"Whether you are an adult who never learned to read, or the parent of a child struggling at school, you know the anguish of the poor reader.

Beacon is the answer for genuine, long-term solutions."

- Beacon Literacy

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Lani's Profile

Lani Donaldson is a teacher, mother, and leader who has turned her struggle with a reading difficulty into a mission to make sure that every adult and child can read.  As a child, Lani fought to get through school by memorizing assignments and spending hours doing homework.  Lani worked for 18 years for one of the largest schoolboards in Canada both as a teacher and as an administrator. 

Lani is an entertaining and informed guest and has been interviewed by CTV and Global TV, numerous newspapers across Canada, and on radio.  She is in great demand as a speaker on the topics of literacy, how education affects self esteem, and leadership.

It was when her daughter started displaying signs of a reading difficulty that Lani became passionate about addressing the systemic lack of support for reading skills and literacy in schools. Lani saw the same frustration, shame and lack of self esteem in her daughter that she had battled as a child and vowed to find a better way for her to learn to read.

It was when her daughter started displaying signs of a reading difficulty that Lani became passionate about addressing the systemic lack of support for reading skills and literacy in schools.  Lani saw the same frustration, shame and lack of self esteem in her daughter that she had battled as a child and vowed to find a better way for her to learn to read.

That search led her to a system of teaching literacy which improved her daughter’s reading skills and sent her self esteem through the roof.  The system was so powerful that Lani left teaching to buy the company and become the President and CEO of Beacon Literacy.  Since that time, Lani has seen hundreds of students change their lives and has offered support to parents who had lost all hope of helping their children succeed in school.

Poor literacy skills affect all of us.  The productivity that is lost due to poor literacy skills costs Canadian businesses 4 billion dollars every year.  Prisons are full of people who can’t read and even the Canadian Council on Learning has revealed that 20% of our university graduates struggle to understand basic text.

As an educator and mother, Lani knows that early support for reading skills is critical to our success as a nation.  Lani tells parents and audience members at her keynote speeches that “kids learn to read in Kindergarten through grade three and after that they read to learn.  What if they miss that window?”  And what is the human cost in self esteem, productivity, and potential?  It costs 8 times more to educate a child with reading difficulties than a child who has strong reading skills.

Lani Donaldson draws on humour as well as life experience in her speeches, lectures and workshops on literacy.  She taught language arts, drama, social studies, and leadership for 18 years before becoming the President and CEO of Beacon Literacy.  Lani is a founding member of the Student Council and Leadership Advisors of Alberta (SCALAA) and has created the Lani Donaldson Literacy Foundation to fund literacy initiatives for women and children.  One of those initiatives is to improve literacy skills for women emerging from addiction and abuse through the Youville residential recovery program in Calgary, Canada.