The new Community Adult Learning Centre, located at 879 Main Street, held an Open House on Oct. 11.
The Open House marked a milestone for adult learning in Lillooet – it’s been six years since the upgrading program was last offered.
The Community Adult Learning Centre offers a variety of resources and student support including flexible, independent online studies; tutoring; computer literacy classes; a study room; and a computer lab.
This centre, unlike the full-time learning centre at the Old Mill Plaza, offers more flexible drop-in options, explains life skills instructor Bobbi-lee Copeland.
“Different levels of Math and English are offered during the week and then Fridays are open for workshops on learning styles, study techniques and life skills, as well as St’at’imc cultural components. The Friday workshops are also open to community members.”
Online, students can also learn chemistry, biology, physics and other courses.
“We have nine people registered and two more are finishing their registration now,” she continued. The final deadline for registration is Nov. 1. Space is literally limited at the new centre, which is next door to the Stl’atl’imx Tribal Police office.
Student Tara John welcomes the opportunity to upgrade her education. She will be studying Math and English.
“I saw the ad in the paper and decided I need some more education to get this little brain going,” she told the News. She expects to be in the program until May.
“I’m hoping to get a lot out of this program,” said John. “I haven’t been in school since 1996. I went to Grade 8 and didn’t complete it, so my last full year was Grade 7. I didn’t do too good in school so I’m hoping to do better now.”
Oct. 2 was the first day of the program and a welcome ceremony was held that day. The first full day of classes was Oct. 3.
Other staff members are program manager Yvonne LaRochelle, program co-ordinator Natasha Street and receptionist Stephanie Joseph.
Yvonne LaRochelle has spent most of her career working in the fields of employment and training, literacy and education.
“There’s always that need to fill, always that gap,” she says of the six years since the last upgrading program was offered locally.
“The people we see who are phoning and are interested here are the people who say, ‘I need one course before my Dogwood or I need to have these two courses before I can get into university.’ So they’re more self-motivated and they can come in and do their own scheduling.
“We’re pleased we have so much interest, we have nine in the cohort now and we actually have two on the waiting list. We can only fit so many into this space. I think we’ll probably end up with 11, which is a full class.”
Primary support for the program comes from the Northern Development Initiative Trust (NDIT) and the six northern St’at’imc communities – T’it’q’et, Sekw’el’was, Xwisten, Ts’kw’aylaxw, Xaxli’p and Tsal’alh.
Other partners include Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training (ASETS), the Open Door Group, TRU, the Lillooet Library, the District of Lillooet and Community Futures.