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TD National Reading Summit 2012: Vancouver

abstract:The TD National Reading Summit III gathered in Vancouver May 2-4 to refine, discuss, brainstorm and generally formulate a strategy, building upon the last two summits, that gets people reading across the country. Reading for pleasure, reading for information, reading for inspiration. We want Canada's cultural identity to be one of hockey AND reading, ok, maybe in reverse order. Just how this story plays out TBC'd! In the meanwhile, check out the organization, think about why you love reading and how to instill the passion of reading for all. Patsy Aldana, founder of Groundwood Books and Rick Wilks, founder of Annick Press are both founding members of the National Reading Campaign steering committee. Patsy is also President of the International Board on Schools for Young People (IBBY) and Canada's representative to the American Publishers Group, among other accolades. Thursday we heard from Canadian singer, songwriter Steven Page of Bare Naked Ladies and Max Wyman, writer, cultural commentator and former Director for the Canada Arts Council (2002-2006) who also led the Canadian delegation to the UNESCO World Conference on Arts and Education in Portugal (2006). Max has been


May 04, 2012
— anointed as an Officer of the Order of Canada among other honorary degrees. Between stimulating talks, the group discuss the mission, vision, principles and strategy to put together a national reading plan. It's hard work. Frequent doses of caffeine and hi-carb brain treats were injected into our veins between sessions. Satellite groups across the country tuned in via video link and sent their participant sheets which were read out loud and included in the collaborative process. Translators with headphones sat typing and talking into microphones at laptops. Great ideas came forth. Look for these tweets #NRS12 on Twitter.

Quotes and Stats

  • Though literacy scores have improved in general, surveys of Canadian schoolchildren asked the question, "Do you like to read?" have declined significantly: from 76% to 50% among grade 3 students, and from 65% down to 50% in grade 6 students in the period from 1998-99 to 2010-11. The question arose, "Are teachers and curriculums more focused on test results than a pleasure of reading?" Where are children getting positive reading experiences these days? Are they being read to less in the home or at school? Do working parents have less time or energy to read with their children after a full day of work and all the after-school activities? Only 21% of Ontariou children in grade 3 report they read together with a parent or guardian"every day or almost every day". Are the older students already engaged in video games and other activities competing for their attention? And what about that attention span, anyway?
  • Some said passion should be a required attribute of teachers.
  • The spark that ignites reading can come from within school, or it can come from a mentor outside of school. <.LI>
  • It's about matching books with minds.
  • Access to libraries correlates strongly with student performance.
  • Articulate the tacit.
  • Reading enjoyment affects achievement, social and civic engagement
  • Texting is "fingered speech." Who even has a conversation these days?
  • "I love the feel of words in my mouth, the feel of words in my head."&mdashMax Wyman
  • This story by Robert Kimble quoted, "The Great American Novel: Will There Be Another?" as it appeared in The Weekly Standard(Feb 27, 2012)
  • Reading is part of a full life.—Steven Page, Bare Naked Ladies
  • It is time to address the joy of reading.



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