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Seabird Island School Martin Family Initiative


Model Schools Literacy Project is to ensure that First Nations students read and write well enough by the end of Grade 3.





he Seabird Island Band and the Martin Family Initiative (MFI) are very pleased to announce that Seabird Island Community School has been selected to join the Model Schools Literacy Project. In November 2017, First Nations schools from across Canada were invited to apply for the Project, and those schools selected join six others already participating since 2016. The Model Schools Literacy Project will expand again in 2020. 


“At Lalme’Iwesawtexw, we believe that schools are for children and children come first. We are very excited and proud to partner with the Model Schools Literacy Project because their project goal so closely aligns with our school’s goal. Both of us are committed to doing everything in our power to ensure that the majority of students are reading and writing at grade level by the end of grade three.” Barbara White, Principal of Seabird Island Community School.


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The purpose of the Model Schools Literacy Project is to ensure that First Nations students read and write well enough by the end of Grade 3 to support continued school success. This is because reading proficiency by age 9 or 10 years predicts high school graduation - in schools around the world. For the next six years Seabird Island Community School and the community will continue their ongoing initiatives in early literacy and work in partnership with MFI and the other Model Schools.


The partnership includes continuing professional learning already in place at the school, and enhancing resources for students, school staff, and leaders. Innovative use of technology enables the schools to work together, learning and sharing their best practices in early literacy education across time, distance, and First Nations.

“Seabird Island Community School adopted a “School Excellence Plan” with literacy as its primary focus, in 2017. The literacy component is a creative design that: delineates, monitors, supervises, revises, reports and celebrates school literacy advancements. This multifaceted plan will be extended, enriched and celebrated within our collaborative relationship with the Martin Family Initiative’s Model Schools Literacy Project. Our British Columbia unique, full-day/pilot, Junior Kindergarten continuation, ongoing library resource acquisition and thirst for innovative literacy improvements will ensure that Seabird Island Community School continues to revel in the literacy successes of their students. We are honoured to be working alongside such a renowned organization as we improve our reading and writing successes from Junior Kindergarten through the end of Grade 3 - the critical period for learning to read and write.” Laurie Bizero, Education Director, Seabird Island Band.

“During the last few years, we have been focusing with a greater sense of urgency on early literacy because we understand the critical link between students reading at grade level by the end of grade three and success in high school. We anticipate that our partnership with the Model Schools Literacy Project will help move us further faster toward our goal of giving students a strong footing for their future. We look forward to a fruitful partnership and welcome this wonderful opportunity to enrich and expand our teaching practice to enhance our student outcomes.” Barbara White, Principal of Seabird Island Community School.


About Seabird Island Comunity School

The story of Seabird Island began over 130 years ago in June of 1879 with Gilbert M. Sproat (19 April 1834 – 4 June 1913), a representative of the Indian Reserve Commission, would consult with First Nations people and later allocate the island known then as Skow-a-kull (correct spelling Sq’éwqel) as a reserve to be held in-common by the people from Popkum, Skw’átits, Ohamil, Ska-wah-look, Hope, Union Bar and Yale because the land they currently resided on could not sustain crops, and the land on Seabird Island would provide rich soil and provide a place for First Nations families to live their lives on


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