It is that time of the year again. We are coming to the season of wrapping up one year and looking ahead to new opportunities. I am looking forward to several days of training in May and incorporating what I learn into our plans for the fall. It is also the time to plan for involvement in the wonderful network we call CLN.
As you schedule in some awesome training opportunities for the coming year, have you considered what you could learn as a member of the CLN Board?! I have found serving on the Board to be a great way to understand the creativity and breadth of the adult learning world, to meet leaders in our field, and to explore best practices for governance, risk management, program and staff evaluation, and much more.
Each of us has so much to learn from each other, and you have a valuable contribution to make. Please check out the application form on the Portal – deadline is June 30!
Adult Learning Coordinator, Flagstaff Community Adult Learning
Secretary, Community Learning Network
On any given day in the many CALP organizations across the province, there are extraordinary and outstanding stories of learning unfolding. Some stories are short while other stories are a work in progress. One thing is for sure, we all have a story to tell, and by telling our stories we learn, connect and contribute to each other.
Part of the CLN’s commitment to community-based adult learning and literacy in Alberta involves the recognition of exceptional individuals and/or organizations who have made an outstanding contribution to our field. The Outstanding Contribution to Community Adult Learning Award is presented to those individuals and/or organizations who have met the following criteria:
If you know of someone in a CALP-funded organization, or a CALP-funded organization that meets this criteria, and you want us all to hear their story, the CLN Board of Directors would love for you to nominate them for this award. Just fill out and submit the nomination form, with letters of support, that you can find on the CALP Portal at https://calp.ca/forum/?discussion=5948&group=1 (member login required).
The CLN Board of Directors is also repeating our call for nominees to join the Board. This is a wonderful opportunity to gain valuable experience, meet new people, and have a role guiding and supporting the direction of the Community Learning Network. You can download a Board Member Position Description and an Application form for the CLN Board at https://calp.ca/forum/?collection=105 (CALP Portal login required). If you have questions or require more information, please contact Doray Veno, Chairperson, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Completed nomination forms can be submitted to email@example.com.
Executive Director, Wetaskiwin Community Learning Program
Director, Community Learning Network
Let’s hope that L.M. Montgomery’s beautiful description of the coming of March rings true for us.
“March came in that winter like the meekest and mildest of lambs, bringing days that were crisp and golden and tingling, each followed by a frosty pink twilight which gradually lost itself in an elfland of moonshine.” - Anne of the Island, by Lucy Maud Montgomery.
March is a busy and exciting time for all programs across the province. Serving on the CLN Board provides members with opportunities to look beyond their immediate program and gain a picture of CALPs across the province. Being part of the Community Learning Network team, we contribute in different ways to shaping the various supports that CALPs receive. This extensive, responsive support includes the provincial Regional Support Network, which includes PD, training and support for CALPs from our partners at Rural Routes, NorQuest College, Calgary Learns and ECALA, the annual Literacy and Learning Symposium, and soon, Spring Regional Meetings. It is so rewarding to see how all of these resources increase the capacity of the CALPs, for the benefit of the learners.
Following is an example from the Read On Adult Literacy and Learning Program, of how learner needs become requests for training for CALP practitioners, and how this specific training (Tech Talk) is now benefitting learners. Being able to use different devices, be it a tablet, iPad, smartphone, etc., has been increasingly identified as a learner need in many programs. Now thanks to Tech Talk training, Read On has used strategies to develop specific classes. In partnership with Lethbridge Family Services – Immigrant Services. Read On has developed the Women’s ESL Technology Class for a group of newcomer ladies. This supplements their Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) classes. With the assistance of translators, these keen, enthusiastic ladies from Eritrea, Sudan, Nepal, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo are acquiring the digital literacy skills and experiences that they will need for everyday life activities and future employment.
Serving in my second term on the CLN Board is so rewarding, and I encourage others to join us. Our diversity is our strength, and we thrive on all the ideas board members bring. We are passionate about the work we do! At our upcoming Regional Meetings you will have the opportunity to meet CLN board members and staff. Be sure to ask any questions you may have, including questions about serving as a CLN board member.
CLN Board of Directors
Last month the CLN Board and Staff came together in Edmonton for a day of celebration, professional development and visioning. We celebrated with a team building experience by cooking Thai Food (of course we got to eat our creations) and having a Christmas Gift Exchange.
Have you, our CALP Membership, seen the variety of different personalities among the CLN Board and Staff Teams? This diversity adds to the hilarity of a gift exchange that includes being able to steal from each other, and seeing which of the heartfelt gifts were to be fought over until the bitter end.
Our professional development and team building assignment had a “Then, Now, Next” theme stemming from reflections on our growth in the past five years. Here is a short excerpt from our assignment:
I am not going to define what this vision board means. It holds a different meaning to everyone but I think every person in the room was amazed to see that, despite our multitude of backgrounds, we have common goals, values and desired outcomes. As you, our members and system partners, view this vision board, I hope each of you feel empowered and enticed to add to it. The vision board will be awaiting your arrival at the September 2019 Symposium where each of you will be able to add your own images and words.
The diversity of the CLN team is representative of our entire CALP system (much like our own communities). Every person has a different background; rural/urban, cultural, years of experience, professional field such as family literacy, adult literacy, some have children, some don’t. Our individual stories are so varied but we all come together with the same purpose and vision: to lead a visionary network of learning communities, where Community Adult Learning Programs are the hub for adult learning in every community.
Vice Chair, CLN Board of Directors
2018 saw many successes province-wide in our Community Adult Learning Programs; and I can tell by the wide-spread enthusiasm and passion for our programs that 2019 will bring many more! Whether your program is big or small, every day you play an integral role in shaping the lives of Albertans by running programs that increase literacy skills, opening doors that a learner may not have thought was possible.
While we have challenges every day in our programs, let us remember to celebrate our successes. Take a moment to reflect on how many new learners you have in your program. What goals have they accomplished for themselves? How has your organization adapted to learner needs?
Then, take a moment to acknowledge the investment you have made in yourself as an adult learner to acquire the skills needed to perform the role of a literacy practitioner. While great weight is on your shoulders to succeed, the number of hours often exceeding the number available, you have thrived in balancing helping learners while being a learner yourself. This level of dedication comes from the desire and passion to see others succeed.
Thank you for your commitment to the Community Adult Learning Program.
I wish everyone success in 2019. I am extremely thankful to have such a great group of people to work with province-wide. It is my honour to serve on the CLN board and I am looking forward to seeing everyone at training throughout the year. All the best in 2019!
Treasurer, CLN Board of Directors