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Paintearth Community Adult Learning has plenty of opportunities for foundational learning

While Paintearth Community Adult Learning (PCAL) is known for bringing a variety of community building educational opportunities to the region, the role of the agency is actually more targeted.

Funded through Alberta’s department of Advanced Education, PCAL, as all community adult learning councils across the province, have a five-prong goal targeted at foundational learning.

In the first of the prongs, the agency has a goal of targeting Canadian-born adult learners who need help with their reading and writing of the English language. Those targeted in this group are those wishing to brush up on their language skills prior to taking their general education diploma (GED).

The second prong focuses on adult learners who need help with functional numeracy. Numeracy is learning numbers in “quantitative terms,” according to PCAL manager Cindy Heidecker. Examples of numeracy can be learning fractions in a practical sense, such as halving or doubling recipes when cooking for your family.

A third prong focused on by adult learning is helping adult learners become life-long learners.

“We help people see themselves as learners,” said Heidekcer.

Work with students in this third prong includes teaching adult learners how to study again, something they likely haven’t done since they were in school.

The fourth prong of PCAL’s foundational learning is basic digital skills, an area that continues to evolve.

According to Heidecker, when PCAL began offering basic computer help the basics included turning on the computer. In the years since then, technology as continued to evolve and become more entwined in people’s lives, meaning that what was advanced a decade ago is now basic today.

Basic digital skills include navigating the web, navigating through word processing programs, Facebook help, learning how to us an iPad or a number of other things

The final prong of PCAL’s foundational learning is one most people are familiar with: English language learning. This prong of foundational learning is targeted at those coming into Canada from elsewhere who need help with the English language in their adopted home.

All five prongs of PCAL’s foundational learning are done through volunteer tutor-student pairs where possible, though staff will help out when the need arise.

PCAL currently has volunteer tutors throughout the County of Paintearth, though according to Heidecker more are always needed. At the moment, the area of greatest need is currently in the Coronation area.

Anyone seeking more information about any of PCAL’s programs, or about volunteer opportunities, are asked to contact Heidecker at 403-578-3817, or stop in the Castor or Coronation offices.

The Coronation office is open Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. while Castor is open Monday and Wednesday from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. On Wednesdays, PCAL can also be found at the Castor Battle River Innovation Centre.

Coronation’s PCAL office is located on Royal street across from the Coronation library and the Castor office is located adjacent to the Castor library in the building beside the Castor town office.

PCAL can also be found online at www.paintearthlearning.ca.

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