Tuesday, April 18, 2006

More on the LG of Ontario's reading camps

Have posted on this previously quite a few times. This is also being done in partnership with Frontier College. Info on that HERE.

PUBLICATION: The London Free Press
DATE: 2006.04.13
BYLINE: PETER GEIGEN-MILLER, FREE PRESS REPORTER

CAMPS TAKE LEARNING TO REMOTE AREAS ONTARIO LT.-GOV. JAMES BARTLEMAN SEES LITERACY AS KEY TO BREAKING THROUGH POVERTY AND DESPAIR.

Saying that reading and writing are the keys to breaking a cycle of poverty and despair, Ontario's lieutenant-governor is spearheading a program to establish summer literacy camps in 27 isolated Northern Ontario communities this summer.

London-educated James Bartleman talked about his literacy project yesterday during a visit with The London Free Press's editorial board.

Bartleman said the summer program grows out of a pilot project operated successfully last summer in five remote communities.

This summer's program, with Frontier College as the lead agency, will operate 35 camps in 27 communities.

All are "fly-in" communities with no road connections to southern Ontario.

Their remote location has contributed to poverty, abuse, low educational levels and poor self-esteem, Bartleman said. Adolescent suicides are frequent because of the lack of opportunity.

Bartleman is counting on improved literacy to improve the lives of young people and encourage them to stay in school.

The summer camps will provide morning instruction for children aged five to 10 and afternoon programs for adolescents.

It's important to get children learning early, Bartleman said.

"You have to get them reading in Grade 2 or they won't be able to read and write."

He pointed to statistics showing 40 to 50 per cent of aboriginal children fail to meet literacy and numeracy requirements in Grades 4, 7 and 10. Seventy-five per cent fail to graduate from high school.

Bartleman was appointed lieutenant-governor in March 2001, becoming Ontario's 41st vice-regal representative.

He talked yesterday about being raised in Muskoka and, with support from a benefactor, coming to London for his high school education at Central secondary school.

He went on to earn a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Western Ontario in 1963.

Bartleman served for more than three decades with Canada's foreign service and held posts around the world.

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