2014 was such a busy and productive year for ALS that it has taken us some time to settle into 2015. We were going hard right up until the December closedown with learners and programmes we were running for outgoing workers at Sealord and a second Young Mum’s course complete with embedded unit standards. We ended the year on a high and as a result happily posted a profit.
Suddenly, this seems like a long time ago and 2015 is a quarter of the way through. We have had staff changes and other challenges – government funding criteria has tightened and doesn’t seem to match the students we have been attracting at all! Oh that we would have a reliable trail of literacy learners that fit the criteria knocking at our door.
Due in part to funding, our delivery has changed somewhat over the last two years. We do more group provision for a specific purpose – job hunting skills, driver licence, parenting, life skills and computer skills and this has an impact on our traditional model of 1:1 tutoring. Volunteer tutors and 1:1 tutoring remain an vital part of our makeup however, and in 2015 we will look to run the NCALNE(Voc) for existing tutors that may want to take their tutoring qualifications further.
We will also continue to strengthen our relationships with governmental and non-governmental agencies as a method of accessing literacy learners. We commenced this with a gathering of representatives from 9 Industry Training Organisations at the beginning of March.
It is with much sadness that after 8 and 8½ years respectively we recently said goodbye to Brendyn and Susan. They were such a huge part of the fabric of ALS and highlights for me in particular were discussions with both of them on lessons for life learned from the TV series “The Wire.”
We welcome Steve and Amy who will be filling their large shoes, and hope that they will find their new place of work successful and rewarding. Welcome also to Elise and Catherine, who have joined our governance committee and will provide us with guidance and stewardship.
For those in our wider ALS whanau, we have an AGM (April 24th) and tutor PD (date tbc) coming up. Thank you once again for your commitment to literacy and to ALS, and here’s to 2015 being another year like the last one (but maybe a little less stressful).