National Forum for Adult Literacy Tutors 2017
Saturday 28th January

Reporting from the National Forum for Adult Literacy Tutors 2017, Philomena O’Connor from the Killarney ABE Centre shares her experience of this year’s NALA conference which included, amongst several excellent presentations and workshops, a frightening insight into the truth of sugar in our diets…
I was fortunate enough this year to attend the NALA conference in the Ashling Hotel on Saturday 28 January last. It was my first time attending the conference and I was extremely impressed with all the speakers. In particular, I thoroughly enjoyed a talk by Maggie O’Sullivan Graham and Paula Tiller who gave a great presentation on “The Seven Habits Tree”. Following their talk, I look forward to purchasing “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teenagers” which is available through the
I also attended the “Cook it” workshop which was presented by Dr. Kate Cassidy, Health Promotion Office, and Deirdre Howling, Senior Community Dietician with the HSE South. The purpose of this workshop was to explore fun and innovative ways of delivering Community Nutrition and included a specific reference to a book called “Cook it” which is available from
One of the most amazing learning outcomes for me on the day was realising the amount of sugar that we consume on a daily basis. Can you believe that one can of Club Orange has fifteen spoons of sugar in? It is water all the way for me from now on! The speakers used the powerful imagery of sugar cubes (each cube representing one spoonful of sugar) to convey their message and I believe this visual aide could easily be incorporated into a numeracy class with highly effective learning outcomes.
Dr. Cassidy also spoke very well on the topic of ‘building on the positive’. Her theory is that instead of telling us not to consume more sugar we should instead increase our intake of fruit and vegetables. Therefore, we should be looking for ‘enablers’ rather than ‘barriers’ to help us in leading healthier lives.
I came away from the Forum feeling more enlightened and with a more positive attitude to life and I can’t wait to see what NALA has planned for their workshops next year. Well done to all involved – it was most certainly worth the three hour trip from Kerry to Dublin.
Philomena O’Connor