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"Super-Nanny" to the Rescue!

by Katie R - 1 Comment(s)

‘Super-Nanny’. That’s how Vivian, age 11 and currently in Gr. 6, and her parents, Daniel and Sandra, refer to Eileen, the volunteer who’s been working with Vivian in the TD Read With Me program since February 2009. For an hour a week during most weeks since then, Vivian and Eileen have met at a Library branch and shared reading in order to help Vivian develop her English literacy skills.

Vivian’s parents Sandra and Daniel are originally from South America and their first language is Spanish. When Vivian first started learning to read in English at school, they were a bit concerned as they felt they couldn’t provide as much help to her at home as they would have liked in this area. They decided to seek extra support for her through the Library's TD Read With Me program.

Enter Eileen and her dedicated, kind and patient help. Daniel explains: "Each week, we met with Eileen and saw Vivian progressing and becoming more confident. We started to notice how much help she was providing to Vivian and even to us, as parents. Vivian is now so confident – she corrects us on our pronunciation in English and sometimes serves as our ‘personal translator’. She also shows a special love for books and a love of learning in general. We feel this development is not only from the school environment, but also because of the friendship with Eileen. This is not just a reading program to us. We have developed a strong relationship with Eileen and we’re grateful for her time and knowledge. It’s more like a family relationship with her, for the whole family." Hence, ‘Super-Nanny’.

Vivian provided her own feedback about working with Eileen in the program:‘"I like being with her because I get a bit of social life with her and I enjoy reading with her. We read books on lots of topics. I like the program of the Library. It’s actually very good. I learned so much from Eileen’s experiences and all the words she’s taught me. It’s helped me in school. Eileen’s really nice and kind and when I don’t get something, she explains it until I get it and she’s a great person."

The feelings are mutual, as Eileen shares: "I've thoroughly enjoyed working with Vivian and her family. She’s kind of filled a gap for me because my grandchildren are all grown-up. I’ve always loved reading. We have fun."

Eileen and Vivian currently comprise the longest-standing match in the program, and they will have been working together for 5 years as of February 2014. What an amazing feat - to build such a strong and enduring bond! Thank you, Eileen, for all the time and energy you have dedicated to volunteering with Calgary Public Library! And best of luck to you, Vivian, in Junior High next fall!

Meet Our Volunteer Ricky!

by Katie R - 0 Comment(s)

Say Hi to Ricky!

Ricky is one of our superstar Reading Buddies volunteers. Not only has he volunteered for two years with the program, but he was also a Reading Buddies participant when he was younger. "I loved it so much that I came back!"

The Calgary Public Library's Reading Buddies program pairs youth volunteers with children in grades 1-3 to help them develop a life-long love of reading and confidence in their literacy skills.

Ricky enjoys volunteering for Reading Buddies because it is an entertaining and enriching program. As an aspiring teacher this program allows him to work with children and develop their reading abilities. Ricky takes time and care with each of his little buddies, knowing each child is unique in their strengths and interests.

He believes that volunteering is valuable not only for yourself but for your community. "Every volunteer has a meaningful impact on the community, creating a network of support and strengthening the structures of a community each time they decide to give up a bit of their time."

Without volunteers like Ricky, the Reading Buddies program would not be as successful as it is now. Thank you so much for giving up a bit of your time every week. Your hard work, dedication, and enthusiasm make you a valuable member of Calgary Public Library’s volunteer team!

To learn more about becoming a Reading Buddies volunteer please call Jody Watson at 403-221-2062.

A Match Made in Canada

by Katie R - 0 Comment(s)

'I really liked working with Sharon because she helped me a lot if I had trouble and helped me sound words out. She’s nice.’

Strong praise from Brian, a Grade 6 student and recent graduate of the TD Read With Me program. He was speaking of Sharon Dun, the volunteer with whom he has worked in the program since December 2009. As of his graduation date in mid-June, Sharon and Brian comprised the 4th longest-standing match in the program. Matches in the TD Read With Me program meet one-on-one in a Library branch for an hour per week, so the participants can receive support around building their literacy skills from the volunteers, and it is a rare (and kindred) match that stays together for 3.5 years!

Sharon started with the program in February 2009 and worked for about six months with another young reader before she met Brian and his family. She is a kind, caring and fun individual with a wonderful sense of humour and she works hard to connect with and engage her young students in their sessions together each week.

Sharon relates:‘It’s been a great experience for me…I’ve really enjoyed it. It’s been very rewarding, in many aspects. Brian’s family has been so involved, supportive and encouraging of Brian. I’ve felt really appreciated. I’m impressed with how much Brian has improved with his reading and self-confidence. It’s been really neat to watch him grow and learn.’

Inju and Kang Chul, Brian’s parents, wanted to voice their esteem for Sharon as well:‘We really appreciate Sharon coming every week and helping Brian. He enjoys the Library sessions with her because she makes things fun. We feel it’s really great that Sharon volunteers her time- it’s not the case as much [that people volunteer] in Korea, where we’re from, so it’s really incredible and we’re thankful.’

Thank you, Sharon, for all the amazing help you’ve provided to Brian in the TD Read With Me program! Best of luck to you in junior high, Brian!

Pictured above: Volunteer Sharon Dun, Learner Brian, and parents Inju and Kang Chul

Prevent Summer Learning Loss

by Betsy - 0 Comment(s)

Why is it important for your child to keep reading over the summer? Well, beyond the fact they have been working hard for the last 10 months at school, studies have shown that those students who stop reading over the summer will start the next year well behind their peers that keep reading over the summer months; this is called summer learning loss. Not only that, but that loss will be cumulative, giving the child who keeps reading each summer a distinct advantage over the child who doesn’t read, meaning that by sixth grade the child who doesn’t read will be as much as two grades behind the child who does. This makes the “Library Habit” a great one for the summer. While Summer Learning Loss affects all non-reading children, it is seen most profoundly in children in lower socio-economic backgrounds, as shown in this video, posted by the American Library Association.

The TD Summer Reading Club is open to all children in Calgary, who can keep track of either the time they spend reading or the books that they read on a passport or activity booklet. The SRC's official Kick-Off date is Saturday, June 15th, (with scavenger hunts held at every branch!) This is a program designed to keep children reading all summer – with weekly ballots and prize drawings at every branch, and a grand prize draw to be done at the end of the summer.

This year's theme is Go! How can you participate? Go! to the Library! Think about where you've Gone!, where you would you like to Go! and let staff at your local Library find you and your child some great books to read to, listen to, or just let your imagination do the work while the library helps you Go! wherever you want this summer with the TD Summer Reading Club. Here are a few suggestions to get you started (don't forget to check for electronic resources, too.)

31 Ways to Change the World31 Ways to Change the World Dinosaurs Before DarkDinosaurs Before Dark Invention of Hugo Cabret (Book CD)Invention of Hugo Cabret (Book CD)

Meet Our New Volunteer Adam!

by Katie R - 1 Comment(s)

Adam is just one of our 15 amazing Math Minds volunteers. Math Minds is a 14 week math tutoring program designed for children in grades one through six. Funded by Canadian Oil Sands Limited, the Math Minds program is a collaborative partnership aimed at improved numeracy throughout Calgary.

Currently in his 4th year in the University of Calgary’s General Mathematics program, Adam plans to pursue a Master’s degree in Economics. He has an obvious talent for numeracy and he knows what strategies will be effective. What makes Adam special is his dedication and ability to connect to his students. His friendly and engaging manner allows the learner to feel confident and willing to learn. Adam has not only recruited other volunteers to the program, but he has filled in for these volunteers when they have been ill. Adam has also volunteered in the World Partnership Walk, Cancer Society's Relay For Life, and Volunteer Eco Student Aboard (VESA).

When asked why he volunteers, Adam replied “I volunteer because it's important to give back to the community in any capacity that you can. In the past, I did a lot of fundraising for different organizations and as I have gotten older I have developed a new capacity to give back, which is the passing on of knowledge. Knowledge is the most vital resource in this technological age that I feel it is the best thing to give back to the community. I especially enjoy volunteering in the Math Minds Program because I love to see when students are able to connect seemingly unrelated ideas together or when they smile after realizing that Math doesn't have to be as difficult as people play it out to be.”

If your child is experiencing difficulties in mathematics, the Canadian Oil Sands Ltd Math Minds program offered by the Calgary Public Library could be the solution. Check out the links below for information on our summer program.

http://calgarypubliclibrary.com/about-us/volunteer/volunteer-programs/canadian-oil-sands-math-minds

Canadian Oil Sands Math Minds

by Katie Radke - 0 Comment(s)

Our newest volunteer program, Canadian Oil Sands Math Minds is designed to foster confidence in math skills among students in grades one through six. Through fun numeracy activities and with support from adult volunteers, elementary students receive specialized math tutoring services by using JUMP Math material.

Adults with an interest in math and an interest in helping children improve their math skills are encouraged to volunteer. Training will be provided.

Listen to Mayor Nenshi share the importance of math skills and his personal invitation for you to volunteer!

Learn more about the Canadian Oil Sands Math Minds program here and apply to volunteer with library programs here.