Cel­e­brat­ing grown-up learn­ing

North Taranaki Midweek - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - CHRIS­TINE WALSH

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.

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