For the second year, Algoma District School Board led a three week Summer Learning Program (SLP) for selected Grade 1 and 2 students. Designed to support primary students with literacy needs, its goal is to minimize summer learning loss and to improve Literacy skills. It also supports First Nation, Metis, and Inuit (FNMI) primary students with literacy needs while immersing them in a cultural environment.
Over 100 students were invited to take part in the program which was held at three locations (Parkland, Ben R McMullin and Thessalon) and each of the seven classrooms had a qualified teacher and 2 support staff engaged with the students. Smaller class sizes and three adults per room allowed for many learning opportunities.
Each morning the students were involved in academics which included small group, individual and large group activities. Following lunch, support staff organized students in recreational activities and cooperative games. At this time, teachers were also able to work one-on-one with students refining literacy skills. Special field trips where organized including trips to the library, the Alpaca Farm in Bruce Mines and Entomica, the hands-on insect science exhibit.
One young student and his mother were at the Tuesday night meeting to share with trustees their personal experiences with the SLP. Owen attended the Summer Learning Program this summer at Ben R McMullin and entered Grade 3 this fall at Kiwedin Public School. Following the Summer Learning Program, his mom Shannon shared that her son really enjoyed the program and was happy to attend. She appreciated how attentive the teacher was who worked with Owen and was impressed with the progress her son had made in a 3 week period. The Principal at Kiwedin Public School has received several calls from parents who indicated their children benefitted from the program and enjoyed the experience, and who hope their children are able to access it again next year.
Summer Learning Program co-administrators, Carol Lucio and Lorrie Morley were very pleased with the program. They saw engaged students, many of whom increased their literacy level or maintained the level they were at in June. Parents received report cards following the three week program. The same report cards were supplied to the teachers who received the students into their classrooms this fall. Students did a pre and post-test which will provide administrators with data regarding student progress and program effectiveness. While progress varied, there is no doubt students increased their confidence and participation levels.