The Reading Council of Greater Winnipeg (RCGW) has been dedicated to promoting literacy and developing lifelong readers since 1956. We have a proud history of being a literacy leader in Winnipeg and its surrounding area. We are a Special Area Group of Educators (SAGE) of the Manitoba Teachers' Society and a local council of the International Literacy Association.
RCGW provides professional development for educators, shares resources and ideas on our website, celebrates I Love to Read month, promotes literacy in the community, honours literacy leaders and up-and-coming teacher candidates, and supports literacy projects. Join RCGW today!
The Reading Council of Greater Winnipeg proudly awards scholarships each year to students enrolled in a Bachelor of Education program at a university in Manitoba. Here are this year's recipients. Congratulations!
Jamie Armstrong is in the Bachelor of Education program at the University of Manitoba. Jamie describes how language builds communities, identities and relationships. She envisions how language empowers students to explore their world. In her classroom, she sees literacy as a way to empower students to make meaning by drawing on their creativity and personal expression. She plans to build literacy throughout all of the curricular areas which is enabled by the Manitoba English Language Arts Curriculum. Jamie will support students’ agency through encouraging their critical thinking, self-reflection, and offering choice in the ways they express their learning. It is through literacy that Jamie will create a classroom environment that respects and acknowledges diversity. She plans to create a classroom library “ensuring that all reading material celebrates diversity, and creates avenues for children to celebrate what makes us all unique.” Jamie says, “Within my literacy program, I value a diverse collection of literature that celebrates representation. Diverse literature has so much power in the hands of readers. Not only does it expose readers to different aspects of citizenship, but it also allows readers to see themselves in different texts. Jamie sees literacy as having power to change and spark movements for the better. And lastly, Jamie sees her role as guiding her students through new experiences in which they will generate new meanings and ways of connecting, and develop their sense of autonomy.
Taralyn Epp is in the Bachelor of Education program at the University of Winnipeg. Taralyn’s teaching philosophy is centered around inclusion, community, and justice. She believes that “all students are able to learn when given the appropriate tools and opportunities to do so. To create equity in classroom learning experiences, we must honor the diversity in language, culture, and ability that exists in our classrooms, and aim to make the curriculum accessible to each student.” Taralyn understands that the key to meeting the needs of all students is through a teacher being informed of the many components for building children’s literacy. Taralyn also places a strong emphasis on developing creativity, critical thinking, and problem solving, and as well providing opportunities for students to discover a sense of self, their interests, their passions, and their community. Through her classroom library, Taralyn will build a place of belonging where students will see themselves and others represented in books. Taralyn states that, “Literature, when chosen carefully and mindfully, is a powerful tool for facilitating inclusion and a sense of belonging in the classroom.” She believes that books should represent many voices and perspectives, and stimulate conversations about whose voice is missing. Taralyn knows that meaningful learning stems from students being able to make personal and community connections to their studies. This is enhanced when learning is connected to the wider community through projects and local events. When learning is integrated across curricular areas students’ learning is further enriched. Taralyn concluded her vision statement for literacy with, “Literacy is the basis for all learning, and education is the key to ending the cycles of poverty, inequity, and discrimination in our communities. As educators, we hold a great responsibility to influence the thoughts and outcomes of the students who will, one day, create change in our society.”
Chloe Kreitz is in the Bachelor of Education program at the University of Winnipeg. Chloe places relationship building as central to her teaching philosophy. By connecting with your students, she says, you become privileged to a deeper understanding of who your students are as a whole, including what their needs are and how to best meet their needs. Chloe plans to nurture a positive classroom environment that will encourage a desire within her students to want to learn along with her. Chloe seeks to build a love of reading and writing through her literacy programming. She will engage students in active learning by learning about their interests and following their wonderings to develop their confidence and sense of independence. Chloe sees the benefit of group activities enabling students to learn about the perspectives of others, develop their communication skills and learn tools for effective collaboration while getting to know their classmates. Chloe understands that effective literacy instruction involves a complexity of components that a teacher draws from on a daily basis. She is aware of the foundational skills of reading development including phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary development, comprehension, and fluency. Chloe will provide opportunities for her students to practice their reading through differentiated centers, small-group and whole-group instruction, reading aloud, silent reading, and partner reading. Chloe is a life-long learner and is committed to continuing her own professional development in the field of literacy.
Kara Jeffrey is in her final year in the Faculty of Education at the Université de Saint- Boniface. Kara understands the enormous responsibility of educators in teaching the required curriculum, but at the same time, in helping to shape and develop future citizens. She believes that all students must be supported in a comfortable yet challenging environment to grow as learners, develop to their full potential, and emerge from their education as kind and contributing members of society. To this end, and of the utmost importance is the need to make positive connections and interactions with her students so they will want to come to school to learn and have a sense of belonging. Literacy is the key for anyone to express themselves, connect with others, and learn new things. Kara’s goal is to teach in a French immersion school. She plans to have a classroom library where students can access books in both French and English for in- class reading or that can be taken home. Books will be selected that tell the stories of people who represent minority groups, come from different socioeconomic backgrounds, and live in different parts of the world. Kara understands the importance and power of oral Indigenous storytelling. She plans to invite elders to her classroom to tell stories so that students learn about the Indigenous culture and understand the different ways we can express ourselves through story telling. Through her personal experience as a student, Kara learned that reading in her history courses deepened her knowledge of people and the world around her. As someone who learned French as a second language, Kara found that her reading of French novels greatly expanded her vocabulary, and helped her to apply grammar rules, and enrich her reading strategies. Kara is committed to creating a classroom where children will have many opportunities to practice and engage in reading and writing through respectful and meaningful experiences.
Meetings are open to all members. Please consider attending!
We welcome short book reviews, articles about teaching strategies, and other submissions. Please contact the Editor.