Astonished! 2017 Summer Literacy Summer Students

We are happy to welcome Jill Dempsey and Alix Norum, our 2017 summer students in the A! Summer Literacy program.

Jill Dempsey is going into her second year of Arts Education at the University of Regina, with a concentration in visual arts. However, this will be her sixth year in post secondary. She completed a general studies diploma in Psychology and Sociology from, Lethbridge College. Jill was born in Regina then moved to Lethbridge, Alberta. She hopes to  one day be an Art Therapist! To learn more about Jill…..

I have a passion to help people, including myself, learn and enjoy learning. I think this is a fantastic opportunity for me and for A! Summer Literacy Students to be challenged and encouraged to succeed. I hope to become an art therapist and this is a chance for me to to put some theory into practice. I want to become more aware of the Ability in DisAbility. To every endeavour I bring my spunk.” (Jill Dempsey)

Alix Norum is going into her fourth year of Therapeutic Recreation in the Kinesiology faculty. She spent the past two summers at Camp Easter Seal as a camp counsellor and program counsellor and she is very excited to be the chapter president for Best Buddies at the University of Regina for the 2017-2018 school year. She is originally from Tisdale and enjoys spending her free time at her cabin at Greenwater Lake Provincial Park both in the summer and winter. To learn more about Alix ………

“I am excited to get to know the A! Summer Literacy Students. I look forward to learning about their hopes and dreams, and supporting them in achieving their literacy goals. I like trying new things. I bring my patience, listening skills, and my enthusiasm, and look forward to working with the Core Members of Astonished, the program coordinator, and varying volunteers.” (Alix Norum)

Welcome Jill and Alix.

Thank you to the Saskatchewan Community Initiatives Fund and to HRSDC Canada Summer Job granting program for their support of the A! Summer Literacy program.

PHOTO: Jill Dempsey and Alix Norum

The Gift of Asking and Responding

Their time together begins with conversation. Kennen asks Jill how she is and what she has been doing. This evolves into more inquires about the status of Jill’s upcoming household move. Kennen brings her listening skills and her inquiring mind to her literacy session. Jill brings her love of supporting learning, and helping Kennen achieve her goals. Kennen and Jill are together because they are both good at asking and responding.

Jill Dempsey is an Arts Education student, with a focus on Visual Arts, at the University of Regina. Kennen Dorgan is a Student Researcher in the Astonished! Teaching and Learning Centre. They meet on a regular basis to strengthen Kennen’s literacy skills. Kennen wants to become skilled in reading and typing, with a specific goal in mind; she wants to be able to text with her sister Lynice who lives in Alaska.

Jill and Kennen’s relationship began with asking and responding. Kennen asked for assistance in literacy and this request was conveyed by e-mail from the Astonished! staff to University of Regina students. Jill saw the e-mail and thought this would be a good match for her. Jill had worked as an educational assistant in Lethbridge and she knows the importance of various forms of communication, including written literacy.

Kennen has this to say about her literacy sessions, ‘I like everything, and I am half-way to my goal.’

Thanks Jill and Kennen.

Photo: Kennen Dorgan and Jill Dempsey

Seeking Two Summer Students

Do you love people, technology, literacy, and learning? This could be the summer job for you. This is the fourth year for the Astonished Summer Literacy program and we are proud of the knowledge and skills we have developed together. The summer literacy program is designed to meet the specific  strengths, dreams, and needs of the Core Members who participate in the program.

Astonished! is currently looking for two summer students to work with the Astonished! Program Coordinator to plan, implement, and evaluate our summer literacy program. This literacy program is open to all Astonished! Core Members and participation is limited to approximately 8 Core Members.  The summer position would start the week of May 30th and would conclude the last week of August. Click here for job description and application. All applications due by noon May 13, 2016.

Summer Literacy Success

When you read the words ‘Summer Literacy Program’, what comes to mind? Smiling, happy faces like the ones in the photo above? These are some of the participants in the A! Summer Literacy program.

Pagan Racette (A! Core Member) loved the book I want to Go Home, because it was about summer camp, and she loves summer camp. She also loved coffee break because that is where she got introduced to the app 4 Pics/ 1 Word. The day they learned about blogs she was inspired to create her own blog: My Life with Cerebral Palsy27: Never Give Up 

Ten Core Members, three U of R volunteers, four companions, two A! volunteers, program coordinator Ella McIntyre, and summer student Tara Lazurko participated in this summer program. They got to know the University of Regina and one another, tried out fabulous apps for their iPads and tablets, challenged each other in word games, participated in shared reading, worked on individual literacy lessons, and strengthened their social connections.

Alykhan (Al) Bhanji (U of R student and A! Volunteer) was impressed with the way Ella incorporated interactive apps, social networking, and podcasts that focused on the interests of each individual.

Paige Racette really liked the group reading. She finds it easier to comprehend the oral rather than the written word and this helped her fully participate in analyzing the book outline, characters, and plot development.

Everyone felt a little sad on August 20th because the A! Summer Literacy program was over.

Thank You to everyone who participated and made this program such a great success.

Extra Big Thank You to:

Dairyland Agro Supply Limited– the Summer Literacy Program Official Sponsor/Supporter

HRSDC – Summer Jobs program for granting program for covering a portion of the wages for the summer student position

Community Initiatives Fund for their generous support for the 2015 Astonished! Summer Literacy program

 

Photo:
Front: Tara Lazurko, Kennen Dorgan, Ryan Matheison, Corrie Van Burgsteden, Pagan Racette, Janet Davies, Megan Anderson.

Back : Jenna Petrosky, Rebekah Lindenbach, Judy Humphries, Paige Racette, Al Bhanji, Brittani Brescani, Ella McIntyre.

Missing: Kelsey Culbert, Kaitlyn Hoar, Avery Ottenbreit, Jody Mario.