I live in a 112-year-old home in a one-horse town called Fort Macleod, one hour from the U.S. border, once home of the North West Mounted Police. I have one daughter and one granddaughter and so far, everything I learn in this phase of my life is through their eyes.
I began as a CALP coordinator 17 years ago offering general interest courses in the MD of Willow Creek under the old CALC grant system. It was fun, but once we shifted our focus to Literacy and Foundational Learning, that’s when I began to find meaning in what I do every day in my job. It gives me a chance to walk in other people’s shoes and understand how we all live different lives on the inside while living and working together on the outside.
I was elected to the CLN Board in October, and attended my very first board meeting recently, and as I sat at the same table with my colleagues and Demetrios Nicolaides, Minister of Advanced Education, I thought, well this was unexpected! I was impressed with the knowledge and sophistication that this board shared with the Minister and I wondered if I was in over my head. Then I remembered we are all learners our whole lives and it’s my turn to soak up the accumulated years of experience that these talented, erudite, compassionate people share.
I will do my best to live up to the challenge.
May the season bring us peace, love and understanding.
Kate Glover, CLN Board
Program Director, Willow Creek Community Adult Learning Society
Symposium spurred new innovation and energy that was taken back to our programs. This month I challenge you to think outside the box! What can you do differently in your program to better serve or reach learners? The word challenge may scare you at this point in time but in the end it could be your rescue.
Many of us may experience the same blocks year after year. Not enough tutors, not enough time, not enough program awareness...STOP. If we keep doing what we have always done, we will get the same results. Sometimes this is good, and sometimes this isn’t getting us to where we need to go. Have you ever taken the same route on a trip and wondered when they would repair the bumpy road? Take a different route next time. It may be a bit longer but it may be a smoother ride.
Now how does this apply to your CALP? Have you been trying to recruit learners or tutors with little success? I am going to give you one KISS today! “Keep It Simple Speaker”. Often our message when promoting our programs through advertising or public speaking engagements are too high level for the audience we are trying to engage with. Keep it real and keep it simple. Instead of saying “We offer adult foundational learning in... “ say “We help adult Albertans improve their skills for everyday life”. Or “Our tutors love getting to know our adult learners and can’t believe how many great friends they have met volunteering for our program.” Testimonials are another great way to bring to life what we actually do. I have found most people find the word “literacy” boring; they certainly don’t find a success story boring though. So I challenge you to think outside the box of what you can do differently to produce new results in your program. Also, please “SHARE” what has worked well for you in the comments belowl. We would love to hear from you.
Until we meet again, enjoy your learning journey in your programs over the coming months.
From your grassroots Director in the South - Jackie Seely
CLN Board of Directors, and Program Director at Newell Further Education Council
Thank you to everyone who joined us for CLN's 32nd Annual General Meeting at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Edmonton on September 24th.
We are pleased to share with you the CLN Board of Directors for the 2019-20 year.
From left to right: Doray Veno (at podium), Lisa Dickner (CLN Executive Director), Jackie Seely, Georgina Supernault, Colleen Thiessen, Jana Thomson and Lois Polege
The newest member of the CLN Board is Kate Glover, from Willow Creek Community Adult Learning Society
Doray Veno, Chair
Hanna Learning Centre
Colleen Thiessen, Vice Chair
Wetaskiwin Community Learning Program
Jana Thomson, Treasurer
Rocky Learning Centre
Lois Polege, Secretary
Flagstaff Community Adult Learning
Jackie Seely, Director
Newell Further Education
Lil Radley, Director
Read On Adult Literacy Program (Lethbridge Public Library)
Georgina Supernault, Director
Manning Community Adult Learning & Literacy Council
Kate Glover, Director
Willow Creek Community Adult Learning Society
In this special Literacy and Learning Symposium 2019 newsletter edition we will talk about how to download our new, free Symposium2019 app, registration deadlines, the Attendee Survival Guide, how to review you sessions and any other last minute Symposium items we think you should know!
We are so excited that Symposium 2019 is just a few days away!! We are looking forward to seeing friendly faces and meeting new CALP folks.
If you have any questions regarding Symposium please contact Pat Halewich at 780-628-7127 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Well……That’s a wrap! Where did you go summer?
I hope you had some tranquil time, because you deserve it. The more time I spend in the CALP system, the more I realize how tough the job has become. Supporting learners with such diverse needs can be taxing. The opportunity to refuel is a key component to doing the meaningful work in your programs and communities. We want you to have the tools and resources you need to do great things. While we may not be able to provide everything you'd like, please continue to share your thoughts, ideas and wish list for professional development. We trust that you'll take ownership of your own learning in the same way you want your learners to own theirs. See you at Symposium!
It's time for some new stories of great learning. It begins now. Go be awesome!
Executive Director, Hanna & District Association for Lifelong Learning
Chair, Community Learning Network
WOW! Summer is right around the corner……. I have started to hear Alice Cooper’s Schools Out for Summer playing in my head. No more hiding my age!
On a more serious note, as the first year of your three-year CALP agreement wraps up, please reach out to your Community Learning Network Regional Support Staff and your Grant Manager if you have questions on grant reporting.
Many CALP programs are preparing for a summer break, so I wanted to send you off with best wishes for an amazing summer and a message of many thanks. Thank-you to the entire CALP System, for making the positive impacts in our province, communities and individual’s lives. My appreciation for you is much greater than these words.
I would like to share one of my beloved Margaret Meads quotes:
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead
Hope to see everyone September 24th at the CLN Annual General Meeting and at the Learning and Literacy Symposium “Connect Learn Contribute” September 24th – 27th.
Be safe, take good care of yourselves and have a great summer.
Executive Director, Hanna & District Association for Lifelong Learning
Chair, Community Learning Network
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 email@example.com. Completed nomination forms can be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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