Celebrating grown-up learning
While many people believe study is something reserved for the young, the reality is you’re never too old to learn something new.
Whether it’s upskilling for a better job, preparing for further study, improving life skills or having fun, adult learning boosts self-esteem, confidence and career prospects.
Bill Harris’ adult learning journey is proof of that.
Harris lives with dyslexia and his fascination with the written language and finding out word definitions helped motivate him to give learning literacy another go.
Harris took a leap of faith in himself and signed on to study at the Taranaki Adult Literacy Services (TALS) centre six years back.
The centre is situated on the corner of Lemon and Liardet Sts and offers new hope for grownups who slipped through education system cracks by running free programmes for financial, digital, and workplace literacy, as well road code study, and work readiness courses.
Now Harris is writing books as well as reading them, volunteering his time and services to three community organisations and tutoring a fellow student in basic computing too.
The budding children’s books author has a message for others in the same boat he was, ‘‘It may be a struggle’’ but persevere.
Adult Learners’ Week, He Tangata Matauranga runs from September 4 to10, and celebrates benefits of lifelong learning.
TALS will mark the week with a trio of events: September 5, it will host an open day for people from different organisations to see firsthand what they do, over a cuppa and a snack.
‘‘We are looking at people who are sending clients to us but we haven’t physically met these people,’’ the hubs manager, Keri Elvin, said. ’’It’s making that faceto-face contact with people we are working with and also others we know we could be working with but haven’t actually met yet.’’
On September 7, it will launch its new form filling help service that will run weekly on a Thursday between 11am and 1.30pm. It helps people fill out hard copy and online documents that are not of a legal nature.
The next day, it’s game on with a social networking event, people past and present involved in the service can play numeracy and literacy focused games and enjoy an afternoon tea.
Tutor Tania Stuart, Keri Elvin and student Mavis Tunnicliff.