South Island Literacy invites residents to share their experiences from throughout the pandemic for the Pandemic Postcard Project. (File-South Island Literacy website)

Learning groups offer engaging opportunities for Sooke residents

Pandemic Post Card project reflects residents experiences during COVID-19

Two local initiatives are encouraging Sooke residents never to stop learning and sharing their experiences.

Sooke Region Life Long Learning has offered programs for adults in the region over the last three years, and now, provides learning sessions virtually.

The workshops cover a range of topics.

Many of the upcoming workshops will look at healthy eating, exploring the human relationship with nature, the Russian Revolution, electric vehicles and changes to the economic market due to COVID-19, and more.

The programs once offered in person at SEAPARC Leisure Centre and different locations in Sooke will now be held online due to the pandemic. The first workshop for this fall will start on Sept. 10 at 1 p.m. 

All workshops are free and are open to adults.

The meetings are held over Zoom, and those who wish to participate can register by sending an email to sookeregionlifelonglearning@gmail.com. Once you register, you’re sent a Zoom link by email closer to the date of the program start.

For more information and to browse upcoming workshops, please go online to sookeregionchn.org.

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Also, a local literacy program is inviting Sooke residents to join in on an interactive project to reflect Sooke residents’ experiences during COVID-19.

The Pandemic Postcard Project invites community members to write, draw, or send photographs reflecting what has been happening in their lives during self-isolation.

Sarah Richer, Sooke Region Literacy Outreach coordinator, said she was inspired after seeing other communities doing something similar. 

“I was interested to hear what people have been doing. Sooke is a very creative community, and I think it is helpful for people to write about their experiences and reflect on how they coped over the past months. So much changed all at once, and people adapted very quickly,” said Richer. “Maybe the stories can also help inspire others.”

The project is hosted by South Island Literacy, which encourages learning for residents throughout Greater Victoria.

“When you think back on the last two months, what stands out in your mind?” reads the project website. “What were you inspired to do? How did you cope with difficult moments? What did you read?”

Richer will collect submissions until mid-September and then piece everything together into a book that will be available for people once completed.

Participants can send in drawings, photos, digital documents, or pieces of writing to contribute to the book. Richer asks that those who send in a piece of writing limit it to one page.

“My goal is to allow the community to reflect and share,” said Richer.

“It’s about community building and recognizing this shared experience we all have. This is a big moment in history, and we should be encouraging people to capture their stories.”

Those who wish to participate can send in their submissions to sookeliteracy@gmail.com. For more information, please visit southislandliteracy.com.

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