Quispamsis, NB: Today PC Leader Blaine Higgs announced his government would take steps to correct New Brunswick’s decades-long trend of low literacy rates by applying a literacy-first lens to education.
“The literacy rate in this province is an embarrassment that we cannot put up with any longer,”
says Blaine Higgs, leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of New Brunswick. “Literacy is the foundation on which a thriving economy is built. It is tied to mental health, innovation and employment – it is quite literally the key to moving our province forward.”
This will be achieved by working with teachers to establish literacy as the key to future learning, using the following five-step plan:
Launch a Community Schools Program, where priority neighbourhood schools can be supported by community mentors, after-hours learning and tutoring, experiential learning and family support programs.
Work with not-for-profit organizations, post-secondary institutions and private sector partners to develop a New Brunswick Literacy Corps of trained volunteer teachers to support and help at-risk learners.
Transform schools into family literacy hubs, offering tools and resources for parents to give every child a head start on learning.
Expand learning opportunities for advanced learners, including after-school programs, volunteer learning, and dual credit programs with colleges and universities.
Review the format of report cards to ensure that they are providing adequate information for students and parents.
“The Gallant Liberals are content to throw big money at things and hope for the best. Our team is determined to spend wisely to address specific issues. That’s how we’ll get real results,” says Higgs. “Our children deserve the chance to have a positive impact on the province. Standing by while they fall short on reading is unforgivable.”