The true meaning of literacy goes beyond the skills of reading and writing. A literate individual is someone contributes to the well being of our community in a variety of ways. Literacy includes taking care of the emotional and physical well being of ourselves and our families.
The ability to read with understanding is a key skill for everyone. People with literacy challenges might have difficulty ordering from a menu or reading/following instructions given by a doctor. Good readers will have an easier time completing course work and earning qualifications in both their professional and personal lives.
We now know that before children can begin to learn to read, they must have exposure to thousands of books. When you read a story to an infant or a young child you are creating a wonderful bond and helping them to become stronger readers in time.
Gold Trail schools offer a variety of support to children’s early literacy development. Schools with room make space available to pre-school providers at no cost. Our Strong Start Centers provide a place where parents and children can interact through play and our Parents As Literacy Supporters (PALS) program provides an opportunity for pre Kindergarten and Kindergarten students and their parents to experience learning opportunities together.
Two reading intervention teacher specialists provide intensive instruction for students who need support for success in reading. Students who are experiencing early challenges are referred for intensive daily teaching for six week cycles. We are continuing to seek volunteers for our One-to-One Reading program to provide even more support to readers.
Our district networks include Early Learning, Numeracy, Technology, Elementary Literacy, and Secondary Literacy groups. These networks ensure we are implementing the best practices from around the province and North America, to ensure that our professional learning is serving the needs of our students.
We know that students who enjoy reading will read more and that students who read more will read better. To support the love of reading, our schools uses guided reading, literature circles, book clubs and the Red Cedar Challenge (Canada’s fiction/non-fiction competition for the best in young people’s literature). Our teacher librarians are enjoying the wonderful challenge of keeping up with the student’s interests.
The children of today are the leaders of tomorrow. It is essential that families, communities, and schools work together to ensure that every child can experience success and have the ability to follow their dreams.
Thank you to The Ashcroft-Cache Creek Journal and Bridges to Literacy for their work in raising awareness about the importance of literacy in all of our daily lives.