Annual Reading College underway

Reading College has made its way back to the Red Deer College campus for its fifth year.

Reading College is about helping second graders improve reading comprehension in small classes by using fun games and methods that might not be found at school.

“We wanted to have it (Reading College) here at the College because we also want to expose the kids to not just a regular school classroom,” said Bruce Buruma, executive director for the Foundation for Red Deer Public Schools. “We want them to come to the college because the kids don’t realize what their future opportunities are and their potential is.”

Buruma said parents can sit back and take a breather from the hustle and bustle that comes with raising children as the Reading College provides buses to pick up the students in the morning and a bus to return them home at the end of the day.

The elimination of barriers that might prevent children from attending the school is a big initiative for organizers.

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“We try to make it easy for kids and parents,” he said.

Each year the program chooses six graduates of the RDC middle years Bachelor of Education program along with three additional mentor teachers, who are all retired but have experience in teaching reading, writing and phonics, say organizers.

RDC plays a big role in the program’s success as organizers say they chose to have the Reading College located on the RDC campus because the children could get a picture of the things they can do with their futures when they get into learning.

The Optimist Club also plays a big role in funding that goes towards keeping the camp running.

“They jumped on board right away,” said Buruma. “They ran a cheers for kids radio-thon, they have personal donors, and they have been the main sponsors of the Reading College.”

According to the Optimist Club web site, all 4,000 locations of the worldwide club help with more than 65,000 service project, spending $78 million, which goes to helping over six million youth.

“It started out as a dream,” he said. “But five years later and now it’s a dream come true, it only could have come true with the support of the community.

“It’s all done through community fundraising and support so that’s an essential piece of it.”

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