say YES to The War Amps Key Tag Service - returning lost keys and supporting local child amputees! With the help of the Association of Alberta Registry Agents, the Alberta Government has updated the procedure for providing the names and addresses of drivers to The War Amps so key tags can continue to be mailed to Albertans. Watch this short clip to learn how you can continue to receive this important service.

For more information on the War Amps child amputee program, visit the website at

Registry Agents Support Alberta's Food Banks

In the fall 2009 the Government of Alberta made changes to environmental recycling deposits on milk containers. Up to then, milk containers did not have deposits attached to them. While this may be a small thing for many people, it became a big problem for food banks that provide fresh milk in their food hampers. While individual purchasers buy milk, pay the deposit and then return the carton for the refund, the process is not so straight forward for food banks. Food banks purchase the milk, pay the deposit, distribute the milk to the customer and it is the customer, not the food bank, that returns the carton for the deposit. In the case of the Calgary Interfaith Food Bank, the additional expense of the deposit resulted in an unforeseen annual expense of $45,000. Once this became known to Calgary registry agent, Dennis Howie, a strategy hatched on how to help the Calgary Food Bank offset the new burden by fundraising at the registry counter. In the first year, Calgary agents managed to surpass their target and there has been no stopping them since.

Edmonton agents have been just as busy. With Steve Cutting of Westend Registries leading the charge, Edmonton agents have raised funds to help the Edmonton Food Bank. Although the Edmonton Food Bank did not face the same challenge in relation to milk carton deposits because it includes powdered, not fresh, milk in its hampers, there was no shortage of places where additional funds could help.

It won't be long until this initiative spreads province wide. Why? Because registry agents live and work in communities and care about the well-being of those communities. You can help by donating when you stop by to renew your driver's licence, pick up new vehicle plates or access any number of other services that registry agents offer.

Read December 2012 Food Bank article

Homeless Connect

For the past few years, a number of social service agencies serving the homeless in For the past few years, a number of social service agencies serving the homeless in Edmonton and Calgary organized events called Homeless Connect. Both events are broad-based community-inspired initiatives, providing free appropriate services to people experiencing homelessness and those at risk of becoming homeless, on one day and at one location in each city. The mission is to provide services that open doors out of homelessness, build lasting partnerships, raise public awareness of homelessness in the community, and provide a vehicle for community involvement in addressing the issue of homelessness.

Homeless Connect events happen twice a year at the Shaw Conference Centre in Edmonton and the City Hall Atrium in Calgary. Past services have included mental health assessments, library services, foot care, haircuts, immunizations, pre-natal support, dental care, tax preparation, laundry, housing information, employment and training services and much more. Registry agents became involved in the Edmonton event in May, 2010 and soon offered support to the Calgary one. The purpose of involving registry agents was to address a fundamental barrier that the homeless population has to access services; that is, the need for identification. By volunteering their time at the event, registry agents helped attendees understand what's needed to verify identity and how to navigate the system to apply for identification. The goal of all concerned is to make it as easy as possible to break the cycle of homelessness by equipping people with the tools necessary to move forward with their lives.

For information on how to obtain an identification card, a driver's licence or Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan registration, contact any member of AARA or download this informational brochure.

For more information on Homeless Connect contact: