A recent Composite Learning Index performed by the Canadian Council on Learning granted Rimbey an outstanding score of 91. This annual index measures Canada’s performance in a number of areas relating to lifelong learning and involves 4,700 cities and communities across Canada. A community’s opportunities of “Learning to Know” (literacy and numeracy), “Learning to Work” (occupational skills), “Learning to Live Together” (values of respect and concern for others), “Learning to Be” (development of body, mind and spirit) are taken into account in this rating process. Rimbey’s glowing score is much higher than Canada’s overall score of 77. In fact, the highest score awarded to any community in 2008 was 98 and was awarded to Ottawa.
Learning opportunities in Rimbey are created by many local groups and dedicated individuals who have skills they are willing to share with others. Some learning will have instant results, while other learning takes place over time with results not quite clear until later. Included in the many success stories are people who had no experience using a computer, but went on to become very computer savvy, graduates of the Rural Youth Entrepreneurship Program that went on to start their own businesses, and individuals who did not finish high school but later earned their GED. Our community has many opportunities and just as many learners and success stories.
Sept. 8 kicks off International Adult Learner’s Week 2008. This year, the celebration coincides with the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Lifelong learning has always had a positive impact on individuals and the communities in which they live. Along with personal development, an individual’s economic opportunities are enriched while the community gains from the enhanced civic commitment of its people.
So the next time you pick up the Community Activity Guide and page through the course offerings, keep in mind the importance of these programs and the impact they have on each one of us and on our community.
Ponoka-Rimbey Adult Learning Society