London’s Westminster Park Community Church IRead Program Launch

by The Salvation Army in Canada

In February 2014 Westminster Park Community Church began a literacy program which was named iRead. We received a grant to buy equipment and supplies to help run this program. At this point we have 15 children that attend the program every Thursday after school from 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM. During that time, they switch from different stations which include, sight words, reading to someone, reading to themselves and iPads and computers that have reading programs designed to help children improve their reading and reading comprehension. This program was created for children in need of assistance with their reading skills, which was identified by their teacher and parents. It was also designed to assist parents who could not afford a literacy program for their child.

Every week the children are assessed and evaluated on their progress and parents are updated with their progress reports to be taken back to their teachers. We see the children excited to come each and every week, for example when there was March break we did not run iRead and one of the children said “I want to come next week even though there is no school.” The children respond very well to using the computers and iPads provided, one child said “It doesn’t feel like you are doing a test when you are using an iPad” and another “I like using the computers cause it makes me want to learn and it is fun at the same time.” We have seen the confidence building within the children that are participating in the program. When you have trouble reading, it can affect so many different areas in your life that you might not even realize.