THUNDER BAY – Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Grand Chief Stan Beardy together with The Honourable David C. Onley, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, welcomed more than 100 youth counsellors for their orientation today, as they embark on a summer-long effort to help improve literacy skills among youth in NAN communities.
The initiative falls under the Lieutenant Governor’s Aboriginal Summer Reading Camp (LGASRC) program.
“This program makes a significant difference in the health and well being of our young people,” said NAN Grand Chief Stan Beardy. “Many of NAN’s communities lack the basic resources to deliver proper education to our children. Programs, such as the Summer Reading Camps, are important in developing youth literacy and play an important role in the development of leadership skills.”
The LGASRC program began in 2005 by the former Lieutenant Governor of Ontario in hopes of empowering First Nations children and youth to develop their literacy skills and to help overcome challenges they may face within their communities. It started as a pilot project in 5 fly-in communities and was later implemented on a full-scale basis in 2006. The LGASRC, managed by Frontier College, focuses on reading and writing in a fun and active way and last year saw more than 22 hundred children within NAN communities participate in the program.
Within NAN, the camps are scheduled to run for a period of 5 years depending largely on private sector sponsorship; which is scheduled to end following the summer of 2010. The Honourable David C. Onley, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, and NAN Grand Chief Stan Beardy, have been working to re-establish the sponsorship in order for the LGASRC program to run for another 5 years and beyond.