Right to Read Inquiry

MCRC Response to OHRC Right to Read Inquiry Report

Literacy is a human right. Education, and specifically literacy, has the power and agency to become a social equalizer for marginalized populations, and a social determinant of health (SDH), well-being, and life success for children and their families.

The Manitoba Council of Reading Clinicians (MCRC) would like to acknowledge that the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) Right to Read: Public inquiry into human rights issues affecting students with reading disabilities is an important document that highlights the fact that students with dyslexia, as well as other students, are not receiving the evidence-based, explicit, and systematic instruction that they need to be successful in developing early foundational reading skills. The inquiry found that most students are not being taught to read in a way that aligns with research, but often using models that are based on philosophies or beliefs that are both inefficient and ineffective, such as using cues to guess words rather than letter-sound knowledge to decode words. The report provides evidence-based recommendations that align with research to support students in developing into proficient readers and writers. These recommendations are echoed by researchers, educators, speech-language pathologists, audiologists, and psychologists. As reading clinicians, we also support these recommendations.

An important theme throughout the report is that early foundational skills are critical to developing strong reading comprehension and are part of comprehensive, evidence-based language arts instruction that includes writing. Many students who have difficulty decoding words have excellent language comprehension but are not able to access appropriate texts at their level of understanding. The Right to Read Inquiry draws heavily on the findings of key reports (National Reading Panel, Expert Panel on Early Reading in Ontario, The Rose Report, and The Canadian Language and Literacy Research Network Report) that synthesize the large body of scientific research on how children learn to read. These reports all recommend systematic teaching of foundational skills that will lead to efficient word-reading, which includes phonemic awareness, phoneme-grapheme connections, and how to use this knowledge to decode and spell words. Many teachers in the inquiry reported that they were not adequately prepared to teach reading and writing, especially for those students who find literacy learning challenging.

Reading research is not a movement—it is a continuous systematic investigation to establish the best approaches to teach students to read and understand text. The OHRC Right to Read report goes well beyond the misconception that phonics is the only component of literacy instruction. It emphasizes comprehensive literacy instruction that includes phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and reading comprehension within the context of culturally responsive teaching that reflects the diverse sociocultural backgrounds of students. Manitoba Council of Reading Clinicians support the OHRC Right to Read’s findings and look forward to contributing to the important literacy initiative of the Manitoba Human Rights Commission’s Special Project on the Human Rights Issues Affecting Student with Reading

Committee members include: Rosana Montebruno (co-chair), Heather Khan (co-chair), Sandra Janzen (MCRC President), Allison Aitken, Khalie Jackson-Davis, Nicole Normandeau, Lauren Reynolds, Kim Siwak, and Monica Wiebe

Scholarship Recipients 22-23

The Manitoba Council of Reading Clinicians is pleased to announce the winners of the Barbara Koffman Scholarship Award. We remember Barbara fondly as a born educator and leader who inspired both teachers and students alike. Congratulations to Emily Kipe-Broduer, Nicole Doering and Joan Coppens!

Meet the honourable recipients!

Emily Kipe-Broduer

I started my career in Hanover School Division as a grade 2 teacher. I worked at Woodlawn School for nine years as a Grade 3 Teacher. In 2015, I moved to Niverville Elementary and have taught grade 3, grade 4, and a 3/4 split class. In 2000, I started my journey towards becoming a literacy specialist through studies at the University of Manitoba working towards a Master’s degree in Language and Literacy. In 2021-2022 I worked in a half-time position at NES as a literacy support teacher. This turned into full-time this year (2022-2023) and I am now fully immersed in literacy. I graduated this June with my Master of Education degree. I love my job! I enjoy co-planning and co-teaching the most effective literacy pedagogical practices with classroom teachers. I get excited when I see students acquiring new skills that help them progress in reading in the classroom and through literacy intervention. The next step for me is applying for a reading clinician or reading clinician associate position. My desire is to continue to grow as a human, teacher, and future reading clinician. I am very grateful to MCRC and the Barbara Koffman family for this scholarship!

Nicole Doering

My name is Nicole Doering, and I am currently a middle school English teacher at Meadows West School in Winnipeg School Division. I recently graduated from the University of Manitoba with a Master of Education in Language and Literacy, researching the importance of bringing multiliteracies into the classroom for my students and taking courses to one day work as a reading clinician.
Dancing was a passion of mine growing up, driving me to learn more about how to best support students’ literacy learning in multiple ways. I was a dance instructor for many years, competed in multiple competitions, practiced ballet at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, and represented Canada in Germany’s National Tap dance championships in 2007, winning the gold medal with my team.
Multimodality was an essential strategy for my learning, and those skills I acquired as a student have transferred into my classroom. I incorporate what I have learned into my daily practice with my students, focusing on multimodality, mindset, metacognitive strategies, and literacy across the curriculum, using assessment skills I developed throughout my training and learning. As a teacher, my goal is to support the 21st-century skills of our learners through engaging reading and writing, fostering students’ love of literacy. Thank you MCRC and the Barbara Koffman family for this honour!

Joan Coppens

Hello, my name is Joan Coppens. On May 29, 2023, I had the pleasure of attending the MCRC AGM. It was a great experience being among some of Manitoba’s finest Reading Clinicians and to be presented with the Barbara Koffman Scholarship. Barbara Koffman is remembered as a remarkable Reading Clinician with a great sense of humour.
I hope to one day secure a position as a Reading Clinician myself and to acquire a skill set such as Barbara Koffman. I have just completed my Masters of Language and Literacy at the University of Manitoba where I studied with the Winnipeg School Division Cohort. Our cohort was made up of a group of brilliant teachers with different teaching backgrounds but whom all shared a passion for literacy.
I have been a French-Immersion elementary teacher for 20+ years. My focus was mainly on early years and I have had the privilege of teaching the French version of Reading Recovery for the last few years. It was through this role that I really became impassioned about helping struggling students with their reading.
 I have also had the personal experience of raising a daughter with a reading disability as a single-parent, therefore I can relate to the pain a student suffers when presented with a reading deficit and also the pain a parent suffers alongside their child.
 When the opportunity came along to join the cohort and gain the qualifications to become a reading clinician, it was an easy decision to make as I was eager to deepen my understanding of reading difficulties and better equip myself to hopefully make a difference for the students I work with daily.

Congratulations to our recipients and best of luck in your future endeavors!

Master’s Cohort

On June 8th, 2023, the Winnipeg School Division Master’s cohort walked across the stage at the University of Manitoba to receive their much-earned Master of Education with a major in Curriculum Teaching & Learning in the Language and Literacy Stream. Most of the graduates took the clinical coursework and have indicated and interest in pursuing certification as a Reading Clinician in Manitoba.

In challenging times and unexpected circumstances, this group of teachers began their first class in May of 2020. Through many zoom sessions, hard work, a comprehensive project and ultimately one in-person class, these dedicated learners have emerged from their studies bolder, fresher, more-learned, and ready to take on the world of literacy instruction.


Back row: Sheila Seafoot, Marcy L. Thompson Sanchez , Gina Cerqueira, Nadine Nassar, Nicole Doering, Anna Choy, Tiffany Waskul, Mercede Poirier, Devin King, Sarah Roche, Odette Cerqueira, Stacy Carson
Front row:  Rebecca Meacham, Tami Berg, Janice Caplan, Joan Coppens

Celebrating Educators

The Manitoba Reading Association and The Reading Council of Greater Winnipeg are teaming up to honor educators. The hard work of educators needs to be celebrated!

Manitoba Reading Association – “Every Manitoban a Literate Manitoban”

The Manitoba Reading Association would like to honour those who support literacy initiatives across the province. Perhaps you know an administrator that has gone the extra mile to support literacy within your school or division. Or maybe you know a community member who volunteers their time to implement literacy initiatives in your area. Please see attached PDF posters on how to nominate a literacy leader in Manitoba. Nominations due April 28th, 2023

Reading Council of Greater Winnipeg (RCGW) – “Promoting literacy through professional development and community outreach”

The RCGW would like to celebrate all the teachers and community leaders who have advanced literacy throughout our province. Is there someone in your school division or community who deserves to be recognized for their outstanding work in the field of literacy?

Perhaps you know a teacher who has done some remarkable things in the areas of classroom teaching, teacher education, or research.

Maybe you’re aware of a member of the RCGW who is retiring or moving away from Manitoba who should be honoured for their accomplishments here, or a community member who has raised awareness about the importance of reading.

You may work with or know about a colleague who has made significant literary contributions at the local or provincial level.

We would love to help you honour these individuals with our Annual Awards Evening, deadline for applications is Friday, April 28th 2023.

    For more detailed information as well as a fillable nomination form please click here.

    Community Connections

    This week, members of the Manitoba Council of Reading Clinicians served dinner to hundreds of Winnipeg’s community members at Siloam Mission. This was the MCRC’s sixth annual volunteer opportunity at the Mission. Guests appreciated hot pizza, pasta, salad and a delicious dessert prepared and served by dedicated and friendly staff volunteers. Thank you Siloam for another wonderful opportunity to serve our community and thanks to the members of MCRC for all your help!

    Siloam Mission is an innovative Christian humanitarian organization that builds connecting points between the compassionate and individuals in need. Siloam Mission supports Manitobans who are experiencing homelessness, poverty, and mental health challenges. If you would like to become involved or support the ongoing initiatives of the mission please visit their website for more information.

    Scholarship Awards 2021-22


    This year, in honor of our 40th anniversary, the MCRC was please to offer scholarships to not three, but SIX incredibly deserving recipients. The awards were presented as we celebrated not only this special group of educators, but the MCRC’s 40th anniversary as well. We were all so grateful to have the opportunity to gather in person and enjoy an evening of AGM business, delicious food, and great fellowship.

    2021-2022 Scholarship Recipients

    We remember Barbara fondly as a born educator and leader who inspired both teachers and students alike. We know that in her memory, these awards will support our recipients as they move toward gaining knowledge and understanding to also inspire and support the literacy community. Sincerest congratulations goes to the following recipients:

    Jon Sorokowski

    Jon Sorokowski has always loved learning and knew he wanted to be a teacher early in life. After several years of teaching elementary, Jon discovered his passion for adolescent literacy when he began working with middle schoolers. Helping striving readers and writers and collaborating with colleagues compelled him to pursue graduate studies in Language and Literacy. He is particularly interested in becoming a reading clinician to support adolescents in French immersion. Jon believes that his studies will help him advocate for and with students so that they can develop flourishing literate lives. He thanks the Koffman family and MCRC for this opportunity. 

    Tami Berg

     Hello! My name is Tami Berg. I am a classroom teacher in the Intermediate Bridges FASD Program at David Livingstone Community School. After earning my Bachelor of Education Degree in 2010, I worked as a classroom teacher for the last 12 years in both early and middle years classrooms. I obtained my Post-Baccalaureate Diploma in Special Education at the U of M in the fall of 2019. I am currently enrolled as a student in the WSD Masters Cohort in Language and Literacy, and my course work will be completed by December 2022.

         I chose this field of study for the Master of Education program because of my interest and desire in developing the skills and knowledge to support and enhance language and literacy skills for student achievement. I have an interest in learning and researching best practices in this area, particularly for students who struggle with oral language, reading and writing. Since language and literacy are embedded in all content areas, students need to develop these skills for success in academic learning. My goal is to work as a Reading Clinician. 

    Janice Caplan

    My name is Janice Caplan and I have been an educator for almost thirty years. In the classroom, I have taught students in grades 1 through 10. It was during these years as a classroom teacher I became aware of  challenges students face when struggling to read. I took a position with The Winnipeg School Division as a Literacy Intervention Support Teacher within the Indigenous Education Team.  I supported teachers in the classroom with their literacy programmes as well as Tier 2 intervention.  I am currently enrolled in Winnipeg School Division’s Master’s Cohort for Literacy to become a Certified Reading Clinician. It has been an amazing experience so far. In January 2022, I was offered a position with the Winnipeg School Division as a reading clinician associate. I am currently part of the Diagnostic Learning Team and work with students in grades 3-6.

    Anna Choy

    My name is Anna Choy, and I am currently the Literacy Support Teacher/ Reading Recovery Teacher at King Edward Community School. I have been teaching in the Winnipeg School Division for over 9 years. I am pursuing my Master of Education degree in Language and Literacy to learn about current research, theories, strategies, and resources that can empower me to become a better literacy educator. My goal is for each student I work with to develop the skills, confidence, and agency required to be contributing literate members of society.

    Ali Kampen

    My name is Ali Kampen and for the past eight years I have taught early years in the Seine River School Division. Throughout this time, I’ve seen how quickly a student’s perception of literacy is formed.
    As a teacher, my goal is to create positive learning experiences for my students so I can foster a love of literacy. Through student voice and a strength based approach, I believe we have the ability to help students see themselves as both readers and writers.
    Thank you so much to the MCRC and family of Barbara Koffman. I am honoured!

    Becca Meachum

    Born – Saskatchewan.
    Raised – Manitoba.
    Daughter. Little sister.
    Thompson girl.
    Walked Cookie by the Burntwood River.
    Found peace in the northern woods.

    Moved – Winnipeg.
    Arts degree.
    Major: English, Minor: Theatre.
    Found a love for writing poetry.
    Tall Grass baker.
    New Zealand traveller.
    Educational assistant.

    Ross’ wife.
    Education degree.
    Tieg, Mac and Ida May’s Mom.

    Master’s student.
    New sense of purpose teaching and writing.
    Honing my theory.
    Learning strength-based strategies.
    Eager to support students’ literacy needs.
    Walking Dolly to Omand’s Creek.
    A moment to capture nature by the Assiniboine River.
    Future reading clinician.

    All the best to you moving forward in your studies from the Manitoba Council of Reading Clinicians!