New Books Help Students Usher In The School Year
To provide every student with the learning environment they need to succeed, Ontario's publicly funded schools are taking delivery of new textbooks, library books and other learning resources in time for the start of the new school yea
Providing learning and library resources, teaching resources and professional development opportunities is a key component of the McGuinty government's commitment to improving literacy and numeracy achievement among students. The government's goal is that 75 per cent of Grade 6 students meet the provincial standard in reading, writing and math by 2008.
Studies show that students who have access to library resources that interest and excite them will develop a deeper love of reading and learning. A Statistics Canada study released in April 2005 showed that inadequate spending may limit the ability of school libraries to maintain collections that meet student needs in an information-based environment. For many students, their only regular exposure to books, multi-media and research materials is through their school library.
"A current, vibrant school library collection is crucial in engaging students and boosting their achievement. This grant represents a very important first step in the renewal of Ontario's school library collections. We are very pleased that the McGuinty government is reinvesting in school libraries and recognizing the important role they play in providing an information-rich learning environment for all students."
Anita Brooks-Kirkland, President, Ontario School Library Association
The McGuinty government is entering its second full year of an extraordinary $8.3 billion, four-year investment in Ontario's publicly funded schools. Part of this investment, announced in May 2005, includes an additional $61 million for new textbooks, other learning resources (such as magazines, computer software and multi-media resources, including CD-ROMs and DVDs) and library resources. Every school -- regardless of its size or geographic location -- will benefit from the investment.
The funding includes:
- A $44 million increase for textbooks and other learning resources, which is a 30 per cent increase over last year's overall expenditure of $147 million
- $29.5 million in the 2005-06 school year for textbooks and other learning resources for elementary schools
- $14.5 million in the 2005-06 school year for textbooks and other learning resources for secondary schools
- $11 million for new resource materials for elementary school libraries
- $6 million for new resource materials for secondary school libraries.
Additionally, more than $7 million has been allocated for literacy and numeracy training and resources for elementary teachers.
Providing Teachers with the Tools They Need
The McGuinty government is ensuring teachers have the resources they need to help their students achieve positive outcomes.
Last year, some of the resources assisting teachers included:
- A guide to support boys who have reading challenges, Me Read? No Way! A Practical Guide to Improving Boys' Literacy Skills, based on national and international research
- Early screening and intervention tools developed with the Learning Disabilities Association of Ontario to help teachers support students with special needs in JK to Grade 1 by identifying specific areas of concern and developing individual action plans
- E-learning modules, developed in partnership with TVO, which provide highly effective reading and math instruction techniques for elementary teachers.
In addition, just this summer, nearly 6,000 teachers participated in ministry-sponsored literacy and numeracy training for kindergarten to Grade 6.