Reading College helping to bolster youngsters’ literacy skills

Officials are proud of the success Red Deer Grade two students are showing

By Emily Rogers

Red Deer Express

Officials at the Red Deer Reading College program are proud of the success Grade two students are showing during the summer reading program.

Teachers in three schools in the Red Deer Public School District were asked to identify students who seemed to be struggling with reading.

Students were then chosen to participate in the Reading College Program, where they are developing their reading skills, and increasing their interest in reading during their summer holidays.

Elvy Goring, coordinator of the Red Deer Reading College Program, said the children are very much enjoying the program, and look forward to the many fun activities that fill their days.

“They are feeling really good about their reading progress,” Goring added.

“When kids struggle it makes school not as fun; all these kids know that school will be easier for them if they could read better. They’re very excited, and they are learning new strategies.”

Goring later said the Reading College Program is not much different than regular schooling, but it is packaged differently.

There are three teachers in each classroom with 21 students in each class.

“We’re able to do really intensive intervention with the kids.”

Goring added at the beginning of the program the teachers wrote notes on the children, and all of the notes had one thing in common. The students were lacking confidence.

However, officials are seeing that change as the participants are gaining more confidence in their abilities.

“At the end of this program, the students will have a whole new confidence in their ability to read, write, spell and be independent. It’s huge for them.”

Heather Hort, a student at the Reading College, said she is having fun at the program, and she likes the teachers and the new friends she has made. While Hort’s classmate, Joshua Massè, said he likes reading now and making new friends everyday.

“They’re learning through hands-on learning activities, which are really fun for them. Everyday the instructors see progress and the students are trying more,” said Paulette Hanna, vice president Academic at RDC.

Hanna added, “The program in the last six years has had great success; students reach grade level or beyond. They go into the next school year with confidence and feeling great about reading and writing.

” I think its wonderful – a great opportunity for students, for the graduate teachers to work with these children and for the parents.”