A day camp at Wapanohk Community School that is funded in partnership with Frontier College and the School District of Mystery Lake wants kids to keep learning in the summer, says camp co-ordinator Marlie Pilat. “It’s a summer literacy program. It’s put on by Frontier College. We’re working with Frontier College in a partnership to bridge the gap of learning that students lose in the summer.”
Reading levels typically drop three or four levels during the summer holiday, so the hope of this camp is to either improve the levels, or keep them the same.
Frontier College is a national literacy organization that is splitting the costs with Thompson. Frontier College’s funding will help pay for supplies, books, snacks and staffing needs. There are three teachers who are working as camp counsellors for the six weeks.
The school district has allowed the camp to take part in Wapanohk, as well as supplying different books and activities.
This is the first year of the free literacy camp, and campers are going into Grade 3 or Grade 4, are mostly aboriginal, and attend the community school. “There’s a statistic that says if your kid can’t read by Grade 3 they are more likely to not graduate high school. We thought that age would be a good place to start,” explained Pilat.
Campers start the day at 9:30 a.m. and leave at 3:00 p.m., and they stay for lunch. The participants take part in hide-and-seek learning, which is learning through games and social skills. There are math, reading and writing games. The campers also write in a journal every day while at the camp.
Pilat’s hope is that this opportunity for at risk youth will continue for years to come, and for other students and school to get involved. The camp just started their second three-week program.