Frontier College bridges the summer reading gap for children in Aboriginal communities

Camps successful in helping to prevent summer reading loss and improve school readiness

TORONTO, Sept. 9, 2014 /CNW/ - This summer, Frontier College provided free literacy camps to over 5,000 children in 82 Aboriginal communities across Canada. Now in their 10th year, the camps are effective in motivating children 5-16 years old to read, and ensure that their reading levels remain the same or improve during the summer months. To date, more than 24,000 children in seven provinces have participated in camps nationwide.

Frontier College's Aboriginal Summer Literacy Camps help address the educational needs of children in remote communities during the summer months. Summer reading loss is the decline in student performance between the end of one school year and the beginning of the next. This loss is most prevalent among students with less regular access to learning and literacy supports outside of school. Research shows that to prevent summer learning loss, younger readers should read for a minimum of 15 minutes a day during the summer, while older students should read five or more books over the summer months.

Over 200 camp counsellors created a memorable summer filled with reading, crafts, fitness and cultural activities. Campers increased their vocabulary, reading, writing and math skills, social growth and confidence, which prepared them for the year ahead. The camps also offered special opportunities for cultural and community engagement.  In addition, Frontier College provided campers with over 13,000 free, high-quality books to take home to build their own personal home libraries.

"Teachers tells us that they can see the difference between the children in their class who have attended one of our summer camps and those who haven't. Parents tell us their children are more prepared for returning to school after attending camp. Campers tell us they loved the camps and—most importantly—learned to love reading. Associating fun summer activities with reading is making big gains in these communities," Sherry Campbell, President & CEO, Frontier College.

Frontier College began offering Aboriginal Summer Literacy Camps in 2005, following the vision of former Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, James K. Bartleman. The camps have grown from five to 82 camps operating in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nunavut. The camp program is funded by local governments, corporate donors and Aboriginal communities.

About Frontier College

Founded in 1899, Frontier College is Canada's original literacy organization. We recruit and train volunteers to deliver literacy programs to children, youth and adults in communities across the country. Through a network of thousands of volunteers, Frontier College helps Canadians improve their literacy and increase their opportunities. We believe that literacy is a right.

SOURCE: Frontier College

For further information: Meredith Roberts, Manager, Special Events & Media Relations, Frontier College or 416-923-3591 ext. 324


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