Steinbach MLA and Education and Training Minister Kelvin Goertzen announced that the Manitoba government is investing over $400,000 to support middle and senior years teachers through a renewal of the Reading Apprenticeship program.

“The program provides teachers with new resources to support their students’ growth in reading and thinking skills,” said Goertzen. “Improving literacy and enhancing classroom instruction across the curriculum is a priority for our government. We want to invest in resources that advance professional development for teachers and enrich students’ learning.”

The Reading Apprenticeship program provides training to teachers so they can help students improve literary engagement, fluency and comprehension. The program also offers teachers guidance to support students become motivated, strategic and critical readers, thinkers and writers.

The three-year program engages teachers in various facilitated learning sessions where they explore their own reading and thinking processes in a variety of curriculum texts. This process helps them develop new strategies to apprentice students in different ways of reading, thinking and learning.

“We believe literacy is one of the foundations of all learning,” said Kelly Barkman, superintendent/CEO, River East Transcona School Division. “The Reading Apprenticeship program has had a tremendously positive impact for both teachers and students in our division, and we would like to thank the Manitoba government for its continued support.”

The minister noted that studies show the program produces significant improvements in reading comprehension, engagement and achievement across subject areas. Program findings show significant growth in teacher and leader confidence and capacity, and greater collaboration and communication related to literacy for staff across the school community.

The Manitoba government will provide $140,000 annually over the next three years for the Reading Apprenticeship program. September 2018 numbers show 600 teachers in 100 French and English schools across 25 school divisions have participated in the Reading Apprenticeship program training.