3 6 9 Leaders Table


    The 3 6 9 Leaders Table is a collaborative catalyst group that is working to advance the Enough for All strategy. The group started meeting in 2021. They have explored conversations around literacy through a webinar series and are working together in a variety of ways to advance policy and advocacy for early learning and literacy. They are creating urgency around the importance of investing in and understanding early learning and literacy in Calgary and Alberta and currently have an action plan and strategy underway to build momentum around a creative campaign to engage our community in a conversation about literacy.

    With strong and creative messaging, the 3 6 9 Leaders Table hopes to engage all people to care about early learning and literacy. It’s something that affects the future of Alberta, and it requires attention.  

    Literacy is one factor that has a huge impact on a person’s ability to navigate life, find employment, secure housing, and access services. Literacy is critical to a sustainable future, and we need everyone to care. That means we need youth, parents, grandparents, business leaders, government officials, and everyone in our communities to spread the word about leaving no child at a loss for words.

    Why 3 6 9?

    Literacy affects people across their lifespans. While literacy is universal, literacy and education are also critical components of poverty reduction. 3 6 9 is the wonder number of Nikola Tesla and it’s also connected to early learning and literacy. At age 3, children need to develop the vocabulary they need to be school-ready at age 6 and to be able to successfully make the shift at age 9 from learning to read to reading to learn, so they can succeed in school and in life.

    Questions we’re asking 

    • How are children and young Alberta students performing after several disruptions to life and the public education system? Albertans needs to understand where we are today as a province, which requires open and transparent data from the government to support better paths forward in our province’s future.   
    • How will investments be made to provide up-to-date data for early learning and literacy in Alberta? Research suggests that quality childhood education can reduce the need for additional supports in schools, reduce the drop-out rate, and prevent future crime. Investments in quality childhood education are investments in Alberta’s future.  
    • How can Alberta follow-up on measurements from the 2014 Early Childhood Development Mapping project? The report shows less than half of kindergarten-aged children in Alberta are developing appropriately in five key areas of development.  
    • How will Alberta continue to collect standardized Early Development Instrument data as part of a province-wide early childhood development monitoring system?  

    Left Unread

    Literacy is a light that guides children as they grow. The power of words provides answers, insight, and directions on the ways of the world. But for one in five Albertans who have faced literacy challenges since childhood, these all important words are left unread, leaving many of life’s best experiences left unknown. We want no child to be left unread. In 2023 the 3 6 9 Leaders Table launched the Left Unread campaign emphasizing the importance of childhood literacy, declaring that our children deserve the opportunity to realize their full potential. The campaign leverages data from The Case for Literacy in Alberta to make evidence-based recommendations to the community and policymakers all with the goal of advancing childhood literacy. As we work together to fill our communities with that message, no child will be Left Unread.


    The 3 6 9 Leaders Table started coming together in 2021 to discuss policy and advocacy for early learning and literacy. Conversations were spearheaded by Steacy Pinney and Calgary Reads and linked to the Enough for All strategy’s Early Learning and Care lever of change.  

    Different people and organizations worked previously to advance early learning and care through the First 2000 Days Network and the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading. The legacy of Calgary Reads and their Dandelion Strategy continue to influence literacy in Calgary and Alberta. The work of the 3 6 9 Leaders Table carries on some of this foundational work.

    The collaborative's members

    The 3 6 9 Leaders Table is a collaborative and community-led effort. The following organizations are currently involved in pushing the work forward: 

    • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Calgary and Area 
    • Burns Memorial Fund
    • Business Council of Alberta 
    • Calgary Public Library
    • EndPovertyEdmonton
    • Mount Royal University's Trico Changemakers Studio 
    • PolicyWise for Children & Families
    • Rotary Club of Calgary 
    • United Way of Calgary & Area 
    • Vibrant Communities Calgary 
    • YW Calgary

    Further Reading

    Articles & events by this contributor