Windsor, Ontario

Literacy Organization Profile: Windsor Neighbourhood Learning Centre

This past February, ABC’s Allison Nichol Longtin, worked with the LINC 7/8 students at Windsor Neighbourhood Learning Centre (WNLC) in Burnaby, BC to organize an outreach Coffee Chat. The event gathered together local community organizations to share information about ABC’s free literacy programs. The Burnaby event was generously co-hosted by WNLC.

Students from the highest-level LINC class, English for the Workplace, worked closely with Allison to prepare for the event. WNLC staff, Rachel and Patty, and LINC student, Elena were enthusiastic about the experience.

Patty’s group is work-focused and takes on the role of a Human Resources department at the school, organizing events, liaising with and introducing guest speakers to gain valuable, real-world experience in a safe environment. Patty was there to help guide the process and support but insisted that the bulk of the work be done by her students. Patty, Rachel and Elena all agreed that teamwork and a sense of satisfaction were the most important takeaways for the students. They gained confidence by practicing skills that they will need in their future careers in Canada.

For Elena, who served as the group’s secretary (roles were determined by raffle), the in-person experience was invaluable, and practicing email etiquette was also very important. Elena appreciated the opportunity to build key skills, such as teamwork and the art of casual conversation, for the Canadian workplace. The real-world experience she received organizing the event reinforced the importance of working together and supporting each other toward a common goal.

The English for the Workplace students even did their own research. Each student was assigned one of the literacies on the ABC website, which they then presented to the group; a crucial skill for being prepared to go into an interview.

WNLC regularly hosts ABC’s programs like Money Matters and UP Skills for Work and is incredibly active in their community; they were a natural choice to co-host the Coffee Chat. WNLC’s Rachel enjoyed the experience, found it to be valuable and says that she would absolutely do it again.

A huge thank you to Windsor Neighbourhood Learning Centre, to Rachel, Patty, Elena and the LINC 7/8 students. We’re already looking forward to next time!

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