As of June 29, most students in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows have been relaxing and enjoying the sunshine.
But a few small groups of students were honing their reading and math skills as the school district runs its Reading Racers, Apprentis Lecteur – French reading program – and Math in Motion programs during the month of July.
But despite missing out on a few hours of sunshine, the students at Apprentis Lecteur, the French version of Reading Racers taking place at Pitt Meadows Elementary, seemed engaged and happy as they practised reading and talking in French, using tools like iPads, laptops, and Smartboards – and just plain old-fashioned books.
Reading Racers has been running for the past nine years, and participants show a measured improvement in their reading skills after the four-week intensive learning program.
“It is always exciting to see how well each of the students progresses throughout the four-week program,” said Lisa Jakeway, who is in charge of the elementary summer school program. “They become more confident in themselves and their reading ability.”
Jakeway also said it’s exciting when she sees students gaining confidence in all three of the summer school programs.
The teachers are able to group students with others who are at the same skill level so they can work together on improving their skills.
“They see the improvements they are making and are proud of themselves and become more confident in their abilities to read or do math,” Jakeway said.
In addition to the 20 students at the French summer school program at Pitt Meadows Elementary, 70 Grade 1 students were practising their English reading skills are Reading Racers at Harry Hooge Elementary, and 31 students in Grade 4 participated in the Math in Motion program.
The programs are similar even though they’re dealing with different languages, Jakeway said. But the French program incorporates more oral language practice.
After four weeks at Apprentis Lecteur, the students were showing marked improvement in their reading levels, said Catherine Hamel Dreadan, district French helping teacher.
The summer school program ran for four weeks in July, but since it’s summer, the teachers try to make it fun for the students with outside times, crafts, and gym time.
Last week, a member of Theatre de la Seizieme – a French language theatre troupe based in Vancouver – came to play some fun language games with the students.
“They don’t realize it, but they’re still improving their skills,” said Hamel-Dreadan about the less structured activities.