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Northern Reading Recovery Training Centre Experiences Success

Teachers from northern First Nations enrolled in Thompson’s Reading Recovery Training Centre’s in-service course are reporting successes in the classroom.

These teachers are from Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation (Nelson House), Bunibonibee Cree Na- tion (Oxford House), Tataskweyak Cree Nation (Split Lake), Northlands Denesuline First Na- tion (Lac Brochet), Fox Lake Cree Nation, O-Pipon-Na-Piwin Cree Nation (South Indian Lake), and Leaf Rapids Education Centre.

The goal of the Canadian Institute of Reading Recovery is to ensure all students experiencing difficulty learning to read and write have access to Reading Recovery, and MFNERC is committed to providing this service from a First Nations perspective.

A Reading Recovery teacher- leader, Evannah Braun manages the course through a collaborative partnership with Reading Recovery and the province.

“Teachers in training have noted the tremendous growth and improvement in at-risk First Nations students’ ability to read and write in a short period,” Braun explains. “Some teachers have stated parents were excited and happy to see their children reading and writing, and, in some instances, students in Reading Recovery surpassed the classroom average in reading levels.”

MKO Grand Chief Garrison Settee is pleased with the initiative since more First Nations students are getting access to Reading Recovery teachers. He is looking forward to the benefits this project will bring to First Nations education.

“I think our First Nations should have the same quality of education that other students have,” says MKO Grand Chief Settee. “We need to revolutionize the way we deliver education in First Nations, and we can do that through partnerships such as this.”

According to the Canadian Institute of Reading Recovery, Reading Recovery benefits include reducing the number of children classified with learning disabilities and reducing referrals. The program helps create demonstrated lasting effects as the students move on to higher grades.

Here’s what some of the teachers in the course are saying about Reading Recovery:

“Reading Recovery has had a very positive impact on the children, from learning letters and sounds to learning strategic activities to problem-solve unknown words. Parents and family members have stated how impressed they are with the advances made in such a short time. Family members have viewed a lesson and are impressed by the children`s progress and how well they are reading and writing. As a teacher of Reading Recovery, I now feel that I can teach reading and writing skills more effectively and efficiently.” (Lise Turbide, O-Pipon-Na-Piwin Cree Nation – South Indian Lake)

“Reading Recovery has helped me become more careful, methodical, and self-aware of how I teach my students. I am able to communicate with students efficiently and train them to become independent learners. Every teaching moment is meaningful and caters to exactly what that student needs to grow quickly. My Reading Recovery students are able to show tremendous growth in a short period. Many of them are now among the top readers of their class!” (Lauren Boyle, O-Pipon-Na-Piwin Cree Nation – South Indian Lake)

“I teach Reading Recovery in Leaf Rapids. Although it is an intense reading program with a lot of work, it is so worth it as students who struggle begin to blossom. I feel it has made me a better read- ing teacher.”

“I also teach kindergarten and find I use the strategic activities in my reading program. The father of one little girl has told me that she always wants to read to him and her mother before going to bed. A mother told me her daugh- ter now reads stories to her little brother and sister, and she can- not get over how well she does it. It really makes me believe every child can learn to read.” (Mary- Ann Charrier, Leaf Rapids)

“Reading Recovery training has enhanced my teaching skills. I now have the knowledge and training to open a world of reading and writing to many children. Every teacher should consider taking the Reading Recovery training so they can apply the strategic activities to all students’ learning. No child should ever leave Grade One without know- ing how to read and write. Students leave Reading Recovery with a love of reading, feelings of success, and a whole lot of con- fidence in themselves. A parent shared with me that since her child has been in Reading Recov- ery, her daughter is a good reader now.” (Natalie Tays, Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation (Nelson House).