February is I Love to Read Month and a favourite activity of mine is to read to students at Lord Selkirk Elementary School, as I did last year and earlier this month.
This year’s theme, Invent Your Future, encourages children to think like inventors and dream big.
Through a partnership with Frontier College, Lord Selkirk School offers an after-school "Bookworm" program that helps students experience the joys of reading. I would like to thank Collette Havens, Community Co-ordinator at Frontier College, and her energetic staff and volunteers for their work on this important enrichment program.
Reading is an essential skill that exercises the mind and teaches children about the world around them. To this end, our provincial government just announced an increase in funding for early literacy intervention, giving more children these foundational skills. The province is investing $7.8 million annually to help more than 2,000 students in Grade 1 with one-on-one supports to help them succeed in reading at an early age.
In other news, legislation requiring defibrillators in designated high-traffic public spaces took effect on Jan. 31. This ensures these life-saving devices are available to people in times of critical need. This legislation is the first of its kind in Canada. The Manitoba Government has provided over $1.3 million to the Heart and Stroke Foundation so that 1,000 defibrillators can be placed in non-profit and community-owned public facilities. Every one of Elmwood’s 11 schools received one of these life-saving devices, as did many other public buildings including the YMCA/YWCA on Kimberly, the Elmwood Curling Club, John Black Memorial United Church, and the Elmwood E.K. Active Living Centre.
For further information and a full list of designated public places required to have a defibrillator onsite, please visit www.gov.mb.ca/health/aed.
Earlier this month the province announced new testing procedures intended to improve cancer screening. These new procedures will help identify patients at a greater risk for inherited colon and other types of cancers. Diagnostic Services Manitoba, the organization responsible for Manitoba’s public laboratory and rural diagnostic imaging services, is now offering these tests in partnership with the Province and with CancerCare Manitoba.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me at 204-415-1122, visit my office at 202 Henderson Highway or email me at Jim.Maloway@YourManitoba.ca.