Gordina Barnes likes the Summer Reading for Fun program – it’s not like school.
“Because in school you do math and here you don’t do any math,” she said during a recent session with tutor Cecilia Loder, at the Family Outreach Centre on Union Street in Corner Brook.
So, when it was pointed out to her that Loder had just gotten her to do math by counting horses in the book she was reading, the eight-year-old responded with a big sigh.
Gordina will be going into Grade 4 at C.C. Loughlin Elementary in September. She’s in a French-immersion class and this is not her first time with the Newfoundland and Labrador Laubach Literacy Council’s program.
“I had a bit of trouble when I’m reading,” she said, adding it was mostly with reading in French.
She normally has two sessions a week with Loder, who is also the co-ordinator for the site.
Gordina said they’ll read together, do writing and other fun stuff.
She’s enjoying reading with Loder and said it has helped her improve her French reading skills.
This is Loder’s first year with the program.
Soon to be a second-year nursing student, she said the opportunity to work with children is what drew her to the job, "and just the opportunity that it has to better the community.”
She said it’s giving kids a chance to improve their reading and writing, and math skills.
“Basically, whatever they’re having deficits in or that the parents feel that they may need to work on. And giving them an opportunity to do that in a fun way that is not really as structured as school, but is still going to help them improve.”
The program is open to school-age children from kindergarten to Level 3.
Loder has about 12 regulars who come for one or two sessions a week.
Her room at the centre is brightly decorated and there is a shelf filled with books that offer something for every reading level.
The lesson plans are designed to give children a say in how the program works for them, giving them options in what they’ll do. And it’s not just reading. They work on writing and sentence structure, play games or do activities that involve reading and, in the case of Gordina's session, a little bit of math.
And her students are not the only ones benefiting from the sessions.
Loder’s learning how to approach working with children with autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorders. She's learning how no two children are alike.
“If you give one an activity and then you give another kid the same activity, both of them are going to respond completely differently,” she said.
“I’ve been finding that really interesting and learning from that, just to see that there are different learning styles... I’ve never seen it in action like that.”
Tutoring sessions end Aug. 21.
Summer Reading for Fun facts
The Newfoundland and Labrador Laubach Literacy Council has 12 Summer Reading for Fun sites across the province:
Corner Brook (3 sites – Vine Place, the Family Outreach Resource Centre and College of the North Atlantic)
Black Duck Cove
Port Hope Simpson
The program employs 12 co-ordinators and 13 tutors
The site co-ordinators also tutor children