News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

August 16, 2017


Giving Students a Head Start on the School Year: Wishart

As many as 2,000 students from grades 1 to 12 are improving their learning skills this summer thanks to support from the Manitoba government for summer learning enrichment programs, Education and Training Minister Ian Wishart announced today.

“We know that some students are at risk of falling behind due to learning loss over the summer months,” said Wishart.  “Summer learning opportunities provide critical support and give students a head start on the school year so they can stay on top of their studies and get the most out of their time in school.”

The minister noted the Manitoba government is investing $400,000 in five summer learning programs across the province including:

  • $165,000 for Frontier College’s Summer Literacy Camps;
  • $80,000 for the Newcomers Youth Educational Support Services (NYESS) Coalition;
  • $75,000 for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Winnipeg’s Community School Investigators (CSI) Summer Learning Program; 
  • $80,000 for Pembina Trails School Division’s Ignite3 program; and
  • $40,000 for University College of the North’s (UCN) Into the Wild program.

Frontier College works in partnership with eight communities including Hollow Water First Nation, Misipawistik Cree Nation, Mystery Lake School District, Fisher River Cree Nation, Waywayseecappo First Nation, Brokenhead Ojibway Nation and Sioux Valley Dakota Nation, to offer Summer Literacy Camps for children that are aimed at mitigating learning loss and promoting Indigenous student achievement. 

These holistic, multi-disciplinary camps provide enriched learning activities such as reading and writing, math and science, arts and music, life skills, language and culture.  The camps engage parents, elders and community members in activities to share their knowledge and skills with the children.  Funding will also support Teen Literacy and Career Camps that Frontier College offers in collaboration with Sapotaweyak Cree Nation and Waywayseecappo First Nation.

“We’re proud to partner with these communities to run our Summer Literacy Camps with the support of the Manitoba government,” said Stephen Faul, president and CEO, Frontier College.  “By creating early learning opportunities for kids in a fun and supportive environment, the camps foster a love of reading that leads to increased confidence.  Parents and teachers tell us their children are more prepared for returning to school after attending camp.”

The NYESS Coalition focuses on strengthening the learning skills of newcomer and at-risk youth within a family-centered and community-focused environment by providing free after-school tutoring and mentoring, as well as summer learning support programs. 

“NYESS is working with approximately 400 newcomer students from approximately 20 different countries from around the world,” said Karen Koroma, program director, NYESS Coalition.  “We never want to lose sight that they are the reason we do what we do.  Their futures will show the impact our efforts on their behalf can make.” 

The CSI Summer Learning Program is designed to combat summer learning loss and narrow the opportunity gap by providing five free weeks of summer programming in a safe and caring environment.  Children take part in numerous activities designed to strengthen their math, reading, and writing skills, along with problem solving and language acquisition.  Instructors deliver academic activities in the morning and provide physical activity and cultural experiences in the afternoon.  These experiences include field trips, guest artists, and sports and recreation activities.  To ensure children make the most of the program, they are provided with daily, nutritious breakfasts and lunches prepared at each site.

In Winnipeg, the CSI program is organized by the Boys and Girls Clubs of Winnipeg in partnership with the Winnipeg School Division.  The programs are run by a teacher from a local school, university students, high school students and parent volunteers. 

“With the support of the Manitoba government, kids in the CSI Summer Learning Program will strengthen their numeracy, literacy and other skills over the summer, while having fun,” said Ron Brown, president and CEO, Boys and Girls Clubs of Winnipeg.  “These enriching summer experiences open endless possibilities and doors to brighter futures for Winnipeg’s young people.”

The Pembina Trails School Division offers Ignite3, a free program that gives students a chance to strengthen math, reading and writing skills over the summer months.  Approximately 200 students are taking part in the program this summer at Ryerson, General Byng and Westgrove schools.
“Ignite3 has proven to be a great method for improving academic achievement, increasing student engagement and developing leadership skills,” said Ted Fransen, superintendent, Pembina Trails School Division.  “Our program delivers more than just numeracy and literacy; students get to explore their communities and take part in activities they may not otherwise experience.  Our families and community truly value the opportunity for enhanced summer learning made possible from both the support of our board of trustees and the province.”

UCN’s Into the Wild program is designed to meet the needs of northern Manitoba youth from The Pas, Opaskwayak Cree Nation and surrounding communities.  The activities focus on literacy, numeracy and land-based education to reduce summer learning loss and assist students in the transition back to school in the fall.

“Into The Wild has really been a bright light each summer in this region,” said Jim Scott, director, Department of Communications, UCN.  “In many cases the kids that are enrolled in the program would otherwise be on their own for the day.  Into The Wild is very much science-based, so participants are often a step ahead when they return to the classroom in September.  The program also provides summer employment for our UCN education students.  It allows them to develop those critically important classroom skills that will be a major part of their careers once they receive their teaching degrees.  The support from the province is key to allowing this program to continue and UCN is very grateful for its support.”

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