By Kathryn Collicott, ACALA
First published on Latest Issue, November 9 2017

“Everyone is a lifelong learner.” That’s the motto of the Antigonish County Adult Learning Association (ACALA), and it’s a belief that is evident in our fall and winter programming.

As always, we offer classroom sessions covering ALP Level 1, 2 and 3; partner with NSCC to offer Level 4 classes in the community; conduct English as an Additional Language sessions; produce photojournalism and video projects for the People’s Archive of Rural Nova Scotia (PARNS); and deliver an Employment Preparation Program. In addition to all that, ACALA has two special programs on the go right now: the Family Literacy Day Writing Contest and Families Learning Across Generations (FLAG).

The Family Literacy Day Writing Contest will be celebrating its tenth anniversary in 2018, and we want it to be bigger and better than ever!

To enter, students in Grade Primary-6 must work with at least one other family member to create a real or make-believe story or poem. Submission can be any length and cover any topic. Illustrations or photos are always appreciated but not required.

The contest deadline is Friday, 1 December, 2017. Winning authors in each of three categories will receive certificates and prizes at an award ceremony on Family Literacy Day (Saturday, 27 January, 2018). The families will also have the opportunity to participate in a group writing workshop with local authors and illustrators, Angus MacCaull and Justin Gregg.

Story submissions can be dropped off at ACALA’s main office, Room 120 of the People’s Place Library from 9-4 Monday through Friday, or can be emailed to Please include the name, age, school and grade of the primary author, as well as the name of, and relationship to, each family member who is a co-author.

The FLAG Project is an intergenerational learning project running from now until the end of March that will take place in six communities across Antigonish County (the areas around Upper Big Tracadie/Monastery, Paq’tnkek, Pomquet, St. Andrews, Town of Antigonish, and Cape George).

This project will match older residents who have special gifts, talents, and knowledge with families of pre-school and school-aged children in order to share heritage skills. These are skills such as bread making, rug hooking, fly tying, preserving, carving, singing, guitar making, gardening, basket weaving, traditional crafting, cooking, and many others.

After we create an inventory of skills that our mentors have to offer, learning families will be able to choose a particular skills that interests them, and a meeting will be set to fit the schedules of all involved. Transportation can be arranged or subsidized.

Learning sessions will be photographed/videotaped for publication on ACALA’s YouTube channel, website and Facebook page.  Information and educational materials for each heritage skill shared will also be made available to anyone interested.

At this time, we are looking for mentors and learning families across the county to join this project. The total commitment is 2 – 5 hours, and materials will be supplied. Participants will come together with others in the community, help preserve heritage skills, and have fun while teaching and learning.

For more information on the Family Literacy Day Writing Contest and the FLAG Project, contact Kathryn at, or call 902-863-3060. To learn more about ACALA’s other programs, email or call 902-863-3060.


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