Learning Tree bears fruits at Croí na Gaillimhe Resource Centre, St Vincent de Paul
A learning tree which symbolises the highs and lows of adult learning was unveiled on Wednesday February 27th by Deputy Mayor of the City of Galway Cllr. Frank Fahy and will be prominently displayed and available for learners throughout the week.
This event is one of almost two hundred nationwide events taking place during the AONTAS Adult Learners’ Festival. AONTAS estimates that approximately 300,000 adults take part in some form of adult learning (from basic education, community education, right through to third level) each year. In 2011, learners in community education centres around the country achieved 20,000 awards.
Loretta Needham, Manager of Croí na Gaillimhe Resource Centre explained at the event “that Community Education has demonstrated significant social outcomes along with the development of core skills for participants. These outcomes include: greater levels of volunteering, better health outcomes for participants, both physical and mental, improved parenting skills and stronger social networks. She said that we need to recognise that many people sign up for a course for social reasons, to pursue a hobby of interest and make new friends and there is a need to see the broader role of further education and training (including community education) within society and beyond the labour market”.
Majella Mallon McGrath, Volunteer at Croí na Gaillimhe added: “Although I may be called a volunteer; I don’t really regard time spent in Croí na Gaillimh as volunteering. I now see the process as a mutual educational exchange between individuals, where each of us benefits on many levels in coming together albeit under the heading of computer training. Individuals may leave classes with what are now fast becoming essential computer skills but I benefit from new information and insights on a very large range of topics. Over time, Croí na Gaillimhe has shown me that there still exists a great and essential social medium for community development on many levels and there is always a heartfelt welcome”.
‘We know that adult learners and Community Education Centres do vital work on a daily basis, and this is even more apparent during a time of economic recession’ said Frank Fahy Deputy Mayor of the City of Galway . ‘Centres such as Croí na Gallimhe are providing opportunities for people to learn new skills, but also they provide a valuable social role at a time like this. By social role I mean responding to the themes of social exclusion, educational disadvantage and isolation of people in society both city and rural’
Several of our enthusiastic learners gave a brief account of their learning experiences at Croí na Gaillimhe. They all spoke of the joy and the fun they experienced in learning and most of all, they mentioned the friendships they had made - or in many cases, renewed. Music and entertainment was provided by the very talented young men from St Joseph’s Secondary School..
If you come into the Croí na Gaillimhe on any given day there will be older adults enjoying a dinner and social club, migrants taking part in English conversation classes, young parents engaging in group activities and workshops, school children working alongside older people on the intergenerational programme and various classes and clubs in progress. The clubs and groups in Croí na Gaillimhe are: the Parents Network and workshops relating to parenting, Men’s Group, Lunch and Social Club, Knitting Club, Tea Dances and Creative Writers Group. There are classes in Movement and Relaxation, Drawing, Painting, More Money in your pocket including guides on healthy shopping, Beginner Computer Classes and Computer Workshops.
For more information contact
Loretta Needham 091 895203
|Cllr. Frank Fahy speaks at the Celebration of Learning at Croi Na Gaillimhe|
|Volunteer tutor and learners|
|Angela a volunteer and member of the Parents Network shares her experience of adult education.|
|Loretta Needham explains how community education has demonstrated significant social outcomes along with the development of core skills for participants.|
|The boys from the Bish school kept us all entertained|