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SCDSB Bringing Literacy to the Community

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Pictured are St. Albert teacher Christine McCracken and principal Aaron Barry.

March 9, 2016 - Christine McCracken, a teacher with the Sudbury Catholic District School Board does not teach out of your typical classroom. With the board since October, 2015, McCracken works with adult learners in two different locations. One of her locations is on the Atkikameksheng Anishnawbek First Nation Reserve. The second is at the Sudbury jail. It is this second location that inspired a call-out to her fellow SCDSB staff. After meeting with the learners in jail, she realized that many were desperate for something to read. McCracken brought the newspaper in with her during her visits and they couldn’t get enough. After some inquiry, she realized that there weren’t very many books available to the inmates. Inspired by the enthusiasm of these learners, McCracken discussed some strategies with her principal at St. Albert, Aaron Barry. The two decided to do a call-out to all SCDSB staff to see if anyone wanted to donate any new or gently used books to the Sudbury jail. After only a two-week collection period, the staff had donated close to 500 books. “We currently have at least 50 inmates taking part in this programming at the Sudbury jail,” explain McCracken. “We even already have a few really close to getting their high school diplomas. Reaching out to them in this environment has inspired them to want to continue their education after as well, which is wonderful. These books will really help in their learning!”
The St. Albert principal explained that through the St. Albert Learning Centre, some of these individuals were able to gets some credits through PLAR which is the Prior Learning Assessment Recognition program. This assigns credits to individuals towards the secondary school diploma (OSSD) for knowledge and skills that they have acquired outside of secondary school. “McCracken has been a real inspiration with these particular learners as she really motivates learning and encourages them to continue working towards their OSSD,” Barry stated. “Through the support of the SCDSB, we are able to bring continuing education to a group that may otherwise not consider continuing on with their education. It is a great program, and we are thankful to all of our coworkers and SCDSB staff for their generous book donations –they will make a positive difference!”

For more information about continuing education, PLAR, or getting your OSSD, contact St. Albert Learning Centre at (705) 673-3031.

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