European Project Partners visit Laois

The Portlaoise Further Education Centre, Laois & Offaly Education and Training Board recently hosted the sixth and final meeting for the Léargas Grundtvig European Partnership Project ‘How to Educate Learners through Peer Mentoring’.  Adult learners and tutors from second chance adult education institutions in Germany, France, Spain, Greece and the United Kingdom visited County Laois from Sunday 11th until Thursday 15th May.

The theme of the Irish meeting was ‘Active Citizenship’ with a particular focus on political engagement and the importance of voting in local, national and European elections.  On Monday 12th May visitors were welcomed to the centre by Joe Cunningham, CEO, Tony Dalton, Director of Further Education Services, Kathleen Bennett, Adult Literacy Organiser and Sandra Doyle (Project Co-ordinator, Laois).  The EU visitors had the opportunity to witness local politics in action at Laois County Council’s final meeting before the election, where they were also warmly welcomed by Cathaoirleach Mary Sweeney and County Manager Peter Carey.

On Tuesday 13th May EU partners experienced Irish politics at a national level during a visit to Dail Eireann where Minister Flanagan took time out of his busy schedule to greet the visitors. At the end of the Irish meeting Andrea Hein from Germany commented “it was a wonderful opportunity for adult learners to come to Ireland and get an insight into the Irish political system.  This whole experience will hopefully give our learners the confidence to find their own voice and become active citizens in their own right”.  Throughout the sixth and final meeting project partners participated in digital media and numeracy workshops through peer-mentoring and shared experience, knowledge and best practice with project partners.  For further information on this Grundtvig Learning Partnership Project visit www.peer-mentoring.eu.

Dail Visit

Minister Flanagan meets European Learning Partnership project partners with adult learners and tutors from the Portlaoise Adult Education Centre at Dáil Eireann

Visit to Co Council Chambers

Adult learners and tutors from the Portlaoise Further Education Centre, Laois & Offaly Education & Training board pictured with Cathaoirleach Mary Sweeney, County Manager Peter Carey, Sandra Doyle, Project Co-ordinator (Laois) and European Project partners from Germany, Spain, UK, Greece and France at the Laois County Council Chambers

EU project partners from Bochum, Germany Diane Merz, Olaf Haberecht and Andrea Hein presented with a gift from Tony Dalton, Director of Further Education and Training, Sandra Doyle, EU Project Co-ordinator (Laois) and Kathleen Dunne, Adult Literacy Organiser, Laois & Offaly ETB

EU project partners from Bochum, Germany Diane Merz, Olaf Haberecht and Andrea Hein presented with a gift from Tony Dalton, Director of Further Education and Training, Sandra Doyle, EU Project Co-ordinator (Laois) and Kathleen Dunne, Adult Literacy Organiser, Laois & Offaly ETB

EU project meetings in Germany and Spain

Adult learners and tutors from the Portlaoise Adult Education Centre recently represented the Laois and Offaly Education and Training Board (ETB) in Germany and Spain as part of a Léargas Grundtvig European Learning Partnership project ‘How to Educate learners through peer-mentoring’.

The first project meeting took place in Germany at the Ottilie-Schoenewald-Weiterbildungskolleg der Stadt Bochum (OSW).  This is a college of Further Education that gives adult learners a second chance to complete any kind of leaving certificate examination.  The second meeting took place at the CEPA Adult Learning Centre in Tenerife, Spain.  Similar to the Portlaoise Adult Education Centre the CEPA Güímar offers a variety of part-time courses for adults who wish to return to learning.  In preparation for the meeting in Spain adult learners participated in a skype conference with Spanish students.

According to Sandra Doyle this learning partnership project offers ‘a wonderful opportunity for learners and tutors to share ideas, information, knowledge and good practice with our European counterparts.  It has also given people the opportunity to participate in peer mentoring activities that promote active citizenship amongst all learners and tutors accessing the centre.’  Kathleen Dunne, adult literacy organiser, said: “A lot of hard work goes into a project this size.  It has presented a great platform to meet and share good working practice with our European colleagues.”

Visit the EU Grundtvig Partnership Project website at: www.peer-mentoring.eu

 

Adult learner Maura Brophy participating in a skype conference with the adult education centre in Tenerife prior to the Grundtvig EU project meeting in Spain

Adult learner Maura Brophy participating in a skype conference with the adult education centre in Tenerife prior to the Grundtvig EU project meeting in Spain

 

Thérèse Glennon (left), Sandra Doyle (centre) and Kathleen Carroll (right) accepting a gift for the Portlaoise Adult Education Centre, Laois & Offaly ETB from Ms Carmen Luisa Castro Dorta, Mayor of Güímar and Ms María Dolores Rodríguez Pérez, Councillor of Culture, Agriculture, Education and Heritage,  Güímar, Tenerife, Spain.

Thérèse Glennon (left), Sandra Doyle (centre) and Kathleen Carroll (right) accepting a gift for the Portlaoise Adult Education Centre, Laois & Offaly ETB from Ms Carmen Luisa Castro Dorta, Mayor of Güímar and Ms María Dolores Rodríguez Pérez, Councillor of Culture, Agriculture, Education and Heritage, Güímar, Tenerife, Spain.

 Padraig Hennessy (tutor), Frances Hogan (adult learner) and Jolanta Gudauskiene (ESOL learner) presenting a piece of Mountmellick lace to Dr. Heinrich Brinkmoller-Becker (Headmaster) and Mr. Schulze-Bramey (Deputy Headmaster) from the Ottilie Schoenwald Weiterbildungskolleg, Further Education Centre, Bochum, Germany

Padraig Hennessy (tutor), Frances Hogan (adult learner) and Jolanta Gudauskiene (ESOL learner) presenting a piece of Mountmellick lace to Dr. Heinrich Brinkmoller-Becker (Headmaster) and Mr. Schulze-Bramey (Deputy Headmaster) from the Ottilie Schoenwald Weiterbildungskolleg, Further Education Centre, Bochum, Germany

Léargas Grundtvig European Learning Partnership Project 2012 – 2014

The Adult Learning Centre Co. Laois VEC was recently successful in its application for funding from Léargas for a Grundtvig European Learning Partnership Project.  During the next two years adult learners and tutors from the centre will have the opportunity to work with their counterparts from Germany, France, Spain, Greece and the United Kingdom.  The overall theme of the European project is ‘How to Educate Learners through Peer Mentoring’ with Ireland focusing on ‘Active Citizenship through Peer Mentoring’.  Other participating countries are focusing on sub-themes such as financial literacy, entrepreneurship, language learning and the empowerment of learners.  Adult learners from the centre will have the opportunity to travel to the participating countries throughout the duration of the project.
The initial project meeting was recently held in Bourges, France with the next meeting taking place in Greece.  In April 2012 a conference on ‘Good Practices in Adult Education’ was organised by the Hellenic Adult Education Association (HAEA) and Sandra Doyle from the Adult Learning Centre shared the experience of effective peer-mentoring practice implemented in Ireland.  For information regarding this Grundtvig European Partnership Project visit the wiki page at https://sites.google.com/site/peersedu2011/

Sandra Doyle and Joan Phelan Adult Learning Centre, Co. Laois VEC (centre) pictured in Bourges, France with representatives from the participating countries involved in the Léargas Grundtvig European Learning Partnership Project ‘How to Educate Learners through Peer Mentoring’.

Video message to President Barack Obama broadcast on RTE 2 FM

Video message to President Barack Obama broadcast on RTE 2 FM
Students from the Adult Learning Centre recently filmed a video message to President Barack Obama prior to his re-election in the America.  The video message entitled ‘President Barack Obama – 55 second message’ was filmed as part of the Leargas Grundtvig European Learning Partnership Programme project which the centre is involved in with fellow partners from France, Germany, Greece, Spain and the United Kingdom.  The overall theme of the European project is ‘How to Educate Learners through Peer Mentoring’ (students supporting students) with Ireland focusing on ‘Peer Mentoring through Active Citizenship’.  This digital media project offers learners and tutors the opportunity to participate in a peer mentoring activity that raises awareness of the political world, both nationally and internationally.  The students’ message to President Obama was broadcast over the Irish airwaves on the RTE 2FM Breakfast Show with Louise McSharry. 

Adult Learners Create Short Film

Adult learners from the Adult Learning Centre Co. Laois VEC recently created and produced a short promotional video for the AONTAS (National Adult Learning Association) STAR Awards.  The STAR Awards (Showcasing Teamwork, Awarding Recognition) initiative was devised to showcase best practice within the adult and community education sector and to raise the profile of adult education in Ireland.
The aim of the student’s video is to encourage people engaged in the adult and community education sector to nominate their project for a Star Award.  The video also encourages businesses, arts organisations and community groups who are also engaged in adult education to nominate projects for an award.
The concept for the video was devised during discussions with adult learners and focuses on the theme of returning to education as a journey, the journey of flight!  The one minute film entitled ‘Book your free seat on board Flight 2013’ features adult learners boarding a flight to the 2013 Star Awards with each student carrying items needed for their particular project.  The video was filmed over the course of a day at The Irish Parachute Club located at Clonbullogue Airfield, Edenderry where students were given complimentary access to a plane.
Sandra Doyle from the Adult Learning Centre, Portlaoise explained that the video was conceived as a unique way to encourage individuals and organisations to nominate suitable initiatives for a STAR Award.  The video will be promoted by AONTAS using an on-line marketing campaign and will be distributed nationally via social media channels, youtube and e-bulletin.
The video can be viewed on www.youtube.com by entering the title ‘Book your free seat on board Flight 2013’ in the searchbar.
Don’t miss out!  Book your free seat on our flight to the Star Awards.