Sharing successes, ideas, and a new grant
Many Islanders with an interest in the culture of learning on PEI took part in a Learn Day recently.
“Learning Partners Advisory Council planned the Learn Day to open up a conversation about life-long learning in communities across PEI,” says Bonnie Stewart, Co-facilitator for Learn Day. “Learning takes place across all ages and all walks of life, so we want to know what Islanders want to do for their own learning and the learning needs in all our communities.”
The day centered on the idea that building relationships is key to innovation and life-long learning, and that together, people can build towards the ideas that matter to them. The council wanted to bring people together to share their ideas, build connections, and build capacity for long-term learning collaborations across the province.
A new grant announced
Learn grants are open to any PEI-based project or collaboration focused on learning for the year 2018. Grants range from $500 to $1,000 for each project. A total of $10,000 will be awarded. The deadline to apply is November 9.
“The new learn grant is an opportunity to continue the conversations, continue the passion, and move forward to put ideas into action,” says Bill Whelan, Council Co-Chair.
“Learn grants will support ideas and collaborations that promote learning at any age, anywhere, across PEI,” says Bill. “I ask Islanders to think about what they could do in our communities to support learners and to consider applying for a learn grant to help put ideas into action.”
For more information, visit www.princeedwardisland.ca/learngrant.
Courtney Anderson talked about the impact of community learning
I spent two summers tutoring for a community learning program, and I am now enrolled in Bachelor of Education – francais langue seconde at UPEI. My tutoring experience at The PEI Literacy Alliance Ready Set Learn program deepened my passion, and impacted my career decision.
I grew up wanting to be a teacher just like my mom. I went to the classroom with her and helped her set up, and I helped her at home to prepare for the next day. She suggested that I apply to the Alliance as a tutor.
After being offered the job, I was ecstatic to get started. I spent hours getting ready for the first day, and the training I took before the classroom work started went really well. I was expecting my first day with the student to go the same way.
By about 10:00 that first morning, I was having serious second thoughts about the job and my career choice. Some children did not show up on time, didn’t want to talk, and didn’t let me know I called them by the wrong name. I felt that first Monday was a disaster. I can’t say the situation got easier, but I got better at dealing with the realities of a classroom.
I learned very quickly to have a whole lot of options planned, because chances are the first few lesson plans may not work. As time went on, I learned some tricks of the trade. After two summers, I felt more confident with the work. I know it is what I was meant to do.
The lessons I learned and my love for this career came from working with the children. One of the first questions we ask children on the first day of summer is if they like to read books at home. One child in my class had just finished kindergarten and his answer to this question changed my outlook.
He looked up at me and he said his mom could not read. For eight weeks, we read all the books that interested him. Some days, we would read one or two, and other days we would read 12. Then one day he said with a big smile on his face, ‘I can’t wait to go home and read a book to mommy.’
I didn’t choose education to have the coolest classroom or to coordinate my binders like I thought I would, and I am not in it for the perfect lesson plan. I am in it for kids like my little kindergarten friend. I tutored 64 kids over the two summers, and his is the story I remember most. My hope for my future career is that I am able to help more kids like him to reach their full potential.
For more information on the work of the Learning Partners Advisory Council, visit www.princeedwardisland.ca/learningpartners.