Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Friendship House teams up with NWCC to deliver Adult Education

Back at the end of June, the Adult Education program at the Friendship House was in a state of homelessness, a partnership with School District 52 had been brought to an end after cutbacks to the school system budget.

But rather than let a valuable program for the community die, Farley Stewart began the quest for a new partner to help in providing educational programs to those looking to expand their horizons.

Over the summer they teamed up with Northwest Community College to develop a renewed program to help participants reach the requirements for their Grade 12 Dogwoood as well as develop skills that will help them in the search to find jobs in a number of the service industries in the area.

The outline of the Friendship House program was provided in the August 28 edition of the Daily News.

Friendship House program back in business
By George T. Baker
The Daily News
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Page three

Friendship House’s adult education program lives to teach again.

After being told by School District 52 that they would be ending their relationship with the Friendship House, the community help centre has been able to attract a new partner.

Friendship House has announced it will be working with Northwest Community College (NWCC) to provide Prince Rupert residents with an adult educational program this fall.

“We’re quite excited to provide an opportunity for students to come back and finish their grade 12 Dogwood,” said executive director of Friendship House Farley Stewart.

“We are quite happy to be working with the college.”

Starting September 2, the program will welcome Rupertites without a high school diploma looking to finally reach the next step in education.

The program is completely free for students.

“There will be some payment needed for books that are to be used in classes but if there are financial issues for the students there will be funding for that,” said Stewart.

According to the B. C. Ministry of Education Grade 12 Graduation Rates Report, between 2003 –to-2007 the percentage of full-time Prince Rupert students graduating dropped to 89 percent in 2007 from 95 percent in 2003.

Stewart added that the Friendship House used to have a partnership with the School District 52 that was ended in June.

Stewart said the school district pulled out because of all the cuts it needed to make after it announced that it was $2 million in the red.

“They are looking at different options and we were told that they might be consolidating their services to one building,” he said.

The Friendship House program will offer English and math courses for grade11 and 12 along with cultural activities as well as some training and certificates like Serving it Right and Super Host.

The idea is to make the students more employable along the North Coast where unemployment rates are more than double the provincial average.

The rate of unemployment sits at 12.5 per cent compared to the rest of B. C., which sits at six per cent.

“This is another opportunity for people to get back in to the schools, to move forward in their lives,’ said Stewart.

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