The largest festival of learning in the UK is on its way. Adult Learners´ Week - which runs from 17th - 23rd May 2008 and is organised by the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE) - is a time when thousands of people consider a return to learning and begin a journey that can completely transform their lives for the better.
This is illustrated perfectly by the Adult Learners´ Week Award winners who are recognised for their remarkable achievements through learning. Their inspirational stories clearly demonstrate the effectiveness of learning as an adult. Some of this year´s awards will be presented to -
- a woman who has gone from GCSE Maths to a first class honours degree in only six years - and has now started a PhD,´
- a former school cleaner who is now a school-teacher,
an ex-policeman who had to retire due to two strokes but has now become a qualified gym instructor,
- a deaf man who has completed his FA coaching qualifications and now coaches the Royal Society for the Deaf Football Team,
- a 95 year old man who´s learning how to use computers, and
- a beauty therapist who´s changed careers and is now a car mechanic.
During last year´s Adult Learners´ Week over 8,000 learning events took place, attracting around 100,000 visitors and participants. Every year adults will get a taste of learning in colleges, shops and supermarkets, factories and businesses, libraries and museums, community and adult education centres.
Some events already organised for this year include, Medieval Martial Arts at Kenilworth Castle, singing, holiday languages, forensic science, Welding for Women, horse riding and family history alongside computers and digital photography, creative writing, architectural drawing, Monks´ Meals and What We Eat Now , taxidermy and improving your maths. The Army are also planning to hold a special event at their base at Basra Air Station in Iraq. Further details of the events on offer are available from the online calendar of events at: www.alw.org.uk/calendar
And this year sees the inaugural Dance Off 2008 with over 100 events due to take place across the country to celebrate Cultural Diversity Weekend. The dances range from ballroom, salsa, belly dance, Jewish wedding dance, American smooth style waltz to Latin cha cha, Argentine tango, rumba, samba and Kathak.
Rachel Thomson, Senior Campaigns Officer at NIACE, said, "Adult Learners´ Week is the perfect time for you to see the kind of positive impact that learning can have on your life. The remarkable stories of the inspirational learners we celebrate with our awards illustrate just how learning can completely transform your life for the better."
She ended, "Whatever you want out of life, learning can steer you in the direction you want it to go in. There will be thousands of events taking place across the country and to find out more about what´s on offer where you are during this year´s Adult Learners´ Week, visit our website www.alw.org.uk or call learndirect free on 0800 100 900."