ANSCLO AGM to be held in February

The Annual General Meeting of the Association of Nova Scotia Community Learning Associations (ANSCLO) will be held Monday, February 23, 2015 at 12pm, at the Cunard Learning Centre,  7071 Bayers Road, in Halifax.

All are welcome.



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ANSCLO’s Next Board Meeting – September 24, 2014

The next regular board meeting of the Association of Nova Scotia Community Learning Organizations will be held September 24 at the Cunard Learning Centre, 8071 Bayers Road in Halifax.

All are welcome.

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More photos from the rally May 21 (and an article from the Halifax Media Coop)

Zoe Mitchellkrista petersonDLN learners at rally

Many great photos were taken of the rally by Lesley Dunn, ED of Dartmouth Learning Network.

Robert Devet of the Halifax Media Coop filed the following story after the event:

crowd shot 3

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Community Learning Organizations rally in Windsor

Marlene and Christinakatharine speakingcrowd shot 4tina and katiecrowd shotAbout 120 people gathered in Windsor today in support of community learning programs in Nova Scotia.

CBC published the following article about the rally:

Earlier in the day, Katherine McCoubrey spoke about the rally on CBC’s Information Morning:




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Rally for Community Learning Programs – May 21

There will be a rally for community learning programs on Wednesday, May 21 at 11am at the home of the Hants Learning Network Association, 10 Water Street in Windsor.

Titled “Learning for Earning”, the purpose of the rally is to increase awareness of the impact of the federal Labour Market Agreement funding cuts currently faced by this province’s community learning organizations.

The rally will be an opportunity to:
• Learn how literacy and essential skills programs help adults prepare to enter or re-enter the workforce
• Hear from adults who are participating in literacy and essential skills programs as they work toward employment
• Find out how funding cuts will affect opportunities for adults to get the education they need to get jobs

Come out and support your local community learning program!

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Value of Integrating IT Skills into Adult Basic Education Programs

Many community learning programs in  Nova Scotia incorporate some kind of IT training into their literacy and essential skills programs. At the Valley Community Learning Association for example, there are separate community basics classes offered each month as well as some classes that integrate IT as a learning theme throughout the progra.

There are good reasons for doing this.

Researchers have found a strong link between IT skills and expensive utilization of health services, (The Economic Benefits of Literacy: Evidence and Implications for Public Policy, Mike McCracken and T . Scott Murray). Scott and McCracken write that IT-literate citizens are “able to access health information via the internet and to manage health-related tasks themselves with less assistance from scarce and expensive health professionals.”(P.34)

In addition to this, the need for IT skills even in entry-level positions is becoming pervasive. A recent Essential Skills Ontario paper notes that “the kinds of jobs labeled as ‘entry-level’ not only persist, they continue to grow.  Yet these jobs do not look like they used to … Quite simply, we require higher digital and technical skills for almost every job. (Menial no More: Advancing our Workforce through Digital Skills, p. 2)

While much has been written about the number of jobs of the future that will require higher skills (in “People without Jobs, Jobs without People”, Dr. Rick Miner estimates that the 77% of jobs will need some form of post-secondary education or training by 2031), the ESO paper posits that even entry-level jobs are no longer low-skilled.

“Today’s delivery person confirms orders and shipments of goods using a tablet; the shelf stocker no longer places stickers on products, but rather uses a complex personal digital assistant (PDA) device to control stock supplies; and your local coffee shop barista not only serves your coffee, but is also expected to troubleshoot the Wi-Fi. these new responsibilities are no longer the exceptions, but rather the rules. So far, from moving to an hourglass made up primarily of very skilled and unskilled labour, we are instead quickly moving to a more uniform labour market that requires essential literacy and digital skills for all Ontarians participating in the workforce. We need to acknowledge and address this challenge.” (Menial no More, p. 4)

Furthermore, the paper states “there is compelling evidence that low-skilled work has been more affected by technological change than high-skilled work.” (ibid, p. 6)

“Working at this level, the formerly low-skilled group will be able to complete online applications, they will be able to manage data systems, and they will be able to get ‘entry-level’ jobs. This is the next generation of ‘low-skilled’ workers and it is not about graduating college or university with honours. It is about providing them with a combination of digital skills and the training in key disciplines related to the digital economy such as science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (StEM)” (ibid p. 8)


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Link between Literacy Level and Expensive Utilization of Health Services

Community learning organizations in Nova Scotia have long integrated health literacy modules into their Adult Learning Program (ALP) curricula. Programs help adults build their reading and comprehension skills using pill bottles, community health board brochures, and nutritional guides, among other materials. This is a good example of ‘double duty dollars’ where funding for adult education serves two purposes – adults learn literacy skills while they learn critical health literacy skills.

This is important work. Not surprisingly, there is good evidence that low health literacy has significant costs, both for the individual and the health system as a whole, and recent research has found a strong link between literacy level and expensive utilization of health services.In <a href="” target=”_blank”>The Economic Benefits of Literacy: Evidence and Implications for Public Policy Mike McCracken and T . Scott Murray write that:

“Adults with lower levels of literacy are less likely to have a regular health care provider and health insurance. These adults are also more likely to have trouble understanding written medical directions, have difficulty getting needed care, and as a result, have poorer health. They also use physician services, overnight hospital stays, and emergency rooms more frequently. These results are true when one controls for education, access, health, and socio-demographic characteristics.” p.33

For more information about health literacy from T. Scott Murray et al, see Understanding the Link Between Literacy, Health Literacy and Health (2012).

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