NANAIMO – The Ready, Set, Learn program for three-year-olds and their parents will continue for a second year, Education Minister Shirley Bond announced today at the B.C. Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils’ fall leadership conference.
“Last year, 35,000 parents attended Ready, Set, Learn open houses at nearly 1,000 schools across B.C., and the feedback we received was overwhelmingly positive,” Bond said in a speech to 200 parents. “This year, we anticipate even more schools and more parents will participate. Ready, Set, Learn is an important program that helps our youngest learners get ready for kindergarten.”
Elementary schools in all 60 school districts and funded independent schools will have the opportunity to host a Ready, Set, Learn open house. Districts have indicated that 95 per cent of eligible public schools will participate this year, up from 86 per cent in 2004-05.
At each Ready, Set, Learn event, parents and caregivers will receive:
· The book A Pod of Orcas to read with their three-year-old (French-speaking children will receive Polo et le Panier de Fruits);
· A family booklet with helpful tips for supporting preschoolers’ learning and development (also available on the ministry’s literacy website in 13 languages);
· A family booklet offering parenting tips;
· Information from the school about its education programs;
· Information for families about community resources; and
· Referral information for families concerned about their child’s potential health and development issues.
Ready, Set, Learn open houses will be held at times arranged by schools. To find about Ready, Set, Learn events in their communities, parents of three-year-olds may wish to contact their local elementary school. Participating public schools will receive $2,500 each to plan and host the events with their community partners. Independent schools will receive $1,250 each. The Province will provide a total of $3 million this year to cover the cost of the program.
“We know that as many as one out of every four children entering kindergarten don’t have the skills they need to succeed,” said Bond. “By reading to their preschoolers and by developing a relationship with their neighbourhood school, parents can help their children be ready for school. Learning starts at home, and Ready, Set, Learn is one tool that families can use to help children achieve their best.”
The Province has provided other tools for families this year, including:
· A book for each student in kindergarten, so that parents and caregivers can add to, or start, a child’s home library;
· A set of booklets – Reading for Families, Writing for Families and Math for Families – to help families improve children’s literacy and math skills; and
· A booklet called Graduation Portfolio, to help parents and caregivers support students in grades 10-12 as they move through the portfolio process.
Ready, Set, Learn was developed in partnership with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry for Children and Family Development.
Other provincial investments to support literacy include $12 million for public libraries, $5 million for the community-based program LiteracyNow, and $5 million for innovation grants to support creative teaching practices.
For information on AchieveBC, visit www.achievebc.ca online.
Ministry of Education
Visit the Province's website at www.gov.bc.ca for online information and services.