2015/16 Priority 1: Improving Literacy

*This proposal is established in consultation with the principal of the school, and has been passed by majority vote by the members in the October 14, 2015 PAC meeting. In addition to the proposal are some education and background information about literacy to help parents understand the importance behind levelled readers.

Funding priorities are items that will be funded directly by the major funding sources (such as direct donation, profits from the annual event, misc. fundraisers). These are the key reasons noted on donation letters. However, the PAC also funds other activities besides these priorities, subject to the funding plan approved by the membership.

For any questions please contact  caphillpac@gmail.com.

URGENT NEED: Finance levelled reading books to improve literacy – $10 000. We will need $10 000 to complete our levelled readers collection for the entire school. We have 70% of levelled readers left to purchase. For those who are able, this amounts to a one time contribution of $30 for each student attending Capitol Hill Elementary.

What is literacy? Literacy is the ability to read, view, write, design, speak and listen in a way that allows you to communicate effectively. The power of literacy lies not just in the ability to read and write, but rather in a person’s capacity to apply these skills to effectively connect, interpret and discern the intricacies of the world in which they live. With today’s learners faced with a myriad of traditional and digital literacies, how can we as parents ensure that our children develop the skills to effectively navigate and decipher the constant information stream that surrounds them?

Why it is so important? Today, many children are being classed as ‘digital natives’ – just as comfortable online as they are offline. The internet enables endless educational possibilities, with constantly evolving information streams, however, the vastness of the internet can be a hindrance to those children who cannot effectively sift through and interpret the material presented. Strong literacy skills are a key tool used when children discern and interpret information, enabling them to utilise the internet to its full potential and making sure that the inevitable ‘digital footprint’ that children will leave, is one that is safe, appropriate, and reflective of their true self.

What are levelled reading books? Learn how teachers are helping kids become better readers by matching them to the right books at the right time. ~ by D. Wilburn Levelled reading removes the “one size fits all” approach to reading, giving each child the opportunity to develop essential skills at their own pace. With levelled reading, your child is usually placed in a group with other children who read at roughly the same level of ability. Rather than having the entire class read the same book (which some students might find too hard and some too easy), levelled reading allows teachers to use a more personalized and precise approach to monitor a child’s progress and help him learn to read. …read more

Frequently Asked Questions:

Books!?! Shouldn’t the government be funding books? The government has been cutting back on educational supplies, including books. The budget for educational resources is $5000 for the entire school for 2015/2016, which is no where close to enough.

Is the PAC doing anything to advocate? YES! Through the DPAC, the PAC is advocating for increases to educational funding from the government. However, that process takes a long time, and success is uncertain. We will make an attempt to publicize the parents’ effort in subsidizing the school system. The advocacy happens in parallel to fundraising. In the meantime, we want our children to have what they need to succeed, so we have to raise our own funds while the advocacy process continues.

Will the government make further cuts? The government has announced plans through the DPAC to cut music programs, arts programs, and the library. These are areas of concentration that the PAC will need to focus on, both in mitigation and in advocacy next.