All About Rabbittown

General Information and Frequently asked Questions
Mission Statement About the Program Students Staff History of the Program Board of Directors Who can attend the program? Hours of Operation How much does it cost? Where is the program located? New Canadian Requirements

Mission Statement

To provide Basic Literacy Level 1 (ABE) training so adults can upgrade reading and writing skills reflective of working conditions and supporting family living, and to provide support and motivation to the student 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 continue on to higher education increase chances for employment.

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.

Curriculum includes;
Social Studies
Government and Law
The Workplace
Introduction to Computers
Consumer Education

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Students of the Rabbittown Learners Program range in age from 19 years and up. The program accommodates twenty-four students and intake is on a continuous basis 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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The Rabbittown Learners Program began in 1988 and employs two ABE Level 1 instructors.

The program is funded by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, Department of Education, 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 need. The 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.

The 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 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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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 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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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

As prescribed by the Department of Education

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 Education. Regular attendance is required to progress in the program.

Open September to June.

Closed July 1st and re-opens the 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 can accommodate 24 students.

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 - 3rd Floor

St. John's, NL

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New Canadian Requirements

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

The individual must present a Canadian Language Benchmark 5 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.
21 Merrymeeting Road
3rd Floor, HUB Building
St. John's, NL

(709) 579-6033