Adult learners and the literacy organizations and volunteers who support them were honoured today, Sept. 8. The event was hosted by the Department of Labour and Workforce Development as part of Nova Scotia’s 18th annual International Literacy Day celebrations. “Adult learners are part of Nova Scotia’s educated and highly skilled workforce, and their return to learning contributes to the growing economic prosperity here in Nova Scotia,” said Education Minister Karen Casey. Ms. Casey presented the Council of the Federation Literacy Award to Harris Hayne of Guysborough. The annual award recognizes an adult learner from Nova Scotia who has demonstrated outstanding achievement in literacy and made significant contributions to school, workplace or community. After 20 years, Mr. Hayne returned to school to achieve his dream of becoming a power engineer. Starting with a grade seven education, he contacted the Antigonish Adult Learning Association for help and a year later, he graduated with his high school diploma. “Because of the support I received from the Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning and the Antigonish Adult Learning Association, I have come a long way in a short period of time,” said Mr. Hayne. “I am living my dream, and that is a great feeling.” Mr. Hayne is now on the honour roll as a power engineering student at the Nova Scotia Community College. Several other literacy awards were presented during the celebration. The Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning Community Literacy Volunteer Award honours volunteers in community-based adult literacy programs. This year’s recipient was Sandra Milbury of Windsor. The school is operated by the Department of Labour and Workforce Development. The Patricia Helliwell Volunteer Tutor Award honours community-based adult literacy program volunteers. It is named for Ms. Helliwell who was a tutor for 14 years. This year’s recipient is Mike Giffen of Kentville. The Valley Community Learning Association received the 2008 Nova Scotia Family Literacy Achievement Award for its work in family literacy. Family literacy programs support family members in their efforts to improve their own literacy and help foster a love of learning in their children. The Seniors’ Literacy and Learning Partnership Award recognizes partnerships between learning networks and seniors’ organizations that provide upgrading programs for older learners. The Department of Labour and Workforce Development and the Department of Seniors presented the 2008 award to the Lake Loon/Cherry Brook Seniors’ Group and the Dartmouth Learning Network. Four categories of Ambassador Awards were presented by the Department of Labour and Workforce Development. Each recipient received a $200 gift certificate for courses at the Nova Scotia Community College. Workplace Education Awards are presented to Nova Scotians who are committed to life-long learning through workplace education. The 2008 recipients are Earl Leslie, Canada Bread, Bedford; Margaret Pettipas, Colchester Regional Hospital, Truro; and Garnet Rafuse, David Brown United Ltd., Kentville. The Champion Award recognizes those who act as a champion for workplace education. This year’s recipients are the TrentonWorks Transition Centre staff including Bernadette Aikens, Ernest MacInnis, Bonnie Matheson and Fielding Smith. The One Journey Program Award is for an individual who is enthusiastic about learning, overcomes difficulties to participate in training, and achieves personal learning goals. This year’s recipient is Clarke Garrett from the Regional Residential Services Society in New Glasgow. The Alex MacDonald Award is named for the Nova Scotian who helped found the Federation of Labour’s Literacy Program. The recipient must be from a unionized work site, demonstrate the qualities embodied by Mr. MacDonald, and make a significant contribution to the labour movement through workplace education. This year’s recipient is Sharon Hubley from the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. She is a member of the Canadian Union of Public Employees local 187, Highway Workers. Nova Scotia invests more than $6.8 million each year to help adult Nova Scotians improve their literacy skills and earn their high school diplomas. Programs are free and offered at more than 150 sites across the province in French and English. The province also invests more than $500,000 in partnership with business and labour groups to support adults who participate in education programs offered at more than 80 workplaces across the province.
Adult Learners Literacy Advocates Honoured