Former OPIRG McMaster “Nonviolence Now!” volunteer Jeanette Eby in action!

(Following article from the Hamilton Spectator)

Jeanette Eby is the coordinator of McMaster University's new Discovery Program, which recuits people from the community for a non-credit course being taught at the Hamilton Public Library. The goal is to provide education for people who might not otherwise have access to it.
Jeanette Eby – co-ordinator Jeanette Eby is the
coordinator of McMaster University’s new Discovery 
Program, which recuits people from the community 
for a non-credit course being taught at the 
Hamilton Public Library. 
The goal is to provide education for people 
who might not otherwise have access to it.

Cathie Coward/The Hamilton Spectator

Students set out to discover Hamilton

A select group of Hamiltonians are about to undergo a unique educational experience that may have been out of reach for them — until now.
Saturday is the first day of class for 22 students enrolled in Voicing Hamilton, a new and free, eight-week course through McMaster University’s Discovery Program at Hamilton’s Central Library.
Students range in age from their 20s to 70s, and many have faced barriers preventing them from furthering their education.
Program co-ordinator Jeanette Eby connected with neighbourhood hubs and community organizations across the city to create a diverse outreach initiative. About 35 people applied for the spots and 22 were chosen.
“It’s exciting, because everyone is coming from a different place, but the common ground is the love for learning,” said Eby.
She hopes that by taking the course, students will find their voice and build confidence that will keep them on a path to lifelong learning.
Some students never had the opportunity to go to university because they had to work, support their family, had health issues or couldn’t afford it. Some are not from Canada originally, and have never been to school here. Some of the students were drawn to the Hamilton-centric course content.
“It’s about different expressions of Hamilton through literature and history and art. It’s a mix of wanting to learn about the community and having a really good supportive learning experience that they hadn’t had access to before,” said Eby.
McMaster professor Daniel Coleman was hired to teach the class and he proposed the idea to base this year’s course on Hamilton.
“The idea is that together we’ll read history, poetry, photographs and cartoons, a whole bunch of things by artists from and in Hamilton,” said Coleman, who is with the English and cultural studies faculty.
He says the objectives are to provide students with university experience, and give McMaster a better idea of what Hamilton looks like from a broad, local perspective.
Students from McMaster’s arts and science program will act as the support team, helping the Voicing Hamilton students work on projects.
The first part of each class will be spent learning the materials, which include four textbooks donated by the Hamilton Public Library, all written by Hamiltonians. The second part includes a workshop session, where students will generate their own stories of Hamilton through essays, photographs, drawings or whatever they choose.
There will be mandatory attendance, assignments and a final project. Students will not be a given any academic credits, but they will receive a certificate after they complete the course.
The pilot program was funded by McMaster University, the Hamilton Community Foundation, City of Hamilton, Hamilton Public Library, the Adult Basic Education Association and Wesley Urban Ministries.