Press Release – ACE Aotearoa
Two outstanding community education providers from Wellington will receive Dynamic Community Learning Awards at this year’s Adult Learners’ Week launch to be held at Putiki Marae, Whanganui on November 1. Wellington Scoops Adult Learning Awards
Two outstanding community education providers from Wellington will receive Dynamic Community Learning Awards at this year’s Adult Learners’ Week launch to be held at Putiki Marae, Whanganui on November 1.
The Awards, sponsored by Mary-Jane Rivers, the McCombs-Rivers family and Alison Broad, celebrate community engagement, excellence and energy in adult community learning.
Innermost Gardens Inc. Newtown and Mt Victoria has a core group of ten who meet monthly to do the planning and administration for the gardens and an outreach group who attend workshops and other events.
The group’s vision statement Growing Community through Hands in the Soil describes how friendships form when people learn from each other and work together. Gardening days are open to the whole community and people bring a range of skills which they share with others. Local schools, Newtown and Clyde Quay have their own beds in the gardens.
The Wellington Sexual Abuse Network is a joint commitment to the prevention of sexual violence through a range of education programmes. Network members, Wellington Rape Crisis, Wellington Sexual Abuse HELP Foundation and WellStop run programmes for young people such as “Sex and Ethics” and “School Balls,” which aims to reduce sexual violence in party and school ball environments. “Ethical Bystander” teaches groups to disrupt precursor situations for unwanted sexual contact while a workshop called “It’s Our Business” provides information for bar staff.
New Zealand has a strong culture of adult learning and every year over 250,000 people take part in some form of community learning. Innermost Gardens Inc. and the Wellington Sexual Abuse Network exemplify the diversity of community based adult learning available in Aotearoa and the range of benefits it brings such as better self-esteem, greater tolerance, confidence and career prospects. Learners often have greater participation in their communities as a result of their learning because they want to give something back.
The Government priorities for Adult and Community Education (ACE) include literacy, numeracy, English language (ESOL), Te Reo Māori and sign language. A wide range of community education providers all over Aotearoa offer learning in these core areas and many others. Those courses which are not eligible for funding are often run by volunteers.
Adult Learners’ Week/He Tangata Mātauranga, October 31 – November 6 celebrates all adult learning whether it’s up skilling for a better job, preparing for further study, improving life skills or getting fit and having some fun. ACE Aotearoa Director, Dr Jo Lake says community learning is never more important than in tough economic times and yet this is often when funding is reduced and people without the resources to take up learning opportunities, are left to their own devices.
Adult Learners’ Week/He Tangata Mātauranga is organised by ACE Aotearoa.
For more information see the website www.adultlearnersweek.org.nz