14 Dec 2016

"Stay Calm, Carla, it’s Going to be Okay!”

“Stay calm, Carla, it’s going to be okay!”

This was Carla Cochran’s “aha” moment after attending READ Saskatoon programming with her son, Jagger for the first time. Carla, like many first-time moms, was nervous about being able to provide her son all he would need to learn and grow.

From a young age, Jagger was a gifted child. He learned to read early, and was always more inclined to quiet activities.

“He’s never been that ‘run your head off’ kind of kid,” Carla laughs. “He was always more into books and crafts and puzzles.”

When Jagger was three, Carla saw an advertisement in a local paper for a summer camp with READ Saskatoon. It looked interesting, and Carla thought it would be a good way to get out and about for the summer months.

“He immediately loved it!” says Carla. “It was a great mix of play and crafts and learning and movement.”

Jagger, who is now five, started Kindergarten last fall, keeping Carla and her husband Jason even more on their toes. On days when Jagger isn’t in school, they pack in as much as they can – running errands, heading to the library, attending READ Saskatoon programs, and keeping busy at home.

“We are kids on the move!” laughs Carla. “When Jagger wakes up he always asks ‘so what’s on the agenda today?’”

Carla loves bringing Jagger to READ Saskatoon programs just as much as Jagger loves attending.

“The programs are just so fun and welcoming,” says Carla. “It offers so much to Jagger, and has helped me so much by giving me ideas for things to do to help his learning at home.”

Carla is also amazed that these programs are free and available for all families in Saskatoon. The mix of families and backgrounds makes these programs feel rooted here in the community, and the focus on helping parents learn alongside their children is a gift for Carla.

“I can be tough on myself sometimes,” says Carla. “READ Saskatoon’s programs have taught me that there are so many ways to help your child learn, and to take a step back to enjoy learning and exploring with your child.”

Carla believes that Family Literacy programs like Romp’n’Read and Criss Cross Applesauce are fundamental for families who want to help their children learn and grow.

“These are the building blocks of learning,” says Carla. “Children love the programs, and the information for parents is so great. And the welcoming staff who are passionate about this work makes the whole experience even better.”

“These incredible programs are available to everyone, for free!” marvels Carla. “I mean, what have you got to lose by giving it a try?”

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