Bridging the gap in early literacy
Research is clear that becoming a skilled, confident reader during the first few years at school has a direct impact on a child’s well-being and positive school outcomes. Our aim is to support education leaders to ensure that all children can read by the end of Grade 3.
In collaboration with literacy experts, educators and Indigenous communities across North America, The Learning Bar developed the Confident Learners Program, a 3-year intervention designed to markedly improve the reading skills of children, build educators’ leadership and instructional capacity and support caregivers in becoming effective partners in their children’s reading success.
Video - Unlock each child’s potential
Empowering educators with the skills to drive change
The first step to sustainable literacy improvements is to empower educators with the knowledge and skills that are directly linked to the science of reading and effective classroom practice. Knowledge that is grounded in academic research, linked to proven and practical classroom intervention and that supports how children learn to read. Managing the wide range of learning needs in the classroom is one of the greatest challenges educators face. Each school and community has their own areas of strength and challenge that need to be addressed in a coordinated way to make meaningful gains in student literacy and graduation rates.
Unlocking a world of possibilities for all your students with a new step-by-step approach
Educators have a solid body of research evidence on how children learn to read, and what instructional approaches work best. This evidence is the foundation of the Confident Learners program. The program uses a systematic and explicit approach to teaching in which positive student outcomes can be realized quickly. The emphasis on a specific sequence of skills development means that children learn how the sounds they hear in words – phonemes – are linked to the letters they see in print – graphemes. As children learn how to sound out words using the phonemes, they quickly learn how to read words, spell them, and make simple sentences. Before long, they are reading full sentences and short passages. This innovative approach drives confidence in becoming a reader.
The program will:
Provide the sequence for teaching children eight core reading skills.
Give teachers an opportunity to increase their professional literacy knowledge and apply this in the classroom.
Support parents and caregivers in becoming effective partners in their children’s learning to read.
What Our Clients Say
“The Confident Learners Program gave our teachers the tools to move each student along the Literacy Pathway of learning how to read. It was like a fine-toothed comb, clearly identifying what each student needed to work on, as opposed to a general instructional focus. Using the Confident Learners assessment tools we could specifically identify the Code and Language skills needed. Student success in reading began to improve overall, and in particular, a number of the struggling readers began moving reading levels. Their confidence and self-esteem was given a boost and they began to love reading. Becoming a confident reader was paving the way for them to become a confident learner. Our students were being rewarded with the golden ticket of becoming a life-long learner.”
Karen McColman,Retired Literacy Lead, Kengewin Teg aggregate
“Thank you for sending such excellent (assessment) team members that are excited to be at our schools. We love working with people that see our students as the bright beautiful spirits they are; they shine when others recognize this in them. We look forward to hearing back any updates and future visits regarding our Confident Learners program.”
Simon Bird,Director of Education, Lac La Ronge Indian Band, Saskatchewan
“Two of the most important roles of the Elementary Principal is instructional leadership and support. The Confident Learner Program is the tool we can use as Principals to do just that. It is concise, data driven, student-centred and teacher friendly. It has allowed me to learn alongside the teachers about literacy development and improvement of instructional practice.”
Neil Debassige,Former Principal, Lakeview School, M'Chigeeng First Nation, Manitoulin Island
“As you move through literacy programming, one of the things I find is that with current balanced literacy approaches, guided reading, all of the questions that our early literacy teachers are asking are ‘what happens when a student gets stuck? What happens when we are looking at those things and say, I don't know what to do next. I don't know how this child is moving.’ When we dug deeper into literacy in Saskatchewan, we had focus groups who were talking about all the same kind of things. What I found with Confident Learners is that it became the answer to some of those questions moving from the balanced literacy approach, then moving into specific skill based. What are the skills that have been gapped over time or missed? Splitting it into that conversation that we're having around language and coding Confident Learners has comprehensively addressed some of those questions that a lot of educators have been asking for a lot of years.”