Selkirk Has a Mission to Inspire Lifelong Learning
Some parents with young children are unable to access or afford the childcare they need to move forward with their education goals; others are not yet comfortable leaving their children and heading off to school. Support for parents to go back to school is even more challenging in rural areas. In the Selkirk College region, three caring organizations have pooled their resources to remove barriers and pave the way for learners to succeed.
Partnering Up to Offer Vital Services
Selkirk has a mission to inspire lifelong learning, transform lives through education and training, and serve our communities. College partner Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy delivers literacy services in communities throughout the region and Kootenay Family Place provides vital family services in Castlegar. Together, these three partners offer Adult Basic Education upgrading classes in a location with licensed childcare so parents can participate while their children are cared for nearby.
A Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy participant enjoys some fun and games with an instructor
A Program Where Everybody Wins
In this innovative collaboration, Kootenay Family Place makes space available; Selkirk College instructors bring in resources and teach, and CBAL funds the childcare. In this program, everyone wins: parents are introduced gently to time spent away from their children while benefiting from high quality, academic instruction in accredited courses; family literacy foundations are established with parents of young children; vibrant family programming is rooted in the midst of a valued community centre.
Parents of young children who felt formal education was out of their grasp have experienced transformative changes in their lives. It is the comfort afforded by the unique structure of the program that enables the parents to build confidence, credits and a clearer path toward a career. The program is now offered in three communities.
Positive Feedback from Participants
Charity needed to upgrade in order to re-enter the workforce but was very hesitant while caring for two children, one with severe febrile seizures… until someone told her about this program. She completed her upgrades, continued on to Administrative Skills classes at Selkirk College, completed a practicum at Kootenay Family Place and now has a full time job. She says, “Thanks for helping me to gain the confidence that I needed in order to be successful.”