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Aboriginal students at four north Okanagan elementary schools are discovering the joy of reading, thanks to a successful after-school reading program called Coyote Café.
Twice a week for 25 weeks, participants get a healthy snack and one-to-one reading support, plus take part in group reading, literacy games, trips to the library and even outdoor activities. Based on a strong cultural practice of drumming, songs and enriched aboriginal content material, the program provides literacy support to struggling readers to help boost their reading skills, their self-confidence and their enjoyment of reading.
Coyote Café is a partnership between School District 83’s Aboriginal Education department, Literacy Alliance, Okanagan Library and the First Nations Education Council. It has proven so successful with elementary readers that organizers want to extend the program to three middle schools. With a grant of $53,500 from Vancouver Foundation, they hope to enhance aboriginal student success by creating a fun environment that also encourages respect of language and culture. VF
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