A 54-year-old lumber mill worker who upgraded his reading andwriting skills through a workplace literacy program has justlaunched his first book. Mel Lively, of Nine Mile River, wrote Mel’s Story, a chronicle ofhis life in the woods and the lumber mill, with his tutor. Herecently completed a Workplace Education program through ElmsdaleLumber, where he works in the planer mill. Mel’s Story was officially launched today, Sept. 8, duringInternational Literacy Day celebrations in Dartmouth, where Mr.Lively received the Workplace Education Ambassador Award fromEducation Minister Jamie Muir. “It is hard to put into words how good this makes me feel,” saidMr. Lively. “I would especially like to thank my tutor, KimHutchison, for her patience and the Department of Education forits support. Without the support of my employer, Elmsdale Lumber,I am not sure if I would have ever gone back to school. At myage, I didn’t think anything like this would have been possible.” The Workplace Education Initiative creates partnerships betweenthe Department of Education, labour groups and companies likeElmsdale Lumber, to help workers upgrade reading and math skills. More than 1,200 workers at 55 workplaces have taken advantage ofthe program. The Workplace Education Initiative is part of SkillsNova Scotia, the co-ordinating strategy for the provincial skillsagenda. “This book is a wonderful emblem of the benefits of adultlearning,” said Mr. Muir. “The book tells us about logging, butMr. Lively’s story tells us much more about what can beaccomplished with determination and a little support.” Mr. Lively began working in the woods at an early age. After atree felling accident, he left the woods and began work in theplaner mill. His employer, Elmsdale Lumber, offered a WorkplaceEducation program, and Mel returned to learning. One of hisproudest accomplishments is being able to read to and writestories for his two grandsons. “We know that the completion of Mel’s Story is only the beginningfor Mel,” said Gennie Himelman, office manager, Elmsdale Lumber.”Mel must feel like an athlete who has just completed the BostonMarathon and at the finish line are all his fans here at ElmsdaleLumber. He will continue to improve his skills and we willcontinue to offer him our support in any way we can.” Workplace Education Program information is available through theDepartment of Education by calling 902-424-0492.