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County of Forty Mile

Community Profile:

  • Includes Foremost, Bow Island, Burdett, Etzikom, Whitlaw, Manyberries, Skiff and Hoping.
  • Low German Mennonite (Mexico, U.S.)

English Language Learner Support Services:

  • Write Break Literacy Project (Bow Island site)

  • Tutoring Program

  • Drop-In Centre

  • Drop-in courses (drivers’ ed., pre-welding for apprenticeship)

  • Mennonite Conference – Held annually as a way to create conversation between community agencies and the Mennonite population, while building community knowledge.

Community Challenges:

  • Language – Issues arise around health care, schooling, employment because of low English language abilities.

  • Location – Access to service/classes (County of 40 Mile covers a large land area and many communities, so it is often hard to provide service that doesn’t require a drive for the learners.)

  • ESL Literacy – Most Low German Mennonites have not had access to education beyond Grade 6, with some having even less. This makes language programming more complex.

  • Early school leaving for children (age 12) – Keeping numbers in schools to sustain community schools and to improve access to the workforce (high school completion)

  • Seasonal Employment – Many learners are farm workers, so programming must accommodate their schedules.

  • Shortage of Instructors/Tutors – We need a handful of people in each community identified above to help with everyday language and with community assimilation. 

Community Support:

  • Family Community Support Services

  • Tru-co

  • Kamber Fab

  • Alberta Health Services

  • Best Babies/Building Blocks

  • Municipal Libraries – Bow Island and Foremost

  • Evangelical Free Church (day class venue)

  • Senator Gershaw School (evening class venue)

Local Contact:

Forty Mile Community Adult Learning Association
Jodi Cassell , Executive Director