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Group Programs (Updated September 19!)

The Centre for Literacy will once again be offering a number of group programs for students, parents and professionals.

For Students

Word Play! Designed for students in Kindergarten and Grade 1, Word Play reinforces foundational reading skills in a fun manner. Word Play 1 will be offered Saturdays mornings at 9:30 am in the Fall for 8 consecutive weeks beginning on 14th. Word Play 2 will be offered on Thursdays evenings from 6-7 pm, also for 8 consecutive weeks, beginning October 12th. Download the poster here. Word Play 1 is for Kindergarten aged students or those in Grade 1 who are struggling to identify letter sounds and succeed as emergent readers. Word Play 2 is for students who know their letter sounds but may be struggling with making the jump to reading. Cost: $300 per 8 week session. Download the poster here!

Study Skills and Exam Strategies: This popular series will be returning to the Centre for LIteracy on Tuesday, October 10 and 17 from 7-8:30 pm. Designed for all students in Junior and Senior High, this session reinforces how to study so it sticks, take charge of one’s education and prepare for exams to best demonstrate understanding of a subject area. This course also will provide attendees with strategies to overcome exam anxiety. Cost: $75 for the two sessions. Download the poster here.

Building Executive Function Skills: Targeted for students aged 8 to 11, this 10 week program focuses on building Executive Function Skills including building flexibility and learning how to better develop and executive goals for activities of daily living as a student or household member!  Using the evidence based curriculum, Unstuck and On-Target, this group program reinforces critical executive function skills in a play based manner. This program will start Saturday, September 30th at 11 am and will be held each Saturday excluding long weekends. Cost: $500 which can be billed monthly over the course of the program. Download the poster here.

For Parents

Parenting a Child with Learning Disorders: This practical session is designed for parents with children with learning disabilities/disorders. Held over three consecutive evenings from 7-8:30 pm, this series is designed to empower parents with practical information. The Monday evening session attempts to demystify learning disabilities and testing. It sorts out vocabulary, provides parents with an overview of what learning disabilities are and are not, and the differences between screening, testing for the purposes of diagnosis and ongoing assessment for the purposes of intervention. The Tuesday evening focuses on intervention, how it differs from regular classroom instruction, and how parents can help their children at home. The Wednesday session focuses on the ABCs of Advocacy, including the Standards for Special Education, Individualized Program Plans and how to work with schools to build the more positive working relationship possible. This series is held approximately every two months. Forthcoming sessions are scheduled for October 2, 3 and 4th and November 27, 28 and 29. The fee for all three evenings is $30. Download the poster here!

For Professionals

The Professional Development opportunities designed for Centre for Literacy Teachers is now available to teachers and other professionals in our community. Teachers, educational assistants, speech language therapists and other individuals working in our community are warmly welcomed to take classes alongside our own staff. Sessions are normally held on Wednesday evenings from 7 to 9 pm. The cost for these sessions is $40 for an individual (one part) PD and $75 for a session held over two consecutive evenings. Download the poster here. Forthcoming sessions include:

Foundations in Reading Remediation 

Fall: Wednesday, September 20 & 27, 2017, 7-9 pm

Winter: Wednesday, February 21 & 28, 2018, 7-9 pm

Cost: $75

Instructor: Marcia Langenberg, MEd

This session will provide an overview of the critical strategies which teachers can use to support students who are struggling to learn to read. The focus of this session will be on the use of evidence based multi–sensory strategies (hearing, seeing, and feeling) to build phonological and phonemic awareness to support a student to gain understanding of sound-symbol connections (the alphabetic principle). Secure understanding of phonological processes is a critical prerequisite for reading competency. Difficulty with phonological processes is the most common reason students struggle with literacy. Support will be provided in how to plan and deliver initial remediation strategies.

Introduction to the REWARDS Reading System

Fall: Wednesday, October 11, 2017, 7-9 pm

Cost: $40

Instructor: Judy Craig, MEd

The REWARDS Reading System is a powerful tool to support Junior and Senior High Students who continue to struggle to read. The system can also be easily adapted to work with students in the late elementary grades. REWARDS uses a morphological approach to  provide students with strategies to blend word sounds, identify common word parts, approximate pronunciation, understand common prefixes, suffixes and roots, and more. REWARDS is particularly potent as an age appropriate tool that builds upon reading strengths student may have already developed. It may be used as a singular strategy or in combination with other evidence based reading remediation strategies.

Metacognitive Strategies to Support Comprehension and Writing

Fall: Wednesday, October 25 and November 1, 2017, 7-9 pm

Spring: May 9 & 16, 2018, 7-9 pm

Cost: $75

Instructor: Yvonne Stern, MEd

Metacognitive strategies refer to methods used to help students understand the way they learn. It provides students with a structured process to think about their thinking. The National Reading Panel identifies metacognitive strategies as a critical best practice to support reading comprehension. Metacognitive strategies are highly powerful in supporting the writing process. This two part session will provide an overview on how to use Visualizing and Verbalizing, a meta-cognitive strategy developed by Nanci Bell, to support comprehension and writing in both one to one and classroom environments.

Using Games to Reinforce Reading Remediation for Students with Reading Disabilities

Fall/Winter: Wednesday, December 6, 2017, 7-9 pm

Cost: $40

Instructor: Jenna Boschman, MA (Literacy)

Games can be used as a powerful tool to engage students and reinforce critical learning concepts. This session will place the use of games within the constructs of Universal Design for Learning. Purpose specific games and the adaptation of commercially available games will be highlighted. Specific focus will be placed on how to differentiate use of games for students with attention and executive function issues and the different types of reading disorders.


Learning Disabilities: Critical Concepts

Winter January 24, 2018, 7-9 pm

Cost: $40

Instructor: Kathryn Burke, MA

This session will highlight new high quality research on learning disabilities (LD). It will provide an overview of the what learning disabilities are (and are not), conditions which may co-exist with LD, and what LDs look like at different stages in a student’ life. Testing and its interpretation will be discussed. A brief overview will be provided on the different types of reading and math disabilities, and common terminology that is used and sometimes misused in describing the different types of learning disabilities/disorders.


Strategies for Managing Challenging Student Behaviours

Winter: March 14, 2018

Cost: $40

Instructor: Brittanie Boyd, BEd

This practical session will highlight strategies that can be employed to manage challenging student behaviours.  Information will be provided on how to analyze the possible reasons for difficult behaviours, and in how to construct a behaviour plan with a student that reinforces good behaviours and minimizes the impact of challenging action. The desired outcome is for students to be highly engaged in the process, resulting in improved educational outcomes. The instructor has worked as a behavioural consultant with children on the Autism Spectrum.


Valuable Links!

Here are some valuable links for parents, teachers and other professionals about learning disorders and literacy.


Games for Teachers to enhance Phonemic Awareness and other Literacy Skills

From the National Reading Panel Study via the National Institute for Literacy

Great Videos to Help Inform: