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Dozens of young Red Deer students wrap up their BEST SUMMER EVER next week


reading college

It’s hard to believe!

  • –  how fast the days have come and gone…and each one has been special and amazing
  • –  the significant progress and growth shown by our students …the increase in skills,motivation and interest have been incredible
  • –  that with summer holidays about to really begin for these kids,they are sad that Reading College is coming to an end…they truly are going to miss the ‘best summer ever!’
  • –  the response from parents on the impact Reading College has had on their children…we have received fantastic feedback on the value of the program
  • –  the incredible support from our supporters that makes it all possible…that commitment is as strong as ever and we are grateful

Backstage Tour

Did you know the RDCArts Centre was built to look like a grain elevator on the prairies? Have you ever wondered what happens behind the scenes during a production? We found out all sorts of cool things when Finn took us on a tour of the lighting and sound booth,the props and costume room,and the trap room.

Hogwarts Magic

All of the students received an invitation to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry! In the afternoon Miss Mawer created a fizzing potion that revealed a colour telling them which Hogwarts house they are in! Each student then created a mysterious juice and recorded how it looked, smelled and tasted.


Miss Ortman read us a story titled I Am Peace by Susan Verde.  We learned a little bit about why it is important for us to take time to be present and mindful,as it helps us pay attention better, stay calmer, and feel happier.   We practiced mindfulness with our breathing buddies and participated in some mindful stretching to help us feel ready to take on our afternoons!  Then, we created I Am Peace collages using magazine images.   We chose images that make us feel happy and peaceful, and remind us to stay present.

Bethany Collegeside Gardens

Our Seuss groups had the opportunity to perform for the seniors on Wednesday or Friday. The students worked hard on their reading performances and were thrilled to have such an appreciative audience. Perhaps best of all was the time after the performances when our students got a chance to chat with the seniors. It was heartwarming to see the great conversations that went on!

A Foundation for All Learning

Radical Readers

Students are continuing to practice the strategies they learn in class from our CAFE. This week we focused on stretching out our words and fluency. Radical Readers do more than read the words on the page,they read the words using expression and they pay attention to punctuation. A fun thing to do one weekend with your library card is to go to the library and look at a series by an author.  (Fancy Nancy, Pete the Cat, Clifford, Biscuit, Arthur and Franklin are a few favourites.)  In Radical Readers our CAFE menu is growing and the students are really zeroing in on what strategies work for them to develop into a better reader.  We are loving the progress we are seeing and we are singing their praises to everyone! You are truly Radical Readers!

Awesome Authors

Students continue to write in their Morning Message booklets and look forward to the prompts that are displayed on the board, as they enter each morning.  It is amazing to see the progress that they have made in their printing, sentence structure and expansion of ideas. After reading parts of the book The Best Part of Me and discussing how each of us is unique, the students then wrote about their own best part. They also did a quick melon art project to complete this activity and wrote all about why they are one in a melon (really meaning, I’m One in a Million).  We have a few more writing projects to complete.  One will be centred around how to blow a bubble with bubblegum. After blowing a bubble, or attempting to, the students will write the steps involved in this process.  The students have been writing their observations, as their grass heads continue to grow!  We will be wrapping up their grass heads project, recording final measurements and even giving their grass heads stylish haircuts!!

Word Wizards

Each day we begin at the front of our classroom to read, create rhyming families, unscramble a sentence or sing-along while reading the lyrics of a popular song.  It’s just another way to motivate, while reinforcing our sight and sound vocabulary and improving reading fluency.  Learning those essential sight words and becoming more skilled at sounding out unknown words, also motivates students to read through our Dr. Seuss library.  Our  small group phonics lessons are designed to target the needs of each child, concentrating on mastery of all consonants, vowels and letter combinations to be able to tackle writing and reading at grade level.  This takes practice, exposure and more practice.  Daily reading and writing will help your child to recognize when their spelling just doesn’t look correct, as in toob / tube, kwit / quit, or mayk /make.   Sounding out words is much like eating a footlong sub.  It’s done in chunks, not all in one bite, as in the word trans-form-er.  It is important for your child to sound out words aloud, not silently.  Have your child read in everyday settings, like road signs and aisle markers at the store, or have them write the shopping list as you dictate. Words are everywhere, and if your child feels that they have the power to read and write anything, they’ll be on their way to success!

The Value Of Reading College

Like so many things, it’s hard place a value on Reading College.

Truth be told, if we had to charge for the program it would likely be in the neighbourhood of $2000 for each child. We know that’s not practical so we rely on the generous support of our community.

This program started eight years ago because of the incredible support of the Optimist Club of Red Deer.  This is one of their favourite projects and they are continue to be incredibly valuable partners.

Red Deer College provides all of their facilities at no cost. Not only do they make the space available, they expose our kids to future possibilities and hope they will become future students.

Prairie Bus Lines and Chartwells Food give us incredible deals so that we can get students to and from school and make sure they have great food.

Going into its fourth year, the local owners of Tim Hortons have made us their charity of choice for the SMILE Cookie campaign… be sure to buy those cookies in September.


Both local community leaders, the Chapman and Turple families have a established endowments supporting Reading College.


As you can see, many other donors have stepped up to the plate and for each one of them, we are grateful.







However, even more valuable, we are creating better futures for students.  Each one will have greater potential to graduate from high school. They go into grade three more confident in their abilities to read and write.  Let’s be honest, they’re having the best summer ever – we are creating great memories for each child!  Throughout the 21 days of Reading College when you see them try so hard and achieve success, it’s worth the smiles on their faces.  And best yet, come graduation day, when they throw those caps in the air celebrating their success and achievements with family and friends, you truly understand how valuable Reading College is.

For all those who make Reading College possible, we couldn’t be more grateful!

Bruce Buruma,

Executive Director
The Foundation for Red Deer Public Schools


Politicians focus too much on the wallets of the few.



According to the Ethics Commissioner, Trudeau broke ethical guidelines on behalf of a big corporate entity, SNC-Lavalin, and as expected, it appears, everyone is calling for his resignation. I am confused, but hasn’t almost every politician of a major political party, for the last few decades, been advocating breaks for big corporations and the top 1%.

Didn’t Alberta elect a Premier who had to pay an ethics violation fine when he was a federal cabinet minister? Does he not lead a party who had issues with electoral fraud, kamikaze candidate and members issued $75,000 in fines by the ethics commissioner, due to actions during their leadership race?

Was it not a conservative government that supposedly just gave a $4.5 billion tax break to businesses? Was it not a conservative government that was supposedly lowering taxes for the top 1%? Was it not a conservative government(s) that was cutting services to everyone else to pay for these tax breaks?

Here in Alberta was there not lots of promises of jobs to rationalize billions in tax breaks for corporations only to find out that Alberta then subsequently lost 14,000 jobs in July alone?

I am not saying that Trudeau’s actions pressuring the Attorney General to give a deal to a big company is okay, but don’t they all do special deals for big corporations? Don’t we as tax payers subsidize the oil industry, cow tail to unions, pay homage to gun manufacturers, serve the auto industry, and placate the wealthy? The average voter just pays for them.

My wallet sure feels those political fingers. My costs keep going up, while my income hasn’t kept pace.

My mind has tuned out the politicians, and their desire to woo the rich and big corporations, and my heart is focused on the future, and my family.

Scientists and engineers have made great discoveries and given me some great things like cars, computers, cell phones and medical break-throughs but these same non-partisan intellectuals have also made huge unsettling discoveries, and given me causes for concern.

Issues like climate change, reminiscent of second hand smoke, are concerns to our health and our lives but are not given the same level of regard as tax breaks for the big corporations.

Second hand smoke was a major health care cost but tax breaks for cigarette companies and tobacco growers were the demands.

There is an election this fall and here in my riding there is no contest, as the conservatives will win, then become a seat warmer no one hears about, till the next election. My concerns will be ignored, my wallet will get thinner to placate the more well to do.

I do think it is about time to move on from focusing on the wallets of the few and focus on the health of the whole community. The person or party that can convince me that their focus is on the whole, for the future and not on big corporations and the wealthiest in a realistic manner, will get my support and vote.

Will my wallet survive the next election? I hope so, but I cannot be certain. I am worried we might get a Trump-like Prime Minister out of protest and the climate crisis will be pushed back and my wallet will be front and centre for political fingers for another few decades.

Is there another option?

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Canada’s First Female Astronaut coming to Red Deer for Health Fundraiser



From the Red Deer Regional Health Foundation

The world’s first neurologist in space is coming to Red Deer

The Red Deer Hospital fundraiser also features comedians from CBC Radio’s “The Debaters”

Red Deer Regional Health Foundation is pleased to announce a new event, The Lunch Box Experience, featuring three of Canada’s brightest stars, all coming together over lunch to raise funds for critical equipment for Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre.

Dr. Roberta Bondar, Canada’s first female astronaut and first neurologist in space, will be the keynote speaker on Monday, September 23, 2019 at Cambridge Red Deer Hotel & Conference Centre.  To motivate and inspire audiences, Dr. Bondar draws on her remarkable depth of expertise as an astronaut, physician, scientific researcher, author, and leader.

This is Dr. Bondar’s first visit to Central Alberta, and may be your only chance to experience this extraordinary woman in person.


Also performing are Erica Sigurdson and Dave Hemstad, comedians both regularly featured on CBC Radio’s smash hit The Debaters.  After lunch you’ll enjoy hysterical standup from both Erica and Dave, plus an episode of witty debater-style banter that will have you in stitches!

Tickets are $125 per person or table of 6 for $700; includes a unique lunch and are available now.

The Lunch Box Experience, formally part of the Red Deer Festival of Trees event line-up (Festival Business Lunch) is a fresh, new business networking opportunity.

Proceeds from this event will go towards ceiling-mounted patient lifts at Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre.

For more information, tickets, or sponsorship opportunities, please visit

The Lunch Box Experience:  A Red Deer Hospital Fundraiser

WHEN:     Monday, September 23, 2019

11:00am – 1:30pm

Cambridge Red Deer Hotel & Conference Centre



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august, 2019

tue06augAll Daysun29sepHot Mess - Erin Boake featured at Red Deer Museum and Art Gallery(All Day)

sat24augAll Daysun25Fort Normandeau Days(All Day) Fort Normandeau, 28054 Range Road 382

sat24aug10:00 am12:00 pmRed Deer River Naturalists Bird Focus Group Walk10:00 am - 12:00 pm MST Three Mile Bend Recreation Area