Paintearth Adult Learning navigating COVID-19, hears Castor council

The Paintearth Community Adult Learning Centre is doing some learning of its own, as it adapts to the COVID-19 pandemic, heard Castor town council at its regular meeting Dec. 14.

Councillors heard a presentation from the learning council Program Manager Cindy Heidecker, who noted that the organization, with two locations in Castor and one in Coronation, continues to offer programming during the pandemic.

She explained the council must provide adult literacy programming to those who need help reading and writing, plus life skills help if needed. She noted Thursday evening courses are available when COVID-19 restrictions allow.

Families have quite a selection of courses available stated Heidecker, who named the Magic Carpet Ride family literacy course for children aged 0 to 6 years, further noting some of these programs are funded by grants, some by fees, depending on the clients.

Heidecker stated the 2020 pandemic shutdown last spring forced the learning council to make some changes to how and what it offered. 

She stated the learning council tried to adapt as quickly as possible by offering online programming and she stated she was quite proud of how the organization handled those challenges.

Heidecker stated the learning council continued to run 37 courses through online learning, while 28 course were unable to run.

Heidecker stated it’s rewarding to see how adult learning can help local residents. 

She cited the example of one student who began attending courses a year and a half ago who needed some computer use help, then moved on to learning first aid and some life skills help such as financial management.

“That’s what we’re all about at Paintearth Adult Learning,” said Heidecker.

She encouraged councillors who may encounter people in their travels who need learning help but may have struggled with learning in the past to contact the learning council.

Councillors accepted Heidecker’s presentation as information.


Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

ECA Review

About the author

Stu Salkeld

Stu Salkeld, who has upwards of 28 years of experience in the Alberta community newspaper industry, is now covering councils and other news in the Stettler region and has experience working in the area as well.

He has joined the ECA Review as a Local Journalism Initiative Journalist.

Stu earned his two-year diploma in print journalism from SAIT in Calgary from 1993 to ’95 and was raised in Oyen, Alta., one of the communities within the ECA Review’s coverage area.