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Literacy takes off for hundreds

Elementary students from Red Deer Public Schools are better grounded in literacy thanks to a special event on Tuesday.

Literacy 101 drew together the district’s 700 Grade 3 students for a day of games, theatre and flight based on the book The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore. William Joyce’s delightful story tells of a man captivated by reading.

He lives in a world where he cares for books and they, in turn, care for him.

Premier Alison Redford was to read to the crowd at Red Deer College, but fog kept her plane from landing at Red Deer Airport.

Red Deer North MLA Mary Anne Jablonski took the premier’s place, reading the book aloud accompanied by its projected pages.

Children then rotated through breakout sessions designed to help them better understand its themes using hands-on activities.

A game show had teams answer questions to test comprehension, a theatre session asked students to produce and perform a short play and a remote-controlled helicopter and helium-filled balloons recreated the story’s flying books.

Education students in the Red Deer College and University of Alberta’s collaborative teaching program conducted the sessions.

Bruce Buruma, Red Deer Public’s community relations director, said literacy, along with inclusion and completion, are the district’s top priorities.

“At the very beginning of a child’s career in our schools they’re learning to read, but after that, they’re reading to learn so it’s essential kids have the literacy skills for the future. Today’s all about having fun with literacy.”

Literacy 101 was sponsored by the Foundation for Red Deer Public Schools and was part of the district’s 125th anniversary celebrations.



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