Features & Resources

Reading takes no summer break

The New Westminster School’s Rec and Read program is all about making reading fun. From theme days and dance parties to small group games, Ms. (Danielle) Senyk is able to make the process so enjoyable, many of her students don’t even realize their reading is getting better over just a couple, very focused, weeks.

The referral only program runs for two 2-week sessions each summer. And, in its third summer now, the reading program has a simple but important goal: help support our youngest learners with the fundamentals of literacy (it is targeted at kids who are leaving Kindergarten, grade 1 or grade 2). The program is funded thanks to a grant from the BASES Family Thrift Store in Burnaby – a grant which includes opportunities to offer subsides to families who need them … to make sure no barrier comes between a student and the book they want to explore.

Rick Bloudell, District Community School Coordinator, organizes the Rec and Read program and knows what a difference it can make for students who struggle with their basics. “We watch the apprehension of the students on the first day quickly morph into excitement and anticipation for what is to come. It’s extremely rewarding to hear feedback from parents about their children coming home and sharing what they learned and practicing reading at home. We know this love for learning will follow the students into September.”

One glowing review of the program even involved a parent excitedly calling to say that their child had started reading food labels for the first time, and how amazed they were to see that.

It’s a great reminder that reading gives us tools that sometimes the rest of us can take for granted.

But the joy in these kids’ faces is the best reminder: reading is both a foundational skill and a gift that should not take a break over the summer.


Looking to prevent the “summer slide” in your child’s reading? Here’s a good article about ways you can help your young learners keep up: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/prince-edward-island/pei-kids-summer-reading-1.5175606