SCHOOL SUPPLIES - Lisa Ward with Kasohkowew Child Wellness Society visited Maskwacis Cultural College's summer reading program base to collect several boxes of book

Mackwacis reading program offers 20,000 books

The Maskwacis Cultural College Summer Reading Program began four years ago as a library-in-a-box with 20 people involved.

The Maskwacis Cultural College (MCC) Summer Reading Program began four years ago as a library-in-a-box with 20 people involved and has grown to stretch across multiple First Nation communities in two provinces.

“It’s all done by word of mouth,” said program co-ordinator Manisha Khetarpal.

“In 2012 we started with 20 people, we now have 300 people,” she added

Khetarpal says at the beginning of the reading program this year there were approximately 20,000 books available, all donated by Scholastic. She is now down from four rooms filled with books to two.

In its first year the library-in-a-box program encouraged parents and children to read for 60 days over the summer, at least five minutes a day.

Khetarpal says the program has grown to such a magnitude she can only keep track of all the readers through the registration forms.

Those in the community looking for books can fill out a registration card naming how many they are taking and they can also take a web access code for e-reader opportunities.

With the reading program Khetarpal has developed a sharing network to introduce the books to classrooms and community members on other reserves.

On Aug. 13 Allison Stewart, Stoney Plain Public Library director, dropped by MCC to pick up a shipment of books that would be given to the Alexis and Paul Band Reserves.

Neither reserve has a library and on the Alexis Reserve a small space in the band office has been turned into a pick up library.

“(But) the majority will go into classrooms,” Stewart explained. “We’re going to share the love.”

More books were given to the Kasohkowew Child Wellness Society to be handed out to children in care at a “back to school” barbecue in the  Maskwacis community.

In mid-July Khetarpal attended the Awasisak Conference, which was also attended by several other reserve representatives; 5,000 books were given away there.

Another 5,000 were given to the Saskatchewan Provincial Library to be placed in literacy reading program serving First Nation communities.

Khetarpal says one of the biggest benefits of the program is how much access people are being given to the books. “We’re giving them books to read in a place where we do not have public libraries.”

“To the non-readers it’s like pre-literacy skills, (it’s) about print awareness and print motivation,” she added.

Khetarpal says another benefit is all the relationships being fostered between schools, libraries, children, parents, other communities and community agencies. She feels sharing and giving away books feeds into the community’s cultural elements. “It’s all about community participation right from a grassroots level.”

 

Just Posted

G3 Canada grain terminal at Wetaskiwin

Plenty of work going on at grain terminal site near Wetaskiwin

Media made gaffe with wrong photo: Pigeon Lake stakeholders

Photo of algae bloom with bacteria story created confusion, say community leaders

County of Wetaskiwin awards gravel supply contract July 23

Three bids on contract, Hopkins Construction gets it on 6-1 vote

UPDATE City of Wetaskiwin selects intersection changes

UPDATE Changes to Hwy. #13 and #814 require prov. approval

County of Wetaskiwin hears up to $500k damage from rain

Director of Public Works says roads in Div. 6, 7 take a beating

Trudeau vows to stand firm against ‘increasingly assertive’ China

China has accused Canada of meddling in its affairs

Red Deer Rebels Training Camp begins Aug. 24

Rebels home opener will be on Sept. 21 against the Edmonton Oil Kings

Search continues for possible drowning on Sylvan Lake

Sylvan Lake RCMP and Fire Department continue their search for 20-something adult male

New study suggests autism overdiagnosed: Canadian expert

Laurent Mottron: ‘Autistic people we test now are less and less different than typical people’

Huawei executive’s defence team alleges Canadians were ‘agents’ of the FBI

eng’s arrest at Vancouver’s airport has sparked a diplomatic crisis between Canada and China

Trans Mountain gives contractors 30 days to get workers, supplies ready for pipeline

Crown corporation believes the expansion project could be in service by mid-2022

On vaccines, abortion, Goop, doctor Jen Gunter says: ‘I have a duty to speak up’

She speaks out on menstruation, the wellness industry and vaccines

RCMP and fire departments respond to possible drowning on Sylvan Lake

RCMP say they are actively searching for a man in his 20s with boats on the lake

Most Read