Red Deer Public School Division

Reading College goes virtual!

A global pandemic won’t stop 50 students from having the best summer ever and improving their reading and writing skills along the way. Reading College is back for its ninth year!

The program, which has had to adapt its usual programming to fit the guidelines for teaching and learning given the COVID-19 pandemic, is set to get underway July 6 in a virtual format.

For the entire month, 50 Grade 2 students will have the ‘best summer ever’ immersed in a literacy rich, virtual environment. They will attend Reading College virtually from their homes and will be supported by mentor teachers and Red Deer College education graduates to develop their literacy skills.

Students will work in groups of four which will include learning and engaging group activities daily, including work one on one between teachers and students, all in a virtual setting. There will also be group storytime and fun activities each day allowing students to feel connected and further their excitement for learning.

The ‘best summer ever’ will be capped off with a virtual graduation ceremony to celebrate all of the students’ achievements on July 31.

“Third grade reading levels are one of the best predictors of high school graduation. Reading College helps struggling readers become readers of potential,” said Elvy Goring, Program Coordinator of Reading College.

“Reading College is a fantastic program that inspires kids to read and write to ensure they are ready and excited to enter Grade 3,” said Sue Carmichael, Coordinator of Reading College. “Even though we cannot hold Reading College in its normal format at Red Deer College, we are still working closely with them and we know our students this year will still reap the benefits of this fantastic program.”

In its ninth year, Reading College is a project of the Foundation for Red Deer Public Schools. The program would not be possible without community support including from the Central Alberta Optimist Clubs and Tim Hortons via its Smile Cookie Campaign.

“We believe Reading College is one of the best projects our club has undertaken in the City of Red Deer,” said Tom Chapman, a charter member of the Central Alberta Optimist Clubs. “It really does a lot of great things for kids who really need the help.”

“The Foundation is doing such important work in our community that’s benefitting so many children,” said Tanya Doucette, Tim Hortons Restaurant Owner in Red Deer. “Reading College is an amazing opportunity for children at a pivotal moment in their educational careers where they are transitioning from learning to read as a skill to using that skill to enhance all of their future learning.”

For more information regarding Reading College, visit