Following an extremely sussessful introduction in 10 GECDSB schools during the 2016-17 school year, the Empower program is now available to students at every GECDSB elementary school. Ninety-seven percent of the students involved in the intensive, reasearch-based intervention program last year improved their reading.
"It's amazing" says Karen Reis, a Learning Support Teacher at Roseville Public School. Her colleague, Rhonda Patterson, who teaches at Ford City Public School, agrees. "They made so much progress," she says. "They experience success." Which leads to confidence and pride as students recognize their own abilities. Many students improved their reading by 2 or 3 grade levels in one year.
Empower was developed at Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto. Karen Steinback, a program mentor, (pictured left, above) is working with GECDSB teachers introduced to it for the first time as well as those such as Ms. Reis and Ms. Patterson who experienced Empower last year. The program is focused on students who have a learning disability profile.
Windsor Star article (Sept. 13/17): Empowered students learning to overcome reading challenges