Graduation Day for students of The Salvation Army STEP program

by blairmalaz
Categories: Prairie News

On the morning of June 21st, 2019 the graduates of The Salvation Army STEP program stood outside the chapel at The Salvation Army Weetamah Corps, waiting to be ushered in to receive recognition for all their hard work.

“Twice a year we have graduations, they are the biggest days of our year,” said Mandy Marsland Program Supervisor, STEP

The Stages Education Program or STEP, is a safe and friendly community-based adult literacy program that is open to anyone with a low literacy level, usually below a grade 6. There are two stages in the STEP literacy program. Stage 1 is for students with reading levels ranging from non-reader to grade 3 and Stage 2 is for reading levels of grade 3 to grade 6. There is no set curriculum so that an education plan can be developed for each student, as an individual. This facilitates a positive, encouraging and non-judgemental learning environment.

Judy Normand gives a speech discussing her success completing Step 2 of the program.

This graduation is a celebration of the successes of 2 students completing Stage 1 (non-reader to gr.3), 4 students completing Stage 2 (gr.3 – gr.6) and one student earning a certificate of participation for readying himself to move into an English as an Additional Language program.

Each grad, dressed in cap and gown as they made their way across the stage, received a gift and a rose. Grads were given the option to give a speech from the podium.

“This is big deal for some of them because when they first come to the program intake, they are asked to read out loud, the first thing they say is, “I don’t read in front of people, I can’t do that!” said Marsland.

One of these heartfelt, emotional speeches was given by Judy Normand. Judy completed her Stage 2 while working full time.

“It was kind of hard, but the school worked with me. If I had a problem at work they would let me go do what I had to do. If I needed a day off, they would always help me get caught up. Staff was always helpful, never made us feel worthless or stupid, and always had good things to say.”  said Stage 2 grad, Judy Normand.

After the ceremony, the students and their friends and family were invited for a lunch reception and cake presentation.

The Salvation Army STEP Program is made possible because of generous donations. If you would like to donate and help give hope today, CLICK HERE

If you know someone who’s interested in going back to school to work on their grade 6 and under reading/writing skills, give The Salvation Army WKRP/STEP staff a call at 204.946.9141.

If you would like more information about this or any other of our programs, please contact The Salvation Army development office at 204.975.1033.