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About Us

The Valley Community Learning Association (VCLA) is a not-for-profit charitable group that works to raise the literacy levels of adults in Kings and Annapolis Counties, in Nova Scotia, Canada. VCLA does this by offering a range of free classes and 1-1 tutoring in such areas as the GED, basic literacy and numeracy, English as an additional language, health literacy, family literacy, computer literacy, trades-related upgrading and youth programming. 

Our history. Five people holding signs in front of a crowd saying "Literacy Makes Cents" "Literacy is Key" and "Learn = Earn"

our history

Beginning in Kings County in 1989 as the Kings County Learning Association, the organization provides a forum for learners, community groups, instructors, tutors, publicly funded agencies and businesses to enhance the literacy levels of community members and new immigrants in both Kings and Annapolis Counties.

Governed by a volunteer Board of Directors, the organization has been a registered charity since 1995 (89993 3386 RR0001).

our mission

We work with individuals and groups to provide educational programs, advocacy, and information. We believe we can build stronger communities through adult learning. Our guiding mission is to help adults reach their learning goals.

our vision

To continue to be a progressive, learner-centred, adult learning organization responsive to our community throughout the entirety of our jurisdiction (Kings and Annapolis County). This means GED, EAL, literacy, numeracy, remedial reading, family literacy, computer skills and health literacy.

Our values. Older picture of two ladies holding a sign Literacy Makes Cents

our values

Values guide the policy decisions and actions of the Valley Community Learning Association. We believe in:

  1. Lifelong learning
  2. Focusing on learners’ needs
  3. Respecting diversity
  4. Learner involvement
  5. Respect and fairness
  6. Non-judgment and confidentiality
  7. Equitable opportunity
  8. Working with the most difficult to serve
  9. Accountability to all stakeholders
  10. Building stronger communities through learning
  11. The value of communication

our awards

Celebrating Communities Award 2005 Excellence in client service

In November 2005, KCLA, as we were then known, was the recipient of the Celebrating Innovative Communities Award: Excellence in Client Service.

Nova Scotia Family Literacy Achievement Award

Each year the Skills and Learning Branch of the Nova Scotia Department of Labour and Workforce Development recognizes excellence in family literacy programming.

In 2008, VCLA was the provincial winner for their family literacy project: the Electronic Heritage Site, an oral history project in partnership with Annapolis Valley First Nation in Cambridge.

our team

Cris Aetolz

IT & Instructor

Donna Allan

English Language Coordinator

Sophie Bérubé

YESS and Family Literacy Coordinator

Angie Carreira


Penny Clarke


Sandi Dennis

Finance and Accounting

Darren Drew

Carpentry & Maintenance

Marsha Freckelton

Accounting EAL Instructor

Peter Gillis

Executive Director

Tara Jackson

Community Hub Receptionist

Diane Leverington

English Tutor Coordinator

Irene Nickerson

Adult Learning Instructor

Jenny Osburn


Tracy Parker

Lifestreams Program Coordinator

Joy Power

GED Instructor

Brandon Stevens

General Intake and Assessment

Angelika Storost


Shawna Young

GED Instructor

Lisa Hammett Vaughan

EAL Instructor