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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Elementary Literacy Friends tutoring program

Investment in community-based literacy initiative for elementary children

FREDERICTON (GNB) – The work of volunteer literacy tutors of the Elementary Literacy Inc. foundation was highlighted by Premier David Alward today during a celebration honouring the success of six Grade 2 students at Nashwaaksis Memorial Elementary School in Fredericton who have benefited from the Elementary Literacy Friends tutoring program.

"These innovative literacy programs depend on the commitment and support of important partners, and their success is a testament to how we can create a better future for our children by working together," said Alward. "I encourage individuals, families, organizations and businesses across New Brunswick to contribute in their own way to this grassroots initiative. These programs need more volunteers to help more New Brunswick children get the best start toward a future they deserve."

Alward, along with Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Jody Carr, used the occasion honouring the students and their volunteer tutors to express the provincial government's commitment to improve literacy levels in New Brunswick.

The premier also highlighted the provincial government's $2.5 million investment in Elementary Literacy Inc., a non-profit foundation, to support its Elementary Literacy Friends/Communauté-littératie-enfants-francophones volunteer tutoring programs.

This private-sector led initiative was created to raise literacy levels among children in elementary schools across the province.

"Reading is a fundamental part of learning and academic success for our children," said Carr. "The earlier we help our children with their learning, the more opportunities they will have to reach their full potential and thus contribute to our economy and enhance their quality of life."

Established in 2009, Elementary Literacy Inc. ensures the recruitment, screening and training of volunteers who will provide one-on-one literacy mentoring to elementary school children struggling with reading. Volunteers who participate commit to working with a student for one hour, twice a week, for 10 weeks outside regular classroom hours.

As literacy is a foundation for learning, students who do not develop basic literacy skills by the end of Grade 2 may struggle in other subjects.