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Igniting the Power Within 2009 – 2011

Igniting the Power Within Facilitators from Manitoba
Project Summary

In the Atlantic Provinces the employment and literacy rates are among the lowest in Canada. In today’s uncertain economic climate the need for adult learners to recognize the necessity for essential skills is greater than ever. They also need to recognize and document the skills they have. This recognition will improve their ability to achieve meaningful and lasting employment. Igniting the Power Within (IPW) is a program that addresses this need.

Igniting the Power Within is a training model that was developed for and by Aboriginals in Manitoba. The model was very successful helping Aboriginals identify and document their skills to help them find more meaningful employment. This training model used storytelling as a key teaching method. There were no PowerPoint presentations, but instead real people telling their stories of overcoming obstacles in life and finding success. The training is delivered in four two-day workshops spread across a year.

The PEI Literacy Alliance wanted to see if this model would also benefit both aboriginals in the Atlantic Provinces as well as non-Aboriginals. We invited the IPW presenters from Manitoba to come to PEI and present their model through four workshops. 46 community leaders working with both Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal people across Atlantic Canada took part in some or all of this unique professional development opportunity. The workshops were held in Charlottetown, PEI.

Participants were trained in identifying essential skills, prior learning assessment recognition, portfolio development, coaching others, and self reflection. Specifically, participants learned about the Essential Skills and how to help their clients identify what skills they have. They learned how to talk with a client to pull out details of their life and identify specific skills. They learned how to help their clients create a portfolio to
document their skills and to create a visual story of their life. Participants then learned how to help their clients sell their skills to potential employers.

This project was funded by the Government of Canada’s Office of Literacy and Essential Skills.

Read the External Evaluation Report.

To learn more about the Igniting the Power Within model please visit
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Success Stories

My name is Terry Affleck and I learned to read at the age of 63 and today at 65 I am enrolled at Holland College to prepare for my GED. More...

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