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Highland Park Community House Tutor Wins Award

6 September 2004

Highland Park Community House Tutor Wins Award

Highland Park Community House has achieved another milestone this week. Sheryl Simpson, a tutor of English conversation classes at the facility, has won the 'Exceptional Adult Educator' award which she will receive at a breakfast for Adult Learning Week, on Wednesday 8 September.

This follows on the heels of Manukau City Council’s announcement last week of Highland Park Community House’s ‘Innovative Provider’ award for Adult Learners’ Week, He Tangata Matauranga.

Sheryl is thrilled with her win, and says she is proud to work at the House, whose excellent programmes are practical and cater for the changing needs of the community they serve. “The range of activities at the Highland Park Community House has always been designed to reflect and meet the recreational, social, spiritual and educational needs of the diverse community of the Howick and Pakuranga areas.

“Community Houses have been established to provide a space where people can meet and also take part in classes and activities developed to meet the needs of the community. I am proud to be part of that.”

Highland Park Co-ordinator, Sandy Ryan is ecstatic at their second win this week saying, “Sheryl is so deserving of this award. Her commitment to her students is amazing and the results speak for themselves. Sheryl has stood out from our very competent Adult Learner tutors whose diverse programmes add value to our new immigrants’ lives; whilst at the same time encouraging more adults to continue with study throughout their lives.”

Sheryl Simpson has been a teacher of adults for the last seventeen years in Palmerston North and Whangarei. Her work has always been community based and revolved around computer tuition coupled with business studies and communications. Amongst other roles, which have always been people orientated, she has also worked in public relations organizing conferences and conventions.

“I am honoured to accept this award”, she says, “which reflects not only my success but the many other highly professional tutors at the Community House achieving great things with their students. We are very much helped by our pro-active Co-ordinator, Sandy Ryan, who encourages students to establish friendships and networks thus enabling them to develop confidence and improve the quality of their lives in many ways.

“Manukau has a culturally diverse population which includes high numbers of new immigrants and, in particular, those of Asian ethnicity living in Pakuranga. We have tailored our range of classes to help them and other cultural groups make the transition more easily into the New Zealand way of life.

“My programme aligns with Manukau City Council’s New Settlers’ Policy, with English conversation classes catering for different abilities, ranging from beginners, intermediate to advanced. This is just one of the many classes which aim to give new immigrants the tools to integrate successfully into a new culture.

“The immigrants who come to Highland Park Community House are from many parts of the world and are keen learners - a pleasure to teach. I also like to consider myself a facilitator, encouraging students to learn from each other. With the wealth of knowledge they all possess we have some fascinating sessions sharing our experiences. Through conversation about a range of topics which can be as basic as the weather, or New Zealand focused as Maori legends, they learn and develop confidence in their English speaking abilities.

“It is a pleasure to see their progress and to know I have helped to improve the quality of their lives, making them happier more confident citizens able to contribute positively in their newly adopted country.”

Highland Park Community House is keen to see new students enrol for term four. A copy of the programme can be obtained from the Community House, phone:
534 5584 or Manukau Libraries, Recreation Centres, Howick Information Service, Citizens Advice Bureaux and the Council website www.manukau.govt.nz


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