LES Gets Ready
by Helena Tsitouras
Leading up to the school year, LaSalle Elementary Senior offered a few of their students a chance to get a head start by participating in their Literacy and Sports camp called ‘LES Gets Ready Summer Camp’! Students have the potential to lose up to 2 months of reading performance in the summer. To combat this, from August 9-22 about 24 students ranging from Grade 3 to Grade 6 spent a few hours each day at LaSalle Senior to work on their academics.
“The Goal of LES Gets Ready was to improve school readiness as well as develop a greater sense of self-confidence and a positive relationship to learning,” explained Grade 3 teacher Lynn Dallaire.
The summer camp started as an idea of Principal Maria Pan’s, who hoped to prevent literacy loss and to create better relationships between family and school. Through École Montréalaise, which offers support to schools in Montreal’s disadvantaged areas, LaSalle Elementary Senior received a grant to make the literacy camp a reality. With the help of staff members Lynn Dallaire, Amanda Wood, Shelley Izzard, and Katie D’Alesio, they were able to do just that.
Students were invited to attend based on recommendations from their previous year’s teacher. The camp followed a project-based learning structure where each grade worked on projects revolving around the theme of Bugs and Insects. Each day students would participate in group and individual reading, sports and physical activity, arts and crafts, and group projects. The day would end with playtime outside either in their yard or the nearby splash pad. Every activity done in the camp was not only rooted in learning but also in fun!
As a final activity for the students to take part in, LES Gets Ready summer camp took their students on a special field trip to Montreal’s Insectarium. Here, students were able to see insects in their natural habitats and allowed them to experience what they had learned in their classrooms in the real world.
To conclude the camp, parents were invited to LaSalle Senior for an “open-house/barbeque”. Parents were able to look through all the amazing work their children had completed throughout their time at the camp. Students were able to bring home their completed work, and learning games were sent home in packages for the families to continue to play together. Afterwards, everyone got together for a barbeque outdoors. Teachers, resource staff, and the principal had the opportunity to connect with the parents as they looked forward to the school year ahead.
LES Gets Ready summer camp proved to be a success at the beginning of the school year. “We really had a great time because when they came back to school in September, they were all excited, enthusiastic, and happy to be there and happy to have the same teacher.” shared Shelley Izzard, grade 5 teacher. Not only was the camp an opportunity to kick start a wonderful school year, but it led to ingrained confidence, and a newfound love for learning.