Summer Literacy
Crystal McLaughlin, Kelsey Culbert, Kaitlyn Hoar

Summer Literacy

Rhyming couplets may seem like an unusual summer activity. Start composing in a group and it is fast, creative, and fun. Creative writing is part of Astonished! Summer Literacy 7 which began on July 3, 2019 and continues until August 22nd. This year the literacy students are reading ‘Strangers Assume My Girlfriend is my Nurse’ by Shane Burcaw.  Burcaw’s lived experience of spinal muscular atrophy, combined with his acerbic wit, is a great conversation opener for participants to reflect on their own lived experiences. Thank you to the Conexus Community Investment Program for investing in the community and supporting our Summer Literacy Program. To see photos of Summer Literacy in action click here...
Sean Davis, Courtney Frank
Dennis Burbee, Bushra Burki
Megan Anderson
AGM membership
Jayne Whyte, Rebekah Lindenbach, Deb Ottenbreit at the AGM membership table

Annual General Meeting

This is what the A! AGM tastes, sounds, and looks like: Pizza, visiting, reports, motions, and a round of applause to thank the current A! Board members and to welcome in the new board members. Thank you to Mitch Rice for his service on the Board and as the A! Treasurer. We wish him all the best in his new work in Calgary.  To read the 2018-2019 Annual Report and Financial Report click here .......
Ashley Lafaver, Ruth Blaser
Randy Johner, Bonnie Cummings-Vickaryous, Taylor Carson,
Rhea Boysen
Katherine Taylor, Kristin Wychreschuck,  Brenden Baldock

New Board Members

Audrey Moleski has worked at Farm Credit Canada for almost 15 years in various areas of finance including producing financial statements, preparing management and board reports, responsible for the budgeting cycle.  Currently she is the Director, Financial Management, and has responsibility for their procurement function as well as the Project Owner of their Financial Transformation.  In terms of experience on a board she is the President of the Dance Dimensions Showstoppers Parent's group and was the treasurer prior to that. Audrey is the mother to Hailey who has been a volunteer with Astonished since Fall 2018 and in 2019 is one of our summer students. We are delighted to have Audrey join our board and take on the role of treasurer.

Sean and Nora Davis

Nora Davis was a Medical Laboratory Technologist with Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region for 33 years.  She is also Sean Davis’ mom.  Sean is a core member of Astonished! and actively participates in our three main programs as well as some of the short-term initiatives that we offer throughout the year.
Nora is familiar with the work of Astonished! and will be an asset in knowing the strengths, dreams and needs of our Core Members. We are delighted to have Nora join our board.

Summer BBQ

Please consider joining us for our annual Summer BBQ on Tuesday, August 20th at Candy Cane Park, Regina, from 4:30 – 6:30 pm. Please RSVP to Katherine Taylor by August 10th. Thank you to the City of Regina for a Social Development Grant - Annual Activity to partially support the work of the Astonished! Social Club.  

All are welcome!

Conexua Credit Union
Danielle Bartlette and Hailey Unrau

Supporting Summer Literacy

Thank you to the Conexus Community Investment Program for their support of the Astonished! Summer Literacy Program.
Together with non-profit and charitable organizations, Conexus promotes financial well-being through these focus areas: financial literacy education programs, capital projects, programs that address basic human needs in the areas of education – work and life skill programs, adult education, literacy; food – food banks, community gardens; shelter – Habitat for Humanity, support shelters; health services – health & dental programs, hospital equipment.

Astonished! Membership is mutually beneficial ~ YOU support the work of Astonished!, receive a tax receipt for your membership, and can vote at our Annual General Meeting ~ WE get to be a stronger organization because you are a member.
Annual Individual Membership is  $25.00. Annual Family Membership is $40.00. Core Membership is free. The annual membership year is June 1- May 31. Click here to complete membership form.

Harry Potter Trivia Night

Thank you to Harbour Landing Village for selecting Astonished! as the charity for their August Trivia Night.  To register, go to and click the “Charitable Events Trivia/SINGO” link, then click ‘Book Now’. Cost is $10 and is limited to 40 spaces. If you have any questions regarding registration please contact Harbour Landing Village at or 306-559-5545
Bushra Burki and Hailey Unrau

Bushra Burki

Bushra Burki is a student at the University of Regina, and is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Education. She was born in Pakistan and moved to Canada at the young age of three. As a Muslim woman, she quickly understood the value of multiculturalism and the need for inclusion. She dabbles in poetry and prose and is currently writing a novel. The only thing she likes better than writing is teaching others to write creatively. Her favourite books are The Girl Who Could Fly and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. Bushra has six other sisters at home along with her parents. She is happy to be a team leader in this year‘s summer literacy, as it combines her love of teaching with her passion for writing and reading.

Hailey Unrau

Hailey Unrau is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s of Science in the faculty of Nursing at the University of Regina. She was first introduced to Astonished! through a program placement. Born and raised in Regina, Saskatchewan, Hailey has been involved with the community since she was a little girl. Always singing and dancing, her greatest joys come from making others laugh and exploring themselves to the fullest extent! You can expect to see Hailey constantly pushing everyone to get involved and have fun with her! Her favourite novels include The Book of Negroes and They Called Me Red. As a team leader in this year's summer literacy Hailey is loving hanging out with all her old and new friends.

Katherine Taylor, Sean Davis, Pagan Racette, Maggie Taylor

Cultural Literacy

Tuesday evenings, during Astonished! Summer Literacy, students have the option of participating in events that explore various aspects of literacy, for example, cultural literacy. On Tuesday July 16th Kevin Ma taught participants how to make sushi, write some words in Chinese, and sample food that was new to many of the group. The evening was called Asian Fusion. There was lots of laughter, questions, and delight as we tried the different sushi rolls. Thank you, Kevin, for sharing your knowledge and skills with us. Thank you also to the Conexus Community Investment Program for their support of the Astonished! Summer Literacy Program. Click here for photos of the evening and day-time summer literacy sessions.
Ryan Matheison, Kevin Ma, Bushra Burki
making sushi
Maggie Taylor, Kelsey Culbert, Katherine Taylor
Royal Saskatchewan Museum

Royal Saskatchewan Museum

Being up close to the sounds of a T-rex and feeling the ground shake as it moves can be fun and a little scary. The Astonished! Social Club recently checked out the T-Rex exhibit at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum. Crystal McLaughlin created a quiz based on the museum exhibits and the group explored the dioramas looking for answers to the questions. When you are in a wheelchair some of the exhibits, like the wolves and ravens, are at eye level with you. Ashley Lafaver laughed out loud when she encountered the wolves and enjoyed being up close to them. The Astonished! Social Club is a monthly recreation, leisure, or social gathering for Core Members, families, and friends. Check out our Events Calendar for upcoming events. Thank you to the City of Regina for a Social Development Grant – Annual Activity to partially support the work of the Astonished! Social Club.
Ashley Lafaver
Hailey Unrau and Megan Anderson
Ryan Matheison and Bushra Burki

Connections Showcase
Well Being and Community Engagement
September 17, 2019, 6:00 – 9:00 pm

Have you ever struggled to find information, resources, services and community opportunities? We want to connect you with the right people! This showcase will include oral presentations and informative exhibits showcasing services, information and opportunities relevant to showcase topic.  At mâmawêyatitân centre ( A Cree word meaning “let's be all together”, pronounced ma-ma-waya-ta-tan) 3355 6th Avenue. All ages and all abilities welcome. These sessions are open to the community at large. Thank you to our sponsors for making this event possible
Avery Ottenbreit, Brenden Bennett, Katherine Taylor, Beau

Katherine Taylor

The role of Program Coordinator at Astonished! is unique. It requires someone who is creative, relational, organized, and passionate about the people and the work of Astonished! Katherine Taylor is all of these. Over the past three and a half years Katherine has established genuine, meaningful relationships with the Astonished! Student Researchers, Core Members, families, staff, University of Regina practicum students, and volunteers.

Katherine has been accepted into the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Regina and will begin her studies in September 2019. We wish Katherine all the best and will really miss her.

We are currently interviewing for the position of A! Program Coordinator and will introduce the new coordinator to you in the September newsletter.

80% of our annual budget comes from donors like you. Together we are making the work of Astonished! possible. You can click the Donate Now button to make a secure online donation.
University of Regina 3737 Wascana Parkway | Regina, SK | S4S 0A2 CA
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