Adult Learners' Week


Literacy and adult learning are vital in our ever-changing world. More than ever, it is becoming necessary for people to obtain and improve their literacy and essential skills as technologies advance and our society evolves.

Adult learners who improve their skills and make literacy and lifelong learning a priority have had their lives positively transformed. Their confidence increases, they get better jobs, and they inspire others in their families and communities to do the same.

When we choose to make literacy and adult learning a priority in our lives, great things happen!

By not giving literacy and adult learning the attention it deserves in our communities, we make the world a more difficult place for all of us to live and work. When literacy and adult learning become a regular part of our daily lives, we improve the long-term health of our communities, our families and ourselves.

Adult Learners' Week: March 31 - April 4, 2020

LNS hosted workshops across the province, including the writing workshop with Jenni Blackmore.

LNS held an iPad Mini draw from all eligible submissions of learner stories. All the learner stories are featured in the 2020 Adult Learners’ Week eBooklet.

The Celebrating Adult Learners’ Week event, scheduled to be held on Friday, April 3, 2020 at Halifax Central Library, was cancelled because of public health concerns around COVID 19.


alw2019

On April 4, 2019, our Adult Learners' Week speakers (L-R) Paul Whynacht, Malone Sinclaire, Krystal Jackson and Shahani Hashim were welcomed in the House of Assembly at Province House by The Honourable Labi Kousoulis, Minister of Labour and Advanced Education.

ALW 2019

LNS hosted workshops across the province, including the writing workshop with Jenni Blackmore.

We held an iPad Mini draw from all eligible submissions of learner stories. All the learner stories are featured in the 2019 Adult Learners’ Week eBooklet (pdf).

2019 Adult Learners’ Week Celebration, April 1st
View the Google Photo album

VIDEO: Outstanding adult learners spoke at the ALW 2019 event
Krystal Jackson   Paul Whynacht   Malone Sinclaire  









ALW 2018

LNS hosted workshops across the province, including the writing workshop with Jenni Blackmore. We held an iPad Mini draw from all eligible submissions of learner stories. All the learner stories are featured in the 2018 Adult Learners’ Week eBooklet (pdf).

2018 Adult Learners’ Week Celebration, April 5th: View the Google Photo album
VIDEO: Six outstanding adult learners spoke at the event
Ouroba Al-Ahmad   Karl Francis-Williams   Savannah Geizer   Debra Paris Perry   Todd Porter   Nicole Webb

ALW 2017

April 2 - 8, 2017 was Adult Learners’ Week in Nova Scotia. LNS hosted workshops across the province, including the writing workshop with Jenni Blackmore. All the learner stories are featured in the ALW 2017 online booklet.

ALW 2016

April 3 - 9, 2016 was Adult Learners’ Week in Nova Scotia. LNS hosted workshops across the province, including the writing workshop with Jenni Blackmore. We held a draw from all eligible submissions of learner stories, and Bria Marsman was the lucky winner of the iPad Mini. All the learner stories are featured in the 2016 Adult Learners’ Week eBooklet (pdf). We are pleased to have 3 learner spokespersons who are encouraging others to improve their literacy skills. Marcia Jeffers, Terry Westhaver and Sarah Harrison were featured in radio ads to promote Adult Learners’ Week. We'll be featuring learners all week on Facebook.

ALW 2015 Contest Winners

ALW 2015 group

Literacy Nova Scotia’s 2015 Adult Learners’ Week contest winners were honoured at Province House on April 17, 2015. Top row, L - R: ALW contest winner Jon Adams, Gary Graham (guest), The Honourable Kelly Regan, Stephan Bendle (guest), ALW contest winner Mahnaz Musawi, Marie David (LNS staff). Bottom row, L - R: Mary Adams (guest), Elaine Frampton (LNS staff), ALW contest winner Samantha Lundrigan, Heather Lauther (LNS staff), ALW contest winner Tiffany Rhodenizer, Jayne Hunter (LNS staff), Sumayeh Heydary (guest), Kayla Sutherland (LNS staff).

During our celebration of Adult Learners’ Week on April 17, 2015, contest winners read their submissions. Canadian Adult Learners’ Week (April 11 - 19, 2015) celebrates adult learners across the country and the joy of learning throughout life.

Bios of Contest Winners:

Jon Adams, Halifax: Work Activity Category Winner
Jon just completed the Options Work Activity Program. In the past, Math had been a challenge for him, but now it is his favorite subject as he continues to achieve his learning goals. Jon’s future plans include study at the Nova Scotia Community College.

Tiffany Rhodenizer, New Glasgow: Community-based Levels I & II Category Winner
Tiffany is enrolled in adult learning at the Pictou County Continuous Learning Association. Her success at PiCCola has had a positive impact on both her academic and personal life. Tiffany’s future plans include a career in the health care field.

Samantha Lundrigan, Lower Sackville: AHS, NSCC, Community-based Level III and Workplace Category Winner
Samantha finds both acceptance and success in her efforts at the Bedford Sackville Learning Network. She credits her instructors for making a difference in her learning journey. Education has shown her that she is capable of anything when she sets her mind to it.

Mahnaz Musawi, Halifax: English as an Additional Language (EAL) Category Winner
arrived in Canada in 2012 with hopes of a better life. She studied at Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS) and from there went on to the Cunard Learning Centre where she is currently enrolled. Mahnaz hopes to pursue a career as a pharmacist and looks forward to a bright future in this country.

You can view all submissions received for the 2015 contest here: ALW 2015 eBooklet.pdf

View the Facebook photo album.

ALW 2014 Contest Winners

Adult Learners Week Contest Winners, April 4, 2014

Adult Learners' Week Contest Winners, April 4, 2014 L - R: Stephanie Paul from Eskasoni First Nation; Mamawa Kamara of Halifax; Scott Vaughan, of Bridgewater; and Linda Larade, from Dingwall

Mamawa Kamara
ESL, Seniors & Family Literacy Category Winner: Mamawa Kamara was born in Liberia and she came to Canada in 2009. Mamawa is a single mother with two children. She started studying at the Cunard Learning Centre in 2010. Mamawa would like to finish her high school education and become a nurse.

Scott Vaughan
Workplace/Workforce Category Winner: Scott enjoys writing poetry and music as well as singing and playing the guitar. When first attending the South Shore Work Activity Program, Scott found math a challenge; however with a lot of hard work he improved his math skills and is proud of the improvements he has made in his life.

Stephanie Paul
Adult High School, NSCC, & Community-based - Levels III & IV Category Winner: After being out of school for thirteen years, Stephanie joined the Literacy Network Unama’ki adult program in Eskasoni in September 2013. She passed her GED in December and is now taking two high school credits. Stephanie plans to apply to the Cape Breton University Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies program. She is motivated by the love and support of her children and a desire to be a custodian of the environment.

Linda Larade
Community-based, Levels I & II Category Winner: Linda attends classes with the Community Learning Association North of Smokey (CLANS) located in northern Cape Breton. Although living in a remote location is often challenging on many levels, Linda has proven that with determination anyone can succeed. In the past few years Linda has become a stronger, independent woman than she ever thought possible. She attributes much of this to the support CLANS has provided to her. Linda has come so far that she truly believes that with learning, there are no boundaries.

You can view all submissions received for the 2014 contest here: ALW 2014 eBooklet.pdf

ALW 2013 Contest Winners

Adult Learners Week Contest Winners, April 18, 2013

Adult Learners' Week Contest Winners, April 18, 2013 L - R: The Honourable Leonard Preyra, Minister of Communities, Culture, and Heritage, ALW Contest Winners Rukhsora Sangova, Ariel Harper Nave, Nancy MacDougall, Ryan Maisonneuve, LNS Executive Director Jayne Hunter

Rukhsora Sangova
ESL, Seniors & Family Literacy Category Winner: Rukhsora is from Dushanbe, Tajikistan and now calls Halifax home. She is an ESL student at Cunard Learning Centre. Her learning journey has been one of struggle and challenge, and yet a rewarding one as she builds a new life for herself and her family in Canada. She credits the Cunard Centre with support and encouragement as she gains confidence to take each step to a better life. It is this newfound confidence that allows her to pursue her dream of a career as a Home Care Nurse.

Ariel Harper Nave
Workplace/Workforce Category Winner: Ariel credits the Older Wiser Labourforce Program (OWL) in Halifax for giving her the confidence and skill needed to return to the workforce. She has redeveloped her skill set to meet the demands of the labour market, and recognizes that her talents, abilities and experience are a great asset in her pursuit of meaningful employment.

Nancy MacDougall
Adult High School, NSCC, & Community-based - Levels III & IV Category Winner: Nancy’s learning journey began when she enrolled in the Adult Learning Program at the Nova Scotia Community College’s Marconi Campus. Nancy always regretted not finishing high school. Determined to realize her goal, she has taken the next step and returned to school. Nancy will graduate this spring with a sense of accomplishment at how far she has come.

Ryan Maisonneuve
Community-based, Levels I & II Category Winner: Ryan attends the Halifax Community Learning Network and says that learning has changed his life. High School posed challenges for Ryan and became a source of frustration. When he discovered it was possible to continue his studies and face his challenges, he became inspired. Now Ryan looks forward to the day when he himself will tutor other learners. Ryan has achieved the confidence and motivation to succeed in his learning journey.

You can view all submissions received for the 2013 contest here: ALW 2013 eBooklet.pdf

ALW 2012 Contest Winners

Adult Learners Week Contest Winners, March 26, 2012

Adult Learners' Week Contest Winners, March 26, 2012
L-R: Naomi Walker, Joanna Bisson, Labour & Advanced Education Minister Marilyn More, Premier Darrell Dexter, Simone Beaudoin, Yodit Matewos, LNS Executive Director Ann Marie Downie

Naomi Walker
Community-based, Levels I & II category winner: Naomi’s learning experience in public school was not a positive one which lead her to quit in Grade 9. Today she attends the Adult Learning Program at the Western Halifax Regional Municipality Community Learning Network. The program is making a real change in her life. She is focused on creating a solid environment for her two young children and being a role model to them as she reaches her personal goal of enhancing her education with the hope of building a career that will give her security, pride and self-worth.

Joanna Bisson
Workplace / Workforce category winner: Joanna has been attending the ALP GAP program in Antigonish for the last six months and she has been gaining new skills and more confidence. Before she started the program, Joanna felt she had no skills to offer an employer, but since attending her classes with ALP GAP and ACALA TV she has obtained new and unique skills and has found a career that has brought both her creative and social sides together. Joanna is now in her work placement with ACALA TV and loves it.

Simone Beaudoin
Adult High School, NSCC, & Community-based, Levels III & IV category winner: Simone has been attending Chignecto Central Adult High School since September 2011. She will be graduating in June of this year and hopes to attend Mount Allison University’s Creative Writing program. Simone has a Co-op work placement at the Amherst Daily Newspaper. She loves her job and can hardly wait to get to work each day.

Yodit Matewos
ESL, Seniors’ Literacy & Family Literacy category winner: Yodit is from Eretria and now lives in Halifax. She is an ESL student at Cunard Learning Centre. Yodit has struggled to find a balance between her busy home life and her academic path, but has found the students and staff at Cunard to be both helpful and friendly. She is happy to come to school every day because Cunard Learning Centre is like her family. Yodit plans to continue her education upon completion of Level II; she eventually plans to attend NSCC.

You can view all submissions received for the 2012 contest here: ALW 2012 eBooklet.pdf

ALW 2011 Contest Winners

Adult Learners Week Contest Winners, April 8, 2011

Adult Learners' Week Contest Winners, April 8, 2011 L - R: NS Labour and Advanced Education Minister Marilyn More, ALW Contest Winners Jennifer Lillington, Joel Hatt and Sara Bourque, LNS Executive Director Ann Marie Downie

Jennifer Lillington, Ingonish
Jennifer has attended NSCC Marconi Campus since November 2010. She realized quickly how challenging going back to school would be, especially with a two hour drive to and from classes in Sydney. Jennifer is hardworking and motivated. She has two children and works as a volunteer firefighter, a secretary and a RCMP jail guard. Jennifer embraces the opportunity to learn and fulfill her dreams and acknowledges that her success would not be possible without the support of family, friends and NSCC staff.

Joel Hatt, Gold River
Joel has attended the South Shore Work Activity Program in Chester for seven months. He is improving his work skills and increasing his confidence in the process. Joel said he normally wouldn't consider entering a contest like this because he lacked confidence, but since he began working at SSWAP he is learning to challenge himself and try new things. Joel will soon be starting a work placement in his community.

Sara Bourque, Pictou
Sara attends classes at the Pictou County Continuous Learning Association. Sara faced many challenges returning to school after a five year absence, including looking after her home while trying to focus on her class work and finding a suitable sitter for her young son. She feels rewarded to have been given the opportunity to participate in many learning opportunities. She has made new friends and she feels she is at a good place in her life, educationally and emotionally. Sara is grateful to her mother and her family for the support they provide as she continues her journey to academic success.

You can view all submissions received for the 2011 contest here: ALW 2011 eBooklet.pdf

ALW 2010 Contest Winners

Adult Learners Week Contest Winners at Province House, March 2, 2010.

Adult Learners' Week Contest Winners at Province House, March 2, 2010. L - R: Daniel MacKay, Stephan Cunningham, Premier Darrell Dexter, Yvonne Hippenstall, Shannon Bridger.
Photo: Elaine Frampton

Stephan Cunningham,
Lower East Pubnico
Stephan has been a fisherman for approximately twenty five years. Seeing his sons graduate high school and attend NSCC, he thought it was time to get a little more education. He joined his wife, Julie, at the Barrington Community Learning Centre in September 2009. He is now in the Adult Learning Program Level 2. His future plans are to write the GED and attend NSCC to take a trade.

Daniel MacKay, Bridgewater
Daniel has attended the South Shore Work Activity Program in Chester since 2009 and is improving his work skills, work ethic and confidence. Daniel entered the contest because he wanted to share his experience at SSWAP, and maybe encourage others to attend the program.

Shannon Bridger, Dartmouth
Shannon attends the Adult Learning Program at the NSCC Waterfront Campus. She went back to school to work toward fulfilling her childhood goal of one day having a career in the film industry.

Yvonne Hippenstall, Beaver Bank
Yvonne has attended the evening class at the Bedford Sackville Learning Network since September, 2009. Her communications instructor was impressed with Yvonne’s writing skills and suggested that she enter the essay contest. Yvonne gives credit to all the BSLN instructors for giving her the courage to do so.

You can view all submissions received for the 2010 contest here: ALW 2010 eBooklet.pdf

ALW 2009 Contest Winners

The Canadian Commission for UNESCO's International Adult Learners' Week is an annual event and it was especially important this year because the theme is Living and Learning for a Viable Future - The Power of Adult Learning.

This was the second year for Literacy Nova Scotia to celebrate adult learning with a contest and an event.

The contest was a culmination of six regional writing workshops conducted for Literacy Nova Scotia by Jenni Blackmore; 83 learners participated in the workshops held in Truro, Liverpool, Middleton, Port Hawkesbury, Eskasoni and Middle Musquodoboit. The workshop participants as well as learners from other Adult Learning Programs, English as a Second Language, seniors and workplace programs were invited to enter the contest. We received more than 80 submissions.

2009 LNS Writing Contest Winners L-R: Anne LeBlanc, Earl Leslie, Adele Abu el hosn, Marcia Jeffers

2009 Creative Writing Contest Winners, L-R: Anne LeBlanc, Earl Leslie, Adele Abu el hosn, Marcia Jeffers

  • Adele Abu el hosn, Cunard Learning Centre, Halifax, for the video category.

  • Marcia Jeffers, LINK Continuing Care Assistant Program, NSCC Truro Campus for the community college and Adult High School category.

  • Anne LeBlanc, Equipe d'alphabetisation - Nouvelle-Ecosse, Clare for the community based category.

  • Earl Leslie, Academic Skills Upgrading, Canada Bread Atlantic, Halifax, Workplace Education.

The four winners of the contest were honoured at a reception held on March 5th at the Citadel Halifax Hotel. The winners read from their submission to an audience of 70 people including Stu Gourley, Senior Executive Director of the Skills and Learning Branch who represented the Premier. Mr. Gourley read the Premier's speech and a Proclamation for Adult Learners Week.

The winners' readings are featured in the fourth edition of The Learning Beacon, LNS's E-zine: https://www.literacyns.ca/TheLearningBeacon/LB4/index.html

You can view all submissions received for the 2009 contest here: ALW 2009 eBooklet.pdf

ALW 2008 Creative Writing Contest Winners

2008 Creative Writing Contest 
                  Winners, Front L-R: Sherry LeBouthillier, Stephanie Nickerson, Premier 
				  Rodney MacDonald and Kelly Carter

2008 Creative Writing Contest Winners Front L-R: Sherry LeBouthillier, Stephanie Nickerson, Premier Rodney MacDonald and Kelly Carter

In celebration of UNESCO's International Adult Learners' Week (ALW), Literacy Nova Scotia is pleased to announce the winners of the Creative Writing Contest:

  • Sherry LeBouthillier, ALP - NSCC IT Campus.

  • Kelly Carter, Annapolis Work Activity Centre.

  • Stephanie Nickerson, Barrington Community Learning Centre.

The three winners were honoured at a reception held at Province House in Halifax on March 6th. They read their winning submissions to an audience including Premier MacDonald, literacy educators and learners, and other invited quests.

There were over 120 entries received: 73 from community-based programs, 35 from NSCC and Adult High Schools, and 14 from seniors', workplace and family literacy programs.

A special thanks to all those who assisted in the judging process: Krys Galvin (Chair, LNS), Jean Desmond (Director, LNS), Sophie Hoeg (Faculty, NSCC Truro), Norbert LeBlanc (NS Dept. of Education), and Jenni Blackmore (Creative Writing Workshop Facilitator and Author).

There were many wonderful essays! We would like to acknowledge the nine finalists:

Honourable Mention

  • Karen Augustine, ALP - NSCC Waterfront Campus

  • Andrew McFarlane, ALP - NSCC Cumberland Campus

  • Travis Munro, ALP - NSCC Truro Campus

  • Michelle Snook, ALP - NSCC Truro Campus

  • Bernice Lamont, Annapolis Work Activity

  • Tara Bates, Adult Learning Association of Cape Breton County

  • Betty Ann Childs, Colchester Adult Learning Association

  • Anne LeBlanc, Équipe Alphabetisation Nouvelle-Écosse

  • Jack MacNab, Colchester Adult Learning Association

The winners' readings are featured in the second edition of The Learning Beacon, LNS's E-zine: https://www.literacyns.ca/TheLearningBeacon/LB2/Videos/VideoIntroduction.html

You can view all submissions received for the 2008 contest here: ALW 2008 eBooklet.pdf


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