The Gathering Of The Minds At Culture Of Collaboration

Pipestone Flyer

There are adults in Wetaskiwin who cannot read or write. There are others that dropped out of school for whatever reason and now find they would like to start over. And there are those seeking formal post-secondary training. They all have one thing in common; they want to live and learn in Wetaskiwin. 

    The roads leading from illiteracy to higher education aren’t always clearly marked and in many cases simply don’t connect with each other. Charleen Schnick, Executive Director, Wetaskiwin Community Learning Council, deals with these challenges on a daily basis. Her primary responsibility is to ensure programs and services are available that will enable adults to improve their knowledge and education. “The Community Learning Council for Wetaskiwin & Area (WCLC) is a non-profit organization that has been committed to helping adults pursue their interests in lifelong learning since 1973. They work in cooperation with the agencies and organizations in our publication as well as others in the community to provide a variety of lifelong learning opportunities.”

    What does it mean to be able to learn and live in Wetaskiwin?  The council is interested in sustaining and growing literacy and essential skill learning, foundational learning, and post-secondary learning and training opportunities. 

    On October 31st, 2013, Charleen gathered education stakeholders at NorQuest College to see how many ‘education roads’ there were in Wetaskiwin and area and what shape they were in.  The discussions, facilitated by Dan DeWolf, were designed to explore educational opportunities presently offered in Wetaskiwin and region. The objective of the day was to explore what it means to be able to learn and live in Wetaskiwin. The council was interested in sustaining and growing literacy and essential skill learning, foundational learning, and post-secondary learning and training opportunities. 

Cross section of participants

    “I was really pleased with the participation cross section at the community dialogue,” Reflected Schnick. “It was our goal to have as many learning providers at the table as possible.  There was good representation from the municipalities, Chambers of Commerce (Wetaskiwin & Pigeon Lake), Libraries, Literacy Program, Alberta Health Services (several areas),  Wetaskiwin Regional Public School, private sector trainers  (Wayne DiLallo from Directions for Wellness),  an Ag Society, Economic Development, Recreation Depts, High School, NorQuest College, Primary Care Network, and Youth Group.”   

    The learning providers, businesses, students and other stakeholders were challenged with providing answers to the following questions:

Part 1

• Who are the existing education/training providers and what do they offer?

• What are the mandates/constraints of the funders?

• What are the literacy, learning and training needs? 

Part 2

• What are the gaps between what is offered and what is needed?

• How do we as a community address these gaps?

• How do the education/training providers address these gaps?

Charleen reports some key outcomes

•  Some participants were surprised at the vast quantity of learning providers in the area.  Mapping the learning providers would be a great project.  

• Discussing the mandates/constraints of the funders of the learning providers was a bit of a challenge but a definite eye opener.   

• The focus of literacy, learning and training needs seemed to have some common threads at the different tables.  

• Discussing the gaps between what is needed and what is offered, was enlightening and will hopefully point to directions that will help the community meet the objective of finding ways to learn and live in Wetaskiwin.  

• It was very obvious who was not at the table and there was discussion around finding ways to consult with those groups.  

    Charleen’s next step is to, “compile all of the notes, try to make some sense of them and group comments according to themes, and then submit a draft to the planning committee.  Then we were going to distribute it to the stakeholders before having another meeting. I expect there will be a stakeholder meeting; outcomes and next steps identified c/w timelines, and community ownership for executing the outcomes.”  

Charleen Schnick

Phone: 780-352-7257 

E-mail: literacy@incentre.net

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Shaela Dansereau/ The Pipestone Flyer
City of Wetaskiwin cases rapidly climbing

City of Wetaskiwin reporting 11 active cases of COVID-19

Photo submitted/ Rita-anne Fuss
Distancing Diamond Project in Millet for mental health

Distancing Diamonds allow for social distancing community gathering.

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, confirmed more than 1,000 cases over the weekend Monday afternoon. File photo
COVID-19: Central zone active cases up Monday

‘We’ve now crossed the tipping point,’ says Hinshaw

The death of 19-year-old Jacob Michael Chitze of Edmonton has now been ruled a homicide following an ongoing RCMP investigation.
UPDATE: RCMP arrest youth for second degree murder of 19-year-old Jacob Chitze

Arrest made for the murder of Jacob Michael Chitze, 19.

Wetaskiwin Hospital staff join AUPE walk outs across the province Monday Oct. 26, 2020. Shaela Dansereau/ The Pipestone Flyer.
City of Wetaskiwin health-care workers strike in protest of province-wide cuts

Wetaskiwin Hospital staff join other front line hospital workers across the province in walk-outs.

Cases in Ponoka (East Ponoka County) as of Oct. 27. (alberta.ca)
Diagnosed cases of COVID-19 at three Ponoka businesses

Town ‘strongly encouraging’ residents to wear non-medical masks in public

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID pandemic during a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau says pandemic ‘really sucks,’ and that Christmas gatherings are up in the air

The prime minister encouraged residents to continue to follow the advice of local health authorities

The Williams Lake Indian Band is stipulating no-go zones for mushroom picking in areas burned by last summer’s wildfires. 100 Mile Free Press photo
Who controls mushroom harvesting on Indigenous lands?

‘We don’t necessarily know where the mushrooms grow, how old the stands need to be, those types of things.’

Canadian and American flags fly near the Ambassador Bridge at the Canada/USA border crossing in Windsor, Ont. on Saturday, March 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rob Gurdebeke
U.S. election results one factor that could impact immigration to Canada next year

The survey polled 1,523 Canadians between Oct. 23 and Oct. 25

Alberta’s provincial flag flies on a flag pole in Ottawa, Monday July 6, 2020. The Alberta government is hoping to get more Albertans employed by moving to limit the number and type of temporary foreign workers it allows into the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Alberta to limit temporary foreign worker program to save jobs for Albertans

Temporary foreign workers already in the province won’t be affected

(Emily Jaycox/Bashaw Star)
Wreath laying ceremony held in Manfred, Alta.

Ceremony marks 64th anniversary of Hungarian revolution, honours settlers

Submitted
Montana First Nations councillor gives back to youth

By Chevi Rabbit For Ponoka News Reggie Rabbit is a newly elected… Continue reading

Royal Alexandra Hospital front-line workers walk a picket line after walking off the job in a wildcat strike in Edmonton, on Monday, October 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta labour board orders health-care staff who walked off the job to go back to work

Finance Minister Travis Toews said in a news release that he was pleased with the labour board’s decision

Most Read