Many in the community of Stoughton and surrounding areamay not know that completing their grade 12 after they have left school is as near as their town legion.
The southeast regional collegemakes adult basic education available toanyone who is 19 yrs. of age or older and has been out of school for at least a year. Since Sept. 2010 the college has beenofferingclassesin the Stoughton Legion hall's basement from Tuesday to Friday 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Cheryl Popplestone the ABE teacher states the classes being offered for the school year are determined by the needs of the students and this school year three core subjects are being offered: gr. 12 English Language Arts, grade 11 Math, grade ten math and gr. 10 Science.Last school year Sherry Sheepskin from Ocean Man graduated with her grade 12 from the on-reserve program.
This school year enrollment is at nine students but there is room for at least 6 more. Currently all nine students are from Ocean Man First Nations located north of Stoughton. One student from Creelman transferred to Weyburn for a second semester. Yorkton Tribal Council pays for the busing of the students, the rent of the basement and also a lunch meal program. There are various programs that offer financial assistanceto those who qualify.
The southeast Regional College has been offering ABE to Stoughton and area residents for the past 10 years; the classes have always been at Ocean man until this last fall when they relocated to the Stoughton Legion.
All of the students that I spoke with when I visited the school said they would not be pursuing their grade 12 thru ABE if it weren't so readily available. Clearly perhaps the most attractive feature about it is the fact that students have the opportunity to pursue their education close to home; they do not have to travel far, can still live at home with their families, be close to their childrenand if child care is needed it can be easily accessible through family members.
A counsellor comes from Weyburn Regional College on a weekly basis to the Stoughton siteand provides information, instruction, encouragement and counseling as to how best to reach the student's educational goals.
ABE gives individuals a chance to start over at their own level and develop skills and knowledge from there. Because classes are small, there is lots of opportunity for one-on-one instruction. Financial assistance is available to help individuals obtain their education.
This is not Popplestone's first year as teaching ABE. This is her 4th year with the Regional College. She has beenan educator all of her life beginning as a teacher in the public school system. Her qualificationsmake her especially suited for her current career choice. She has one year certificate from Teacher's College, a Bachelor in General Studies, a Masters in Special education and a Masters in Counseling. She is a Certified Canadian Counsellor.
The Stoughton site's students are all committed to finishing their education and some have had to overcome significant obstacles to be there. The school atmosphere is positive, encouraging, student focused and all about success!
For more information you may contact Cheryl Popplesone at : 306-433-4703 or Jamie Mayoh-Bauche at 306-848-2331.