Praise for on­go­ing ed­u­ca­tion

Adult learn­ers from across An­napo­lis Val­ley cel­e­brated at recog­ni­tion event in Green­wich

Valley Journal Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - BY KIRK STARRATT KINGSCOUN­TYNEWS.CA [email protected]­tynews.ca

Adult learn­ers from across Val­ley cel­e­brated at recog­ni­tion event

She has never been rec­og­nized for an ac­com­plish­ment be­fore — un­til now.

Char­lotte Is­nor, 46, of Steam Mill was among the 30 adult learn­ers nom­i­nated to be rec­og­nized at a spe­cial cel­e­bra­tion event at the Old Or­chard Inn in Green­wich on Nov. 19. There were 10 nom­i­nated by the Val­ley Com­mu­nity Learn­ing As­so­ci­a­tion, 10 by the Digby Area Learn­ing As­so­ci­a­tion and 10 by the Hants Learn­ing Net­work As­so­ci­a­tion.

Some, such as Is­nor, were rec­og­nized for work­ing to­ward their GED high school equiv­a­lency. Oth­ers have worked to­ward get­ting a driv­ers’ li­cence, find­ing em­ploy­ment or learn­ing English as newcomers to Canada.

Al­though she ad­mits to be­ing ner­vous about the ex­pe­ri­ence at first, Is­nor said it feels great to have what you’re do­ing no­ticed and rec­og­nized. Earn­ing her GED is a “bucket list” item for her.

“I’ve never been rec­og­nized for any­thing that I’ve done be­fore,” Is­nor said. “I’m mostly ex­cited.”

She said she wanted to earn her GED be­cause she didn’t en­joy high school as a teenager and left in Grade 9. Now that she is older, she re­al­izes that she shouldn’t have left school be­cause hav­ing a high school ed­u­ca­tion is very im­por­tant when it comes to find­ing em­ploy­ment. Al­though she is tak­ing things one step at a time, Is­nor hopes to soon be­gin work­ing to­ward her driv­ers’ li­cence.

Is­nor said she loves it at the VCLA’s learn­ing cen­tre be­cause she is treated with re­spect and no­body judges her. The peo­ple there have al­ways made her feel wel­come. Is­nor likes that the in­struc­tors speak to you, not at you or around you, and it’s a very friendly en­vi­ron­ment.

“I fi­nally found some­where where I feel like I be­long,” she said. “It’s all on a first-name ba­sis and I love that.”

The event in­cluded work­shops for adult learn­ers and staff from the three or­ga­ni­za­tions, a din­ner, ac­com­mo­da­tion and the adult learn­ers were pre­sented with cer­tifi­cates of recog­ni­tion. Some awards were also pre­sented.

Val­ley Com­mu­nity Learn­ing As­so­ci­a­tion ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Peter Gil­lis said they part­nered with Lit­er­acy Nova Sco­tia to put on the recog­ni­tion event, the first of its kind for the An­napo­lis Val­ley re­gion. Gil­lis said 100 Men Who Give a Damn An­napo­lis Val­ley con­tributed fund­ing, as did other groups. There have been two sim­i­lar prov­ince-wide events held in the past, in 2010 and 2012.

Gil­lis said that when you at­tend high school as a young per­son, you get to even­tu­ally walk across a stage and re­ceive your diploma. You in­vite your fam­ily and friends and your ac­com­plish­ment is rec­og­nized. Adult learn­ers, such as Is­nor, re­ceive cer­tifi­cates at the end of their stud­ies but often don’t get a cel­e­bra­tory event.

“We’re re­ally try­ing to cel­e­brate the hard work that adults put into their ed­u­ca­tion and Char­lotte’s a great ex­am­ple,” Gil­lis said.

He said one thing that stands out about Is­nor is her level of com­mit­ment, walk­ing 45 min­utes each way from her home in Steam Mill to the Val­ley Com­mu­nity Learn­ing Cen­tre in Kentville and back for her stud­ies. Gil­lis said she has had ex­cel­lent at­ten­dance.

Is­nor said that when Gil­lis told her that she had been nom­i­nated for the recog­ni­tion event, she was over­whelmed. She was about to walk home and, on her way, she “al­most had a happy cry.”

KIRK STARRATT

Val­ley Com­mu­nity Learn­ing As­so­ci­a­tion ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Peter Gil­lis poses by some of the many high school equiv­a­lency cer­tifi­cates earned by adult learn­ers. A cel­e­bra­tory event was held Nov. 19.

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