FUNDING FOR STUDENT LITERACY A PRIORITY
nanaimo-info-Blog: 2009 January 14
The Province is providing $5 million for the fifth consecutive year to support the efforts of school districts to improve their students’ literacy skills, bringing the five-year total to $25 million, Education Minister Shirley Bond announced today.
“We continue to be committed to student literacy and building on the significant progress districts have made over the past four years,” said Bond. “Even with the changing economic circumstances, we are working to make B.C. the best educated, most literate jurisdiction on the continent.”
The Literacy Innovation Grants support innovative literacy initiatives and practices in kindergarten to Grade 12. School districts will receive the same funding levels as last year and will continue to be given the flexibility to support innovative literacy practices in the K-12 system, or to support District Literacy Plan development.
The availability of these grants for a fifth year means districts can expand literacy initiatives. Last year, some districts developed summer reading and family literacy programs, while others focused their efforts on assessment and intervention projects for younger learners.
“We recognize that students have changing needs as they develop and learn, and this funding helps encourage creative ways to improve literacy skills as students move through their school years,” said Bond. “Our government is committed to ensuring that each and every student is successful, and has the tools they need to succeed.”
Peace River North school district discovered a dramatic improvement in the reading skills of a group of primary students whose teachers took part in a peer coaching program. This approach has helped raise the percentage of students meeting or exceeding reading expectations in five of the seven participating grades. The most dramatic improvement was noted with the Aboriginal student population, where the district’s year-end reading assessment shows grades 3 and 4 have achieved a 20 per cent increase in their reading level over two years.
“Over the last four years, we’ve seen significant progress from many students who were finding reading a challenge,” said Gordon Anderson, board chair of the Peace River North school district. “We are committed to this project, as we know that no skill is more crucial to a child’s future than literacy.”
Since 2001, Province has invested more than $150 million in new literacy initiatives, including pre-literacy and early learning programs, such as $12 million to operate the kindergarten readiness program Ready, Set, Learn and $2.7 million for the ActNow Literacy Education Activity and Play (LEAP BC) program that encourages literacy, physical activity and healthy eating in preschool-aged children.
Editor's Comment: Call me old fashioned but I thought all that money being spent on schoolin' was supposed to teach our youngun's how ta read and rite? So how come another $5 million to make sure that happens?