Rabbittown Learners Program


About the Rabbittown Learners Program

General Information

Mission Statement

To provide Basic Literacy Level 1 (ABE) training so adults can upgrade reading and writing skills reflective of working conditions and supportive family living, and to provide support and motivation to the adult learner with the purpose of helping them achieve personal goals.

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About the Program

The Rabbittown Learners Program is a Basic Literacy / ABE Level 1 Program which offers upgrading for persons wishing to advance to the Grade Six level of education in order to increase chances for employment, or to carry on to higher education.

While there is no minimum level of education required to enter the program, New Canadian students are required to pass the Level 5 Canadian Language Benchmark.

Course subject matter includes;

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About the Students

Students of the Rabbittown Learners Program range in age from 19 years and up. The number of students in the program is twenty-four and students enter and leave the program throughout the year depending on their needs and their achievements while in the program.

The Rabbittown Learners Program offers students a relaxed and supportive learning environment where they work at their own pace without pressure. The program operates on the belief that with proper respect, encouragement, understanding and patience, anything is possible.

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About the Staff

The Rabbittown Learners Program began in 1988 and now employs two qualified, ABE Level I instructors.

The program is funded by the Department of Advanced Education and Skills, as well as other sources, and overseen by a volunteer Board of Directors.

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History of the Program

The Rabbittown Learners Program was established in 1988 in response to a neighborhood in great need, and financial support was received from the Federal Department of Employment and Immigration. The mandate at the time was to provide social and development support to individuals living in the St. John's area described as "Rabbittown."

The co-founders for this program were Shirley Hickey and Francis Ennis. The program started on 26 Graves Street, a unit provided by Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation.

Original purpose for the program was to provide basic academic skills for the participants but more importantly, to provide life skills related to spending habits, food purchase, family feeding, health and hygiene, employment preparation and social skills.

In the mid and late 1990's the Rabbittown Program shifted it's focus to a more intensified academic training program and also moved to a larger operating site at Peet Street.

By 1999 the Provincial Department of Education certified the program and its teaching staff for a Basic Literacy/Level 1 Adult Basic Education (ABE) Program. Around this time the program moved to its current location which is larger and more accessible, at 21 Merrymeeting Road. The Program now functions as a certified academic program and subject to the basic curriculum as designated by the Department of Education.

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About the Board of Directors

The Board is the governing body for the Rabbittown Learners Program. The program is registered with the Government of Newfoundland as an Incorporation Without Share Capital and also as a Registered Charity under the Income Tax Act with legal title as The Rabbittown Learners Program Inc.

The Board is responsible for acquiring funding for the program and for administration. The Board is accountable for orderly operation of the program within the terms and conditions of the government sponsorship as well as commitments under the Provincial Charity Incorporation and the Federal Income Tax Act.

The board is made up of a chairperson and a minimum of two directors for the purposes of the continuity and accountability of the legal, ethical, and ongoing administration of the program

The Board meets several times each year to review operations, to address issues, and to ensure adherence to policies and procedures.

Board decisions are based on consensus and requires a collegial approach to discussions and resolutions. Decisions are recorded along with the minutes of board meetings.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Who can attend the program?

The students who attend Rabbittown Learners Program are first tested to determine education level and then are accepted to the program if they are identified at a grade level from Kindergarten to Grade 6, are 19 years of age or older, and if seats are available.

The program operates on a continuous intake basis, therefore enrolment of students continues throughout the academic year.

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Hours of Operation

The program operates Monday to Thursday, 8:45 AM to 2:45 PM and Fridays, 8:45 AM to 11:45 AM.

This gives each student 25 hours of instruction per week as prescribed by the Department of Advanced Education and Skills. Regular attendance is required in order to progress in the program.

Open September to June.

Closed July 1st and re-open day after Labor Day.

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How much does it cost?

For most students there is no cost and all books and materials are provided free of charge.

The program is funded significantly by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and require a population of 24 students in attendance.

Financial support is also provided by other government departments and agencies to purchase seats in the program and in some cases provide financial support to students.

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Where is the program located?

Rabbittown Learners Program Inc.
21 Merrymeeting Road,
St. John's, NL

New Canadian Requirements

The Department of Advanced Education and Skills has set the following guideline for its regional offices for ABE referral purposes.

The individual must present a Level 5 ESL Certificate and agree to complete the CAAT or Brigance for Level I.

Therefore, any New Canadians wishing to attend the Rabbittown Learners Program, to complete level I, must enter the program with a Canadian Language Benchmark 5.

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Rabbittown Learners Program, Inc. © 1988 - 2015