Adult Learning brings education and collaboration

Residents looking to hone their education may have an option through Ponoka Adult Learning (PAL).

Residents looking to hone their education may have an option through Ponoka Adult Learning (PAL).

Members of the Ponoka and District Chamber of Commerce heard from Tanjia Heyden-Kaye, Ponoka Adult Learning and Family Literacy Co-ordinator, Oct. 18 at the Ponoka Golf Course on the many programs offered.

Heyden-Kaye brings parents and children together to promote early literacy. “I do a program right now at the library called ‘My First Book,’ where I have moms and babies come and meet me.”

On top of programming in the community, Heyden-Kaye offers resume help for those looking to spruce up their curriculum vitae. The help was needed after the employment centre moved to Lacombe.

While the employment centre is open to Ponoka residents, said Heyden-Kaye, they still need to travel to Lacombe to get the work done. “So I’ve sort of stepped in to do that. People can come in to get help with their resume.”

Every Monday, PAL assists folks with resume support or job help in the office. “They can come print resumes (at no cost).”

Another program offered by PAL is English language learning for people new to Canada who need help with the language.

“We do one-on-one instruction,” she said.

There have been times Heyden-Kaye has helped guide clients through their resume while showing them computer and language supports. “We try and partner with as many agencies in the community as possible.”

Another area PAL works is in what Heyden-Kaye calls “Conversation Cafes” where informal discussions are had with residents and community leaders or groups.

With a large Filipino population in Ponoka, Heyden-Kaye has helped bring members of the RCMP and Alberta Health Services to the cafes to educate people, however, it is done in a way that improves the conversational aspect of English. The cafes have also clarified some cultural differences not normally considered.

PAL works with the Ponoka Jubilee Library, Ponoka Parent Link, the Early Childhood Development Coalition and other groups such as Stepping Stones and Alberta Health Services.

“We also connect people with further learning. Our adult learning office works closely with Campus Alberta Central (CAC),” said Heyden-Kaye

CAC is working on bringing post-secondary education to Ponoka with a learning centre proposed to be in the location of the old hospital, after it is demolished. Working with the Alberta Government, PAL has some clear guidelines on what programming should be offered.

The goal, says Heyden-Kaye, is to help further people’s education and to make them more attractive to employers.

For more information check out or call 403-783-3285.