In February of 2009, a need was identified within Literacy NL for continuing participatory opportunities with the adult learners of the province. This provided the motivation to facilitate a learner event & networking opportunity for adult learners. The result was the ‘Starting Here: Strengths to Build On’ workshop.
From among the regions of Labrador, Central, Eastern, and Western Newfoundland, fourteen adult learners traveled to St. John’s to participate in this workshop. The attendees took part in a day of personal skill assessment and development in support of their own learning goals. Specific facilitator-lead activities included a review of participants prior learning, portfolio development, cover letters and resumes. Team building activities also took place over two evening sessions.
In addition, the attendees advocated for the needs of adult learners in media interviews with CBC TV and the Telegram, and spoke to the learning experiences of adults from their regions. Participants were offered the opportunity to attend the Literacy Newfoundland and Labrador Annual General Meeting (AGM), and had an opportunity to meet and speak with Darin King, the Minister of Education for NL. Minister King in turn addressed certain aspects of his remarks toward them in his address to the full AGM.
Feedback from participants indicated that the session was a rewarding learning experience. Learners were excited, inspired and very interested in the possibility of further events. Both learners and practitioners stated that it was a tremendous experience and an excellent opportunity to advance networking of adult learners within Literacy in Newfoundland and Labrador. They left the organizers with renewed enthusiasm for building networking supports for the provinces adult learners, and a memorable shared experience in support of learning.