By Emily Rogers
Red Deer Express
The Red Deer Reading College Program aims to motivate students into reading during summer holidays to keep their skills sharp.
Teachers in three schools in the Red Deer Public School District were asked to identify students who seemed to be struggling with reading in their Grade two classes. Students were then chosen to participate in the Reading College Program, where they are developing their reading skills, and increasing their interest in reading at Red Deer College.
Bruce Buruma, director of community relations with Red Deer Public Schools, said there has been a need for the Reading College Program, and it has been well received by the community.
He added families from outside of the Red Deer Public School District have also inquired about enrolling their children into the program.
Children eligible for the Reading College program are students who are ending Grade two, and falling behind in reading.
“For a child who is struggling with reading, it’s easy to lose interest and start down the road of giving up,” officials added.
Buruma said the program is in high demand as the goal is that the students are successful in their school careers.
He added, “Students run the risk of falling behind, and dropping (in their) reading levels if they’re not engaged.”
Children enrol in the Reading College program attend RDC for five days a week for four weeks.
The students receive direct support from a master teacher, and RDC education students.
Mornings are filled with literacy exercises and the afternoons are packed with literacy activities.
Buruma added he realizes the students are still having summer holidays, and they want the children to have fun while at Reading College.
“We want to encourage literacy; it’s an important part of summer.”
The reasoning behind the program being held at RDC is also strategic – Buruma said it’s a good thing to have the Grade twos exposed to a college classroom environment.
It gives the students an opportunity to see some of the courses offered at RDC, and also helps to get them excited about being enrolled in college in the future.
The Red Deer Reading College Program is considered an, “Above and Beyond Program,” Buruma said, as the program is funded through donors such as RDC, the Tim Hortons Smile Cookie fundraiser, the Optimist Club of Red Deer and many others.
Buruma also added the community has been extremely supportive of the Reading College Program, and for that the families of the students are very grateful of the community and everyone who has turned this program into a reality to help their children be successful in the upcoming school year.