First Nation and Metis children ages five to 15 can get caught up in a good book at literacy camp this summer.

The camps help prevent summer reading loss by encouraging students to take part in literacy activities during July and August.

“Literacy camps help students to perform at their best and offer a fun way for students to maintain their reading skills and prepare for the upcoming school year, ” Education Minister Don Morgan said in a press release.

This is the province’s fifth year offering the summer literacy camps.

Each camp takes a community-based approach to learning by involving families and integrating local traditions and culture into the programming.  Students also receive books to take home as a way to encourage them to keep reading.

This year, camps will be hosted by the Creighton, Ile-à-la Crosse, Light of Christ, Living Sky, Northern Lights, Prairie Valley, Prince Albert Roman Catholic and Saskatchewan Rivers school divisions.  Northern Lights will be hosting at least 12 camps for their students.

“The impact of summer literacy camps stretch further than the short time they are in session,” Literacy Partnerships Facilitator for Northern Lights School Division Pam Taylor said.  “Last year, we asked teachers, parents and students to complete a survey about four months after the camps and each of them described an increase in reading at home, largely due to improved access to reading materials, and better attendance at school.   We’re just so happy to have these camps in our communities.”

Last summer, more than 1,400 children participated in the camps, reading an average of 14 books each, almost three times the number needed to combat summer reading loss.

The Government of Saskatchewan is investing $600,000 in the summer literacy camps. The release stated that government goal is to have 80 per cent of students reading at grade level or above by June 2020.

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