It seemed as though we just couldn’t close the registration list on Saturday 1 October, when 47 reading guides attended the 2016 Reading Circle training at our Belmont office.This was a record number. Guides poured in and enthusiasm was high at the session as they pledged to take the structured reading skills back to their reading rooms.
Reading Circle coordinator, Lilian Ramsaroop gave guides the administrative tour of their role and responsibilities to their students, as well as the relationship that must develop between guides and literacy tutors.
Especially for the new reading guides, ALTA Founder and CEO, Paula Lucie Smith’s explanation of the components of reading as taught in the literacy classroom and their direct links to the structure of the guided reading lessons was explicit. For all guides this made it clear that reading is complicated.
It’s a Funny Game, the factual and humorous book modelled by Lystra Hazarie, ALTA National Coordinator, introduced guides to several of the tools that comprise the guided reading concept that ALTA has been exploring for the past several years with Wallis Wyke.
In turn, guides got the opportunity to be teachers and students using ALTA library sets from different literary genres. Judging from their reactions, the newly trained guides were enthusiastic about having to demo a book. Many of them said that the training was much more interesting than they had imagined.
At the end of the day regional coordinators met with their guides to discuss the start-up challenges and strategies, and library sets were distributed to the 16 active reading circles across the country.