June 16, 2008
This week, we have a story from BC. The author, Heather Porteous, is from Nanaimo, BC. She is enrolled in literacy classes at Literacy Nanaimo.
When I first heard about the Summer Literacy Institute program at Simon Fraser University, I was not going to go because I didn’t want to be stuck in a classroom for a week in July. But then I thought how great it would be to stay in a student dorm for a week because I had never done that before.
I was very happy I went because I learned a lot about different groups, especially First Nations' students and how they were treated in residential schools. I met four people from Duncan and Cowichan and one from Nanaimo at the bus terminal here - it was nice to have company on the trip to the university.
Each morning, the learners, tutors and practitioners met separately. The learners were all ages and came from across Canada and even Alaska. We talked about our experiences, did reading exercises and role-playing, and talked about how to make a speech.
In the afternoon, everyone attended the same workshop. There were talks and question and answer sessions on adult learning, health and learning, aboriginal learning, and work and learning. I particularly liked the one on early childhood learning. I asked the presenter if she had ever studied children with disabilities. She had not, but asked me if I would be interested in participating in a study.
Thank you to Literacy Nanaimo for giving me this opportunity. This was the first time learners had been invited. I would love to go back again and I would encourage others to attend.
[This story was taken with permission, from the Literacy Nanaimo Newsletter, Winter 2007.]