I returned to my office after class today to find a beautiful and heartfelt message from the former Minister of Education, Margaret MacDiarmid! She apologized for their inability to bring DEAR to the legislature; ironically, the cabinet shuffle was being announced in the legislature at 11:00 that same day. Minister MacDiarmid also reaffirmed her committment and support for future DEAR endeavours. Apparently, writing the official press release in support of DEAR was her last official act as Minister of Education.
We wish her all the best in her new portfolio and hope to continue our dialogue in the months ahead!
Just a reminder to all chapter councilors and teacher-librarians to take a moment to write a quick "thank you" note to any guests/media personnel/special individuals that attended or helped to make DEAR at your school a memorable event!
A letter was sent to the (former) Minister of Education's office today on behalf of students and teachers in the province.
National School Library Day is always the third Monday of October, Canada’s official Library month. The BC Teacher-Librarians’ Association celebrates the occasion by sponsoring DEAR Drop Everything and Read Challenge. Encouraging everyone to read each day for 20 minutes. Whether books, magazines, eReaders or even smartphones, reading makes us smarter and sharper.
"Reading is the stairmaster for the brain" -Sharon Bede, TL, Kelowna Secondary
Kelowna Secondary School had the pleasure of a special event. While many Grade 11/12 classes read silently, Grade 10′s had the fun of Director of Instruction Mr. Norm Bradley reading aloud:
Phew, what a day. Still trying to finish a paper for my TL course...not gonna get it done tonight that's for sure.
OK, one last post before hitting the hay.
Please ask your chapter councilor about accessing the Google Docs document so that you can add your DEAR participation numbers. You will have until the end of Thursday in order for your numbers to be counted.
Students and staff did their duty and took some time off to kick back and just read. Of special interest was the Big Buddy reading activity that took place with Grade 1 students from a local elementary school. The senior students were just as excited if not more so than the wee ones!
Great to see you all yesterday. I hope that you are as jazzed about DEAR as I am!
Before sending out a post-DEAR press release I'm hoping that the chapter councilors or school teacher-librarians might be able to get approximate participatory numbers for students and staff in their districts.
So, here is the link to a Google Doc for recording participation purposes. Just click on the link. Enter your information (should take about 30 seconds!) and then SAVE. That's it. All done.
CHAPTER COUNCILORS: PLEASE FORWARD THIS ON TO ALL OF YOUR SCHOOL CONTACTS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
If you have any pictures from DEAR please either email them to me (however, you will only be able to probably send a few at a time and make sure to indicate the school or school district) or you can post them on the DEAR photostream on Flickr yourself.
Here is the official press release hot off the presses!
DROP EVERYTHING AND READ ON OCT. 25
By Margaret MacDiarmid
Minister of Education
Government of British Columbia
Oct. 22, 2010
VICTORIA - Reading is a priceless gift we can give our children and
ourselves. It not only helps ensure success throughout our lives, but opens up new worlds to us every day.
Can you imagine what could happen if you couldn't read a prescription bottle or understand instructions from your doctor? More than one million British Columbians struggle with literacy,and as a doctor, I saw first-hand the effects that low literacy has on people's health and lives.
Reading is the foundation everyone must have to be successful. Strong reading skills bring self-confidence and a better quality of life, which is what I want for every British Columbian. Literacy truly transforms lives.
That's why I encourage you to Drop Everything and Read at 11 a.m. on Oct. 25. Take a break from your hectic day and grab your favourite book or magazine, or snuggle up on the couch with your children and their favourite book, and indulge in the joy of reading for 20 minutes.
But don't stop there. Did you know that simple things like reading and telling stories to a child at 18 months are powerful stimuli for brain development, or that reading to children more than once a day has asubstantial positive impact on their future academic skills? Moreover, research shows that children aged two and three who are read to several times a day do better in kindergarten by age four or five than children who are read to only a few times a week.
Reading is like anything else - practice makes perfect. The more time you can spend reading as a family, the better. In fact, reading together builds stronger family relationships, encourages children's imaginations and, best of all, helps children develop a lifelong love of reading and learning.
The Province proclaimed October as Library Month in B.C. In addition to Drop Everything and Read Day, Oct. 25 also marks the eighth National School Library Day.
So, please drop everything and read on Oct. 25 as a show of support for literacy and libraries around the province.
For more information on government services or to subscribe to the
Province's news feeds using RSS, visit the Province's website at
Nancy Knickerbocker from the BCTF will be assisting with spreading the word about DEAR to this rest of its members via a 'School Alert'. They are also sending out a press release to the major dailies in the province. More on this as it develops...
It looks as though we are moving ahead with plans to bring DEAR to the BC Legislature again this year. I contacted the Minister's Office again today and her Executive Assistant will be contacting me later this week to discuss a class visit to read with the Minister on October 25th at her offices in Victoria.
Keely Thornton, our colleague at Monterey Elementary School in Victoria, has kindly offered to accompany her eager group of literacy leaders to Minister MacDiarmid's office for a twenty-minute public reading and photo-op from 11:00-11:20 a.m. More on that in the days ahead.
And there's still no word on the status of the Minister declaring the fourth month of October BC School Libraries Day. Fingers crossed.
Also, an official press release will be made available early next week so make sure to check back here. We are asking BCTLA chapter councilors to forward the press release onto their local media outlets for publication.
Lastly, if you haven't already done so, please contact your local MLA and/or mayor to see if they are able to attend a DEAR event at a local school.
We will be setting up a Flickr account to manage all the photos from around the province during DEAR. Details to follow.
As always, please email me with any questions, concerns, etc.
Three weeks to go to another Drop Everything and Read campaign!
We will offer an official press release that all TLs can distribute to their local media. Be sure to check back here in a few days time to get your copy.
Going to KelownaFresh2010 (the British Columbia Teacher-Librarians' Association conference)? Make sure to drop by our table and let us know how things are going! Grab a couple of posters and some bookmarks, too.
We are still waiting to hear from the Minister's Office for a reply about her official support and efforts to recognize the fourth Monday of every October BC School Library Day.