Most of the recruitment of students took place in mid-to-late August and was apparently successful judging by the enrolment. Recruitment activities included:
Now that the program is operational, it appears certain from discussions with students already enrolled that new students can easily be recruited as space becomes available by word-of-mouth via current students.
Initial data gathered on registered students indicates that the A.L.C. is probably reaching a different segment of society than is attendant full-time at Alberta Vocational Centre upgrading courses. Although there has been no rigorous statistical data treatment as yet, it seems the A.L.C. student is older, more likely to be employed, longer out of school, and has been attracted to the program through advertising in the media.
As further data becomes available, A.V.C., Calgary will be issuing up-dates to this publication.
LVA ANNUAL CONFERENCE
I was very pleased to be invited to the annual Literacy Volunteers of America (L.V.A.) conference this September in Syracuse, New York. Carol Blackie of Kingston, John Courage of St. John's and I were asked to give a workshop on L.V.A. programs in Canada. We were not expecting a large turnout, but were pleasantly surprised at the number of delegates in attendance and their very real interest in our programs.
In total, the conference offered 30 separate and different Workshop/Seminars over two full meeting days. Many were practical and geared to meet specific teaching needs. Several workshops dealt with methods for improving student-tutor interactions and increasing student involvement in lesson planning and goal setting. Workshop leaders were offered brush-up sessions in advanced teaching techniques, facilitating groups and processing workshop activities. Philosophical concerns were by no means neglected. Two really excellent seminars in this area dealt with criminal justice and intercultural communications. As well, delegates were introduced to the new comprehension and study skills training segment developed by Dr. Jane Root. An extensive library display of teaching materials was open for browsing throughout the conference.
Each day began with a general session. One keynote speaker was Dr. Carman St. John . Hunter, Consultant, World Education. Dr. Hunter had just finished a lengthy study titled Adult Illiteracy in the United States for the Ford Foundation. (Copies are available from Ms. Nancy Boggs, Ford Foundation, New York.) Kerry Ken Allen was keynote speaker for the second general session. He is the Education Director, National Center for Voluntary Action. He discussed volunteerism in this decade and was able to report that the number of American citizens giving freely of their time and energy was increasing each year.
Throughout the conference, however, it was apparent that concern for the student was paramount. All of the planning, organizing, research and expertise should always come together to make things easier, more effective and more pleasurable for the student. That the organizers were able to do this, I find really marvellous, when I consider how easy it is to become bogged down in paper and administrative details in operating one associate LVA office.