WEYBURN, SASKATOON - READ Saskatoon and the Southeast Regional Library (SRL) are partnering to deliver comprehensive family literacy programming in southeast Saskatchewan.
READ Saskatoon has a long history as a local literacy organization that offers literacy services to adults and families at no cost to participants.
For more than 40 years, the organization has provided adult tutoring services with the help of trained volunteers and community partners. READ Saskatoon offers adult, family, children’s tutoring and financial literacy programs, as well as literacy facilitator trainings and resources.
One of the organization’s strategic goals is to partner with other non-profit organizations to deliver its literacy programming province-wide.
“READ Saskatoon has a proven track record and comprehensive literacy programs that deliver tangible results in Saskatoon and area. With more than one-third of children not ready to start kindergarten when they arrive at school, our province needs increased family literacy programming more than ever,” said READ Saskatoon executive director Sheryl Harrow-Yurach.
Southeast Regional Library (SRL) is headquartered in Weyburn. Established in 1966, the SRL has provided library services to the region for more than 50 years. The library serves nearly 100,000 residents in southeast Saskatchewan through 47 branches. Two city branches are located in Weyburn and Estevan, while the remaining 45 are located in rural Saskatchewan, from Regina Beach to Radville, and Rocanville to Gainsborough.
The library also serves 13 First Nations in the region.
“We are excited to partner with a like-minded organization, the Southeast Regional Library, to deliver our family literacy programming at its branches throughout southeast Saskatchewan,” Harrow-Yurach said.
“Southeast Regional Library’s vision is an informed and literate community. READ Saskatoon’s vision is a community that values, promotes, and supports literacy. We are very much aligned in our core values and we recognize that the more literacy skills young children develop before kindergarten, the better equipped they are for academic and general success in all areas of life later on,” SRL library director Kate-Lee Nolin said.
The benefits of early literacy programming for families and children are substantial, including improvements in readiness for school, early school performance, graduation rates and employment prospects, alongside a reduction in incidences of delinquency, contact with the justice system, and the need for remedial education services.
“This partnership is a real win-win for both of our organizations. READ Saskatoon has plug-and-play programming and our libraries have the infrastructure, people and community networks to deliver it. We already deliver other third-party programming like the TD Summer Read Club program, so we are well positioned,” Nolin said.
“Having READ Saskatoon train our local librarians and other staff also builds new literacy expertise in our communities, which will provide benefits for years to come.”
SRL will begin delivering READ Saskatoon’s 1, 2 Buckle My Shoe family numeracy program in early 2022. It is READ Saskatoon’s newest program for parents, caregivers, and their preschoolers ages three to five.
The program focuses on numbers, counting, estimating, measuring, and shapes through activities, rhymes, and stories. Families will learn fun new activities, games and tips about numbers, math, and problem solving for use every day.