The Ontario Government has recently proposed increases to the class sizes for grades 4 and up. The largest increase will be seen at the high school level, with classes jumping up to on average 28 students, and in some instances as high as 40 students. A larger class size means less individual attention and a less effective education for many students, and no one is hit harder by this change than kids in need.
Ontario teachers are under-funded and under-resourced. They are working as hard as they can to give all their students a chance to succeed. A larger class size is just another way that more of the children who need the most support in school will be left behind. The UNICEF Report Card 15 for Canada found that Canada’s education systems are already leaving behind too many children in need, and research shows that students who feel a sense of belonging and connection are more likely to be motivated, do well in school, and graduate high school.
First Book Canada works with 3,000 educators in high-needs communities across Ontario. In partnership with heroic educators and organizations, First Book Canada is working to transform lives by improving access to equal, quality education for children. This is what they tell us about kids in need: the students they serve are often coming from challenging home situations – parents work multiple jobs, or their family is dealing with food or housing insecurity. One Toronto-based high school teacher told us that “students do not have private rooms to read in [at home], so [the] classroom is often the only place they get some quiet time to read.” An increase in class size means that children already dealing with unstable home situations will no longer have that safe space at school that they need to grow and succeed academically.
The reality is this: 1 in 5 Ontario children live in poverty. Many students from low-income households need more support to develop to their highest potential and that starts with being able to connect with their teachers. Increasing class sizes stretches teachers and resources even thinner than they currently are, and kids in need will pay the price.
To speak with Tom Best about the importance of equal access to quality education, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 866-732-3669 ext. 0130.
About First Book Canada
Almost 25% of Canadian households do not have a single book. First Book Canada is transforming the lives of kids in need by making brand new, high quality books and educational resources available on an ongoing basis. Through a market-driven model, First Book Canada is creating equal access to quality education affordable to its member network of more than 9,000 educators who exclusively serve kids in need. Since 2009, First Book Canada has distributed more than 7 million books and educational resources to hundreds of thousands of kids across Canada.
Eligible educators, program coordinators, librarians, and professionals serving kids in need can register at www.fbmpcanada.org/register. For more information, visit firstbookcanda.org and follow our latest news on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.