April 2 to 9 is International Adult Learners Week. UNESCO started this annual event in 2000 as a way to celebrate adult learners and lifelong learning. Here in Nelson, there is a lot to celebrate.
Joan Exley is the Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy’s community literacy coordinator in Nelson.
“The Learning Place is relocating and will be open again soon, offering drop in times, programs and access to resources,” she says.
“The Learning Place is just one of several programs we offer adult learners who are seeking ways to improve the skills that will allow them to navigate our changing world. We also offer weekly sessions for adults with English as a second language, seniors’ computer classes, and one-to one-tutoring.
The Alliance trains volunteer tutors each year and currently has 15 dedicated volunteers working with learners on a one-to-one basis.
“We couldn’t do any of this without our community partners, who include Kootenay Career Development Society, Selkirk College, the Nelson Municipal Library and School District 8. We also have wonderful support from the Columbia Basin Trust, Nelson Rotary and the Osprey Community Foundation.”
Across the Selkirk College region, the Alliance serves approximately 400 core learners each year, and an additional 250 drop-in learners, who access help for a specific need, such as getting a driver’s license, upgrading skills to go to college or developing English language skills to access a job and communicate with others. The Alliance is a registered non-profit society whose purpose is to promote literacy and lifelong learning in 17 communities in the Boundary, West and East Kootenays.
All of the programs the Alliance offers are free. For more information about the adult literacy programs in Nelson contact Joan Exley at 250-352-3218 at email@example.com