This document contains the stories of 10 adult learners whose efforts have been recognized by the Literacy Coalition of New Brunswick (LCNB). All tell their stories in their own words.
The learners come from a variety of backgrounds. One is a recent immigrant, some are Aboriginal people, and one has spent time in jail. Many of them dropped out of school before graduating, and returned to the classroom to earn a General Education Development (GED) diploma.
Their goals included finding a job, setting a good example for their children and grandchildren, and being able to function better in a new language and culture.
Five of the writers are recipients of Sheree Fitch Adult Learner Scholarship Awards, initiated by the LCNB in recognition of the well-known writer and literacy advocate, who serves as the coalition’s honorary patron.
Three are winners of the Adult Learners’ Week in Canada Writing Contest, open to adult learners currently attending an adult learning program in New Brunswick, and two are recipients of Adult Learner Achievement Awards, which are presented to outstanding Adult Basic Education (ABE) learners as part of the annual Peter Gzowski Invitational (PGI) Golf Tournament for Literacy.
Yearbook - Graduation 2003-2004
Authors: East End Literacy
Believing in Achieving is a collection of stories of success; this book celebrates and recognizes the hard work of all the individuals who participated in and completed programs at East End Literacy in 2003/2004.
This document contains profiles of 16 adults who successfully completed programs in the Basic Education Alternative Delivery (BEAD) Department of the Calgary branch of Alberta Vocational College, now called Bow Valley College.
The students come from a wide range of backgrounds, and their achievements range from simply learning to read to going on to further education and employment. Most spent between six and 12 months at a BEAD centre before transferring to other programs.
The document includes an update on what the students were doing two years after completing their BEAD program.
The authors note that while this was not designed as a research document, common patterns concerning successful adult learning emerged from the profiles.
Program characteristics that encouraged success include individualized programs; caring, competent teachers; flexible program times and curriculum; support from other students; and proximity of learning centres to students' homes. Individual behaviours associated with success include establishing goals; attending regularly; completing extra work outside class; remaining positive; and persisting in the face of obstacles.
Series: Essential Skills Videos - HRSDC
In this brief video, a woman describes how after years of working at three jobs to support her family, she improved her literacy skills and realized her dream of opening her own business.
She took part in a literacy skills upgrading program, funded by Human Resources and Social Development Canada’s Office of Literacy and Essential Skills and delivered by the PEI Literacy Alliance. The day before her 50th birthday, she received her Grade 12 certificate.
Now, she owns a licensed community care facility that employs 14 people in Prince Edward Island.
Authors: NWT Literacy Council
This presentation from the NWT Literacy Council follows up on research into non-academic outcomes in Adult Literacy and Basic Education (ALBE).
The authors note that non-academic outcomes are an important part of ALBE. For instance, adult learners report increased self-confidence; more independence; and an increased ability to handle challenges like personal problems.
At the same time, the authors note that adult learners face situational, attitudinal, academic and institutional barriers, including competing responsibilities; financial worries; lack of confidence; and negative experiences with the education system in the past.
To help adult learners succeed both academically and personally, they suggest eliminating situational barriers; fostering relationships; recognizing learner strengths; and embedding learning in practical, realistic contexts.
This 10-minute video focuses on the experiences of two people who took part in adult upgrading programs offered throughout the Chatham-Kent, Sarnia-Lambton and Windsor-Essex regions of Ontario.
One participant describes spending his early years in a variety of foster homes, with little opportunity to get a solid basic education. Through the upgrading program, he filled the gaps in his education and continued on to college, where he is learning a trade.
The other subject explains that she left school after getting pregnant at the age of 17. After completing educational upgrading, she got a job as a cashier in a store and quickly progressed to becoming a supervisor and, eventually, assistant manager.
The video includes information on how to find upgrading programs and register for them.
Success Stories of Nova Scotia Adult Learners
Learning…..to Live celebrates the accomplishments of adult learners throughout Nova Scotia. The book will create an awareness of the significance the acquiring of literacy skills can make in a person's life.
There are others in communities all over Nova Scotia who wish to participate in learning programs but who, for one reason or another, have not yet done so. It is hoped that this book will inspire them to become participants and, in so doing, enrich their lives and their families' lives.
The subject of this brief video is a middle-aged man who, after working for 18 years changing truck tires, returned to school to earn his General Education Development (GED) diploma and then entered an apprenticeship program to become a cook. He now works as a cook at a large hotel.
While taking his cooking courses, he received a grant under a program offered by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) that provides $1,000 per year to registered apprentices upon successful completion of the first or second level of their program.
Age is no barrier to learning or to making a major life change, he says, pointing out that although he left school as a teenager with a Grade 9 education, he passed Grade 12 with a B average at the age of 53.
From Literacy and Beyond
Authors: Mona Nesbitt
The purpose of this study was to interview former Adult Education students who received English Literacy training in Western Quebec as to the influences the Literacy programs in which they were enrolled had on their lives.
Profiling Successful Outcomes in Literacy
Authors: Joan B. Perry
This document contains the stories of 25 adults in New Brunswick who, despite encountering many barriers, succeeded in improving their literacy skills. Some of the stories were written entirely by the learners, while others were collected through face-to-face or telephone interviews and transcribed for print.
The learners’ stories are matched with literacy-related issues, including literacy and health; literacy and learning disabilities; literacy and families; and literacy and justice. For instance, in the section on literacy and health, one woman describes being diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 37 and not being able to understand the treatment options being offered to her.
The document is part of a project funded by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada’s National Literacy Secretariat, now called the Office of Literacy and Essential Skills (OLES).