“For the first time in many years I was excited to pick up a book. I always felt nervous to read in front of others before, but this time it was ok. It was better than ok. I felt good to talk about the book and share it in front of my friends.”

Grade 6 student, Sir John Franklin School.Educators at Sir John Franklin in Mayland Heights were faced with a challenge. As the north campus for the Calgary Board of Education’s Arts-Centered Learning program, the school accepts students in grades five to nine, from across the northwest and northeast quadrants of Calgary. After careful examination, school administration identified two primary gaps in their resources: the student reading levels and the reading materials available for them. With the support of EducationMatters, they were able to address these gaps.

In order to understand each child’s reading ability and develop plans to help each student, administration at the school needed a benchmark assessment tool to consistently and accurately determine reading comprehension levels. Funds through EducationMatters’ donors allowed them to purchase the Fountas & Pinnell Benchmark Assessment System, and provided the answers they were seeking.

The second gap which the school also sought to address was their lack of fiction and non-fiction books which they needed to represent the diverse perspectives and the history of Aboriginal communities in Canada. Staff used a portion of the overall grant to enhance and improve the school’s text based resources.

The project resulted in an increased interest in literacy throughout the school. Many students and staff commented on an improved love of reading, and an improved sense of literacy.

One Grade 7 teacher stated, “I love how this initiative has given my students a sense of confidence in reading.”

This grant was made possible by generous donors who supported the Family Literacy Program Flow Thru Fund, the Mawer Investment Management Literacy Flow Thru Fund, and the Public Education Enhancement Flow Thru Fund.