To further showcase all the programming that is available. staff at the Stettler Learning Centre are prepping for an open house on Sept. 23.
The event runs from 2 to 6 p.m. at the Centre, which is located at 4911 – 51 St.
“We warmly welcome people to come, and they can get a tour of the facility and have a chance to speak with the student advisors and any of the staff and board members that will be there,” said Erin Wilkie, the Centre’s manager.
Guests can also enter a draw to win a Chromebook.
Meanwhile, Wilkie said staff and volunteers haven’t as of yet been able to host an official grand opening for the relatively new location due to pandemic restrictions and closures. “This year, we just decided that we needed to do something – we’ve done well to get the word (of the current location) out to the community, but I think as a staff, we want to show off our new space. We haven’t had a chance to do that, and we are very proud of it.
“So it’s an opportunity – it’s not a ‘grand opening’ but it’s an open house. And we are satisfied with that.”
On the programming end, it’s looking to be a solid year with a wide spectrum of educational opportunities.
“We’ve taken a little longer to get things rolling, but things have fallen into place really well,” she said of laying down plans in the age of shifting restrictions and such.
“There is going to be general interest programs, and English language classes coming up right away as well,” she said, adding that there is also a new initiative called Rural Routes to Climate Solutions that is available to check out as well.
Also running are the health care aid and practical nurse programs.
“The nice thing to is that on our web site, we have a monthly calendar up now, too. If you go to stettlerlearning.com, we have more courses coming, and people can go there and see the updates,” she added.
“September is about getting back into the groove with rolling out programming. It’s exciting. We are also trying a new program here called the Home Alone course,” she said, adding they already had a wait list within a couple of days.
It’s being presented via Magnified Training Services and is for young folks who are on the cusp of learning to stay at home for bit of time by themselves.
Meanwhile, coping with the impacts of the pandemic has certainly not been without its challenges.
Shortly after Wilkie came onboard, there was a relocation project to tackle as well. And two months later, COVID-19 hit.
“What a ride to look back on when the dust eventually settles with everything,” she said. “The learning curve for everyone – in the pandemic – has been substantial. And moving forward, I don’t know if we will ever offer a course that isn’t blended where you have the options of being in-person and online. I don’t know if we will go back to those days.
“It blows me out of the water when i think of all the things we have learned,” she said.
“I want people to succeed, to be happy and to be confident,”she added of what continues to fuel her enthusiasm for her work.
“I also give so much credit to my staff. So I want to be able to do what I can from a management position to support them, so that they can support the community. And number one – my staff just amazes me on a daily basis,” she added.
“It’s also really amazing what the Centre offers, and I had no idea of it when I started working here.
“Another thing that I am proud of is the exposure Peggy (Vockeroth) and I have helped to give the Centre through the Road Show,” she added.
She and fellow staffer Peggy Vockeroth have been visiting various organizations around town – in person and virtually – to spread the word about the Centre, and it’s made a notable difference in bolstering the facility’s profile via the ‘Peg & Erin Roadshow’.
“It’s also really about building those relationships.”