Groups team up to make homework fun

A stress-free reading-at-home workshop took place at the Grand Forks Public Library recently.

Wanda Hecht, Aboriginal education teacher for School District 51, Heather Buzzell, director of the Grand Forks Public Library, and Lizanne Eastwood, community literacy co-ordinator for Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy (CBAL), joined forces to offer this workshop to parents of children who have been receiving extra tutoring throughout the school year.

Parents from both Hutton and Perley schools attended this fun and informative workshop, shared a pizza dinner with their children and were able to take home a variety of gently used books for their home libraries – dictionaries, thesauruses, encyclopedias, picture books and novels.

The premise of the workshop was to turn homework from a chore into an enjoyable shared family activity.

Malayna Gross and Janet Thorpe shared tips, tricks, games and resources parents can use to make homework time less stressful.

As the parents attended the workshop the children were able to enjoy puppet plays in the children’s area of the library and Aboriginal

storytelling, thanks to guest Taress Alexis from School District 20.

Homework is not always the easiest thing to deal with at the end of a busy school day, but something that CBAL and School District 51 together have found a way to fund and to make fun.

Wanda Hecht in the east, and Marilyn Hanson from the west of the district have done a fabulous job co-ordinating after-school tutoring at Perley, Hutton, and Greenwood elementary schools.

Tutors for the program have been Anne Raynor-Gould, Amy Holitzki, Debbie Cumming, Nicole Reid, Janet Thorpe, Kathy Enns and Jackie Ogloff.

In addition to the after-school tutoring, there has been a summer program at the Grand Forks Public Library with tutors Amy Holitzki, Nicole Hecht, Erika Thorpe and Jamie Jones.

It is the hope of everyone involved that the tutoring can continue next summer with the added bonus of children being able to attend the Summer Reading Club at the library.

In a small community such as ours, collaboration and cooperation between institutions, such as the school district and the public library, and service

agencies such as CBAL, makes a huge difference in the quality and number of programs we are able to offer families and children.

For more information on literacy programs, volunteering or donating used books, please contact Lizanne Eastwood, the community literacy co-ordinator for The Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy by email at or by phone at 250-442-2533.

Submitted by Lizanne Eastwood