The STAR Awards (Showcasing Teamwork, Awarding Recognition) are an awards initiative coordinated by AONTAS as part of the annual Adult Learners' Festival to acknowledge the fantastic work undertaken by adult learning initiatives throughout Ireland. The awards celebrate the positive contribution that these initiatives make to individual adult learners, local communities and wider society.
Adult and community education is about more than receiving a qualification. From improved confidence to better health, the wider benefits are far-reaching and can have a hugely positive impact on a person’s life, family and wider community. That’s why AONTAS have overhauled our award categories this year to focus on promoting wellbeing; social inclusion; digital inclusion; and ensuring that the learner’s voice is heard.
There have been a number of major changes to the 2017 STAR Awards. The first of these is that nominations are now invited under four new categories:
- Adult Learning Initiatives that Promote Wellbeing
- Adult Learning Initiatives that Promote Digital Inclusion
- Adult Learning Initiatives that Promote Social Inclusion
- Adult Learning Initiatives that Promote the Learner Voice
They have als put a question in regarding EU collaboration in the hope that we will be able to see how many initiatives have European links.
They have also put in place an online nomination system called AwardForce. Some of the outstanding features of this are:
- You can save and return to your nomination at a later date
- You can make changes to your nomination right up until the deadline
- Supporting evidence such as pictures and videos will be accepted
- Feedback from the judges will be available
For 2017 they also have some new fantastic prizes for the winning initiatives:
Recognition: A hand-crafted award that symbolises the high level of recognition for your work
Developing your practice: An opportunity to participate in continuous professional development in a European country through the ERASMUS+ mobility programme
Promoting your work: a professional photography and video session that you can use to promote your organisation
To nominate an adult learning initiative, please visit www.adultlearnersfestival.awardsplatform.com . The deadline for receipt of nominations is Wednesday 14th December 2016. Winners will be announced at the STAR Awards ceremony in Dublin on Monday 6th March. This will be the opening event of the Adult Learners’ Festival 2017 which takes place from the 6th – 10th March 2017. The theme for the week is 'The Power and Joy of Learning'. For more information on the Festival visit: www.adultlearnersfestival.com.