Family literacy hub to open in La Ronge

·2 min read

A Northern family literacy hub will start its first chapter in La Ronge this summer.

KidsFirst North will establish the La Ronge and Area Family Literacy Hub with nisto ihtāwina Early Years Family Resource Centre in July. The hub aims to serve families and young children from La Ronge, Air Ronge and the Lac La Ronge Indian Band.

The hub is also responding to a need for improved literacy supports identified by the Ministry of Education in northern Saskatchewan, a news release said.

The new location will allow "Northern families to access, learn and engage in family literacy programs that relate to their experiences as Northern residents," KidsFirst North program manager Rebecca Clark said in a prepared statement.

Books offered at the hub will reflect northern language, culture and environment, a news release said. Students will also be able to gather around and use a large drum while storytelling.

The new hub will be one of several provincially-funded centres across Saskatchewan serving children ages six and under.

In a prepared statement, Education Minister Dustin Duncan praised the literacy hubs' work during the pandemic. The hubs have provided virtual programming, shared laptops, supported parents with learning at home, built literacy kits for families, and led outdoor events, such as story walks.

The province's other hubs operate out of community-based organizations in Moose Jaw, Swift Current, Rosetown, Lloydminster, Prince Albert and Saskatoon, a news release said. Based out of Gravelbourg, the Mathieu Family Literacy Hub also provides French language family literacy programming and resources.

The literacy hubs cost the province $425,000 in the most recent budget.

"Literacy is so important for children's learning and development, and parents really are their child's first teacher," Duncan said. "It is inspiring to see how these hubs have continued to serve families."

Nick Pearce, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The StarPhoenix

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