In addition to our Youth Ambassadors, Digitally Lit is run by an independent team of consultants (a core staff of nerds with a love of books). With a shared passion for literacy and Atlantic Canada, together they work to help co-create a strategy for Digitally Lit.
Robin Grant has a passion for the arts, youth and great stories. Strategy Director for Digitally Lit, Robin is also a seasoned journalist and education consultant with experience developing multimedia products for a host of organizations, including CBC Radio, the Manufactured Right Here program, the National Research Council and the Association for New Canadians. Founder of For the Love of Learning (2006)-- a non-profit dedicated to supporting resilient youth in Newfoundland & Labrador through creative place-based learning--Robin went on to launch the NL branches of Journalists for Human Rights, Uth Ink (Playwrights Guild of Canada) and Homeless Nation. For her efforts Robin was awarded the Literacy Medallion from the Council of the Federation (2010), shortlisted for "Free the Children International's" Me To We Social Justice award (2008), featured in a Chatelaine Magazine cover story "How One Woman Made A Difference" (2008), and more.
Since moving to Nova Scotia in 2017, Robin has served as Sales & Education Rep as well as Book Me! Podcast’s producer for Nimbus Publishing. In her spare time, Robin enjoys exploring local waterfalls and wineries, hanging with friends, and partaking in just about any outdoor activity with her partner Mike.
Digital Media Mentor
Amanda Gallagher is a perpetually reading-obsessed human who adores nature, animals and the simple things in life. By trade, she is a writer, TV & Film professional and multimedia specialist with over fifteen years experience in traditional and new media. Her post-secondary education spans the fields of management, marketing, HR, radio, TV, journalism and graphic design.
Amanda’s most notable work has been in the TV and film industry where she has amassed production and performance credits spanning over fifty hours of broadcast content, including Director of five full-length documentaries and repeated turns as a Writer and Story Editor for both film and series. Amanda’s work has screened at festivals—including FIN AIFF and Lunenburg DOC Fest, locally—and aired on major networks and streaming platforms worldwide. Two docs Amanda wrote and directed were also nominated for Screen Nova Scotia's 'Best Documentary' Award (2017, 2018).
When not devouring an epic fantasy, you can usually find her cooking, singing, gardening, hiking or wildcrafting. She believes youth have limitless potential and is stoked to be working alongside the talented folks at Digitally Lit!
Lily Van Den Heuvel
American Sign Language (ASL) Mentor
My name is Lily and I'm fourteen years old. I was born and raised in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia my whole life.
How I spend my days mostly is attending school. I'm a grade 9 student at Eric Graves Memorial Junior high. Outside of school, I mostly stay at home, watch tv and read/surf online. I am on the costume crew of the theatre at the nearby high school. I will start helping out in the New Year if all goes well with Covid.
The reason why I feel like I would fit in digitally as an ASL mentor is because I want to give children of the Deaf community a chance to be read to, and have someone to look up to. I want to motivate kids that's in the deaf community to not be ashamed because they are deaf or because they sign. I also would like to teach the hearing world how to interact with deaf people, especially in the pandemic with masks. I started up a sign language club at my school and many people I've met know how to sign, mostly fingerspelling. I love to teach people my language to be able to communicate with me.
Some interesting facts about me: I wear two hearing aids. I have a dog who is two and her name is Luna. I was in one episode of Mr. D, where they did an episode on students with disability, the scene I was in was funny. I was involved in a documentary that was produced and directed by a Deaf man in Halifax. I was cast as a little deaf girl named Lillan during the Halifax Explosion, attending the Halifax School of the Deaf at that time, The documentary was successful and received an award for best film at the Toronto Deaf Film Arts.
Laura Hines (Alumni)
Laura has a passion for reading books, solving puzzles, writing creatively, and exploring the outdoors through her camera lens. She is a recent graduate with a Bachelor of Public Relations from Mount Saint Vincent University. Laura also holds a Journalism Diploma from Holland College. As part of her studies, she completed four internships at the Pharmacy Association of Nova Scotia, Bulletproof, the Centre for Entrepreneurship & Development (CEED), and The Hants Journal, respectively. During her time at CEED, she helped facilitate the Juniourpreneur Camp, a five-day camp to empower youth and to teach them the skills they need to be young, successful entrepreneurs.
Besides her work with Digitally Lit, Laura also manages social media for Book Me! Podcast, and co-coordinates a book club.
Public Engagement Mentor
Elphege Bernard-Wesson (Alumni)
Hailing from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Elphege (known better to friends and family as “Ellie”) Bernard-Wesson is committed to raising literacy rates within and raising public awareness of Deaf communities’ literacy needs. Proudly born Deaf herself, Elphege claims her love of books and literacy sprouted young, eventually leading her to acquire a Master of Library & Information Studies (Dalhousie, 2020) with a focus on Deaf communities’ access to information literacy.
A long time and passionate volunteer with the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Youth of Nova Scotia (DYANS), Dal's Information Without Borders and the Halifax Public Libraries, Elphege currently divides her time volunteering with Dal's School of Information Management Associated Alumni Annual (SIMAA) and the Society of Deaf & Hard of Hearing Nova Scotians (SDHHNS), and, for the past five years, working at various libraries within Nova Scotia’s Capital District.
In her spare time Elphege can be found taking photographs, writing poems, taking long walks, hanging out with friends, travelling the world (she’s already been to eight countries!) and (...you guessed it...) reading.
American Sign Language (ASL) Mentor
Lynne Fox is a documentary storyteller who specializes in photography and film. Originally from the United Kingdom, Lynne has experience developing and facilitating both photography and digital media workshops for youth at the Nacro Services Program in England. A certified soccer coach, Lynne has taught and shared her love of the sport with everyone from preschool children to Special Olympians and fellow soccer peers Canada-wide. A self-professed cynophilist, craft beer enthusiast and Pooh Bear aficionado, Lynne’s also the Sound Engineer of the Book Me! Podcast with Costas Halavrezos. As well as being the Digital Media Manager for Digitally Lit, Lynne continues to work freelance in media production (film and photography) as well as maintaining her business in research and and permissions for various educational publishers in both Canada and the United States.
Lynne still plays soccer on the weekends, and can often be heard over the TV speakers if you happen to be watching the HFX Wanders playing at home (true story).
Digital Media Mentor
Taylor Stocks (Alumni)
Taylor Stocks is a PhD student in Education at Memorial University of Newfoundland studying equity, democracy, and student-led systemic change.
He has extensive experience in public engagement, working with the university, local government, and various non-profit and arts organizations to deepen their ties within St. John’s and the broader community. Taylor has developed and delivered numerous youth-oriented learning opportunities on topics ranging from understanding political systems to the intersections of the arts and identity.
Taylor is currently Chair of the Inclusion Advisory Committee for the City of St. John’s and sits on Memorial’s Equity Employment Committee. He has given more than fifty workshops, presentations, and talks on gender equity and LGBTQ organizing. In his spare time, Taylor writes and plays music and entertains audiences as their drag character, Doctor Androbox.
When he grows up, Taylor would like to be Elton John.
Sal Sawler (Alumni)
Sal Sawler is the author of Be Prepared: The Frankie MacDonald Guide to Life, the Weather and Everything, which recently took home the Moonbeam Children’s Book Award.
She’s also the author of 100 Things You Don't Know About Atlantic Canada (for kids) and 100 Things You Don’t Know About Nova Scotia.
They review books for Quill & Quire and work as a publicist for Conundrum Press.
They live in Halifax with her partner, two children, one dog, one cat, and one bearded dragon.
A young entrepreneur and technical prodigy, Alex has dabbled in online game creation and visual storytelling since the age of eleven. After achieving a diploma in 3D Game Animation from the Centre for Arts and Technology, he went on to successfully co-found game companies with other makers, and win or place in various Canada-wide game jam competitions. An experienced animator, Alex also has experience working on children’s cartoons such as Bob the Builder and Doozers. He recently founded his own solo game company, Shweep Games.