EDMONTON – EDUCATION – The Alberta government are supporting summer literacy camps that will help hundreds of Indigenous students build their literacy and numeracy skills so they can have greater success in school.
The camps are being offered to Indigenous students in 14 communities across Alberta this summer through Frontier College, a national charitable literacy organization. The camps and additional supports for students are being made possible through a $1.6 million grant over the next three years.
“Our government is committed to protecting and improving education and closing the achievement gap for First Nations, Métis and Inuit students. Supporting Frontier College’s highly successful summer literacy camp program means more children in Alberta can build their literacy and numeracy skills over the summer months,” says David Eggen, Minister of Education.
The funding includes year-round literacy programming in five camp communities throughout the school year. A coalition of camp staff and education assistants will help with various community projects, including literacy workshops, homework clubs and community-based literacy projects that benefit families and communities-at-large.
“With the help and support of Frontier College, Tsuut’ina has been able to create an inspiring and fun experience for the children. Su Cha Ama (shooting stars) Literacy Camp is passionate about getting campers involved and using their curious minds. They are able to connect with their community and the different resources available as they engage in the program. Traditional values and knowledge are a key part of this community – and campers value the opportunity to learn about who they truly are. Our goal is always to foster a love of reading and increase self-confidence – but the results that we get to appreciate go so much deeper than this. Siyisgaas for the opportunity to create something that is special to Tsuut’ina!”, comments Tash Badio and Naomi Eagletail, Tsuut’ina Nation
In addition to providing literacy support for children and youth, the camps also provide summer employment opportunities for residents by training and employing local staff.
With the support of camp counsellors, Elders, parents and community members, students can expand their vocabularies and increase their love of reading through storytelling, group reading, arts and crafts, writing, cultural activities and field trips.
“Our camps incorporate fun activities that help children foster a love of reading and give them the confidence they need to do well in school. Many of the communities we partner with are in rural and isolated locations where learning supports and opportunities may be limited, especially during the summer months. There is a measurable difference in the literacy skills of students that attend camp, and the feedback from students, teachers, families and communities has been extremely positive,” adds Richard Harvey, regional manager (Alberta, British Columbia and Yukon), Frontier College.
The summer literacy camp program started in northern Ontario in 2005 in an effort to support student success and maintain performance between school years. The program has since expanded to more than 140 communities across Canada.