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Red Deer students enthusiastic about Reading College

12th year for the Foundation for Red Deer Public Schools’ literacy project
Reading College, which is project of the Foundation for Red Deer Public Schools, is underway this month at Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre at Red Deer Polytechnic. (Photo by SUSAN ZIELINSKI/Advocate staff)

Classroom doors were open to parents on Thursday at Reading College where 69 Grade 2 students are sharpening their literacy skills this month.

Held at Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre at Red Deer Polytechnic, Reading College is a project of the Foundation for Red Deer Public Schools where students are immersed in a literacy rich environment while being supported by mentor teachers as well as recent graduate teachers of RDP.

Reading College co-ordinator Sue Carmichael said there are eight students per teacher and they use a variety of strategies to assist students and make learning fun.

“You can’t beat that ratio,” said Carmichael about the attention students receive in class.

“Teachers use a lot of techniques and strategies to make learning effective and fun.”


Red Deer public school’s Reading College program kicks off this month to boost literacy

She said it’s unlike regular classrooms where skill levels can vary a lot, and students at Reading College get constant feedback to track their own progress.

Students also enjoy fun activities each day at RDP, which increases their excitement about the program and introduces them to possibilities for their future.

Carmichael said third grade reading levels are one of the best predictors of success in high school, so helping students at this age is important, and there is a real need for the literacy program. There are probably 20 or 30 more students with Red Deer Public Schools who could benefit from attending, but it would take more funding.

However, she did want to recognize those who already work so hard to support the program.

Reading College would not be possible without financial support from many community partners including the Central Alberta Optimist Clubs and Tim Hortons through their Smile Cookie Campaign.


Red Deer has a $52,000 sweet tooth for Smile Cookie Campaign

Reading College students will celebrate their achievements at a graduation ceremony on July 28.

Until then, students can’t wait to arrive each day at Reading College, which is in its 12th year.

“Honestly, these kids come bounding off the bus. They’re excited. They have fun,” Carmichael said.

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Susan Zielinski

About the Author: Susan Zielinski

Susan has been with the Red Deer Advocate since 2001. Her reporting has focused on education, social and health issues.
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