Scholastic Reading Champions: Winners

The Canadian Children’s Book Centre

As nominated by Jo-Anne Naslund:

“I want to nominate the Canadian Children’s Book Centre to be recognized as a Reading Champion. The programs of the Canadian Children’s Book Centre, or CCBC, definitely champion reading and especially reading Canadian books. The CCBC programs help put books into the hands of children, promote a love of reading across Canada and communicate the important benefits of literacy. The executive director, Charlotte Teeple, and the dedicated staff, Shannon Howe Barnes, Meghan Howe, Karen Ingham, Camilia Kahrizi and Michael Wile, work tirelessly to deliver these many programs, including the TD Grade One Book Giveaway; TD Canadian Children’s Book Week; and the Canadian Children’s Book Centre Regional Collections.

Through its TD Canadian Children’s Book Week, the Canadian Children’s Book Centre has made a difference in Canadian communities since 1977. Canadian authors, illustrators and storytellers are sponsored to visit schools, libraries, community centres and bookstores across the country. This year thirty authors, illustrators and storytellers delivered over 400 readings to approximately 28,000 children, teens and adults in some 175 communities. Not only do the author readings promote reading, they develop reading connections for Canadian youth. The special opportunity of meeting an author/illustrator/storyteller is a powerful literacy experience. As well, each year the Canadian Children’s Book Centre prepares a Book Week kit of materials that focus on a theme and includes a poster designed by a Canadian illustrator. This year the theme, Read Across Canada/Lire aux quatre coins du Canada, celebrated Canada’s 150th birthday, and the theme guide encouraged young readers to learn about Canada by reading books set in different provinces and locations in the country.

Since 2000 the CCBC, through the annual TD Grade One Book Giveaway Program, has provided every grade 1 child across Canada with the gift of a free book in either English or French. Each year over 500,000 free books are distributed and put into the hands of children and families.

In addition to its library collection in Toronto, the CCBC maintains four regional children’s book collections that are housed in the Education Library at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver; the Herbert T. Coutts Education Library at the University of Alberta in Edmonton; the Elizabeth Dafoe Library at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg; and the Mount Saint Vincent University Library in Halifax. These collections educate teachers about the works of Canadian authors, illustrators and publishers.

I hope that you will agree with me that the Canadian Children's Book Centre is a vital Reading Champion in Canada.”

Scholastic library donation made to:
Club Amick

Chantal Vaillancourt

As nominated by Monique Fauteux:

Chantal Vaillancourt’s entire career has a common theme of three elements: children, reading, and books. She has worked in the field of children’s literature, children’s publishing and reading for over 25 years. For 10 years, she has worked as a publishing and reading consultant, mainly for children aged 12 years and under. And, since 2013, she works three days a week for Lire et faire lire, an organization that places volunteer readers aged 50 and over into schools once a week to read to children in their community. Chantal develops and oversees the program to ensure that this fabulous initiative continues to grow and reach more and more children and seniors.

Scholastic library donation made to:
Lire at faire lire

Kimberly King

As nominated by Donna Dola:

“Why is Kimberly King a Reading Champion?

Once upon a time, Kim was an organizationally ‘creative’ child. The only part of her room that ever stayed tidy was her bookcase. It was tidy, but always a work in progress. Kim was forever removing her books and rearranging them in ways that made sense to her — perhaps by size or colour or theme, or even by whether she simply thought they’d get along nicely if they were to meet one another. And it was quite a diverse crowd of friends she accumulated. Everything from the Happy Hollisters, Archie and guides to edible plants, to collections of folklore, mysteries and poetry, plus a small group of favourites that included The Westing Game, Harriet the Spy and Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle’s Magic.

The freedom and joy the young Kim found in books, as objects themselves and containers for the worlds within them, would accompany her journey throughout school. All of this led to a graduate degree in library and information studies and a ‘storied’ career serving in a wide range of settings. Always, though, whether Kim was working for the New York Public Library as a children’s librarian or penning curricular poetry for students in classrooms that fed into the primary library, the underlying desire, the passion, was to teach kids about the wonder and capabilities of language and literature. It was reaching kids, connecting them with a book to comfort, a story to challenge, a poem to delight. It was about acknowledging and explaining to a parent that while it was important for their child to read ‘good literature’ is was also good that they had a chance to relax with what interested them and go away for a while through reading — much like an adult would pick up a celebrity magazine. Kim has brought this open-ended literary approach to her encounters with students at Sacred Heart School of Halifax for the last several years. In fact, the first student she met at Sacred Heart in Halifax she met while stuffing envelopes together and engaging in a discussion about Cornelia Funke’s Inkheart — Which book would the student want to enter? Which book had characters that should be read back in at all cost . . . if they should ever be freed?

Over her years in libraries and classrooms, working with boys, girls, young men and young women, Kim has delighted in her work and allowed that delight to mark her relationships with her students. Her respect for their interests and her ability to recommend a book to complement them is a hallmark of her work. In turn, the obvious freedom the students feel to express their curiosity and questions in her company, their willingness to try something new or learn about something different, is a testament of their thanks.

Kim recently received an email from a former student who is now fourteen. His comment sums up nicely why it is that Kim is a Reading Champion:

‘I’m more than happy to tell you that I took your advice on reading. Although I’m not fond at all of reading, I decided to give a book a try. Slowly, and I’m not exaggerating when I say slowly, but steadily, I am reading a book by my own choosing. It’s a start, right?’”

Scholastic library donation made to:
Sacred Heart School of Halifax

Elva Jones

As nominated by Jolyn Mascarenhas:

“I would like to nominate Elva Jones as a Reading Champion. Elva Jones is a retired teacher living in Edmonton, and if she wins, I am sure the books will be donated to a school.

Although Elva retired a number of years ago, she remains immersed in books, bringing the excitement of reading to children in Alberta schools. Elva promotes the power of reading and its enjoyment by volunteering in the classrooms of her grandchildren at Lendrum School and Westbrook School in Edmonton. She loves engaging all the children with fabulous read-alouds. Last fall, Elva spent time volunteering at Alexander First Nation. She returned this winter, with her husband Mike (also a retired teacher), to continue to help in the grade 1 classroom.

Elva has done a few workshops for Scholastic Education, which help teachers in turn help children in the classroom. I remember the time Elva travelled in a blizzard to Fort McMurray to help run workshops there, and in January 2017 Elva travelled, in the worst weather, from Pincher Creek to La Crete to keep those teachers in the remote areas motivated. Bad weather does not stop Elva Jones from promoting the love of reading and encouraging teachers to improve student learning.

Elva’s actions touch my heart when she takes steps beyond the workshops. There are many educators who contact Elva in a pinch. Some of these educators have moved to a different school or are assigned to teach a different grade or both. They ask Elva for help using resources or books they have found in the school. Elva always rises to the challenge as a true ambassador, promoting the love for reading. She will visit the classroom on her own (not as a Scholastic presenter) and work with the teacher and students in both primary and junior grades. Elva believes in showing educators how to use the right books to make a difference in children’s lives with reading.

Elva’s passion and determination to help educators and children with reading did not stop when she retired. Today, she is an inspiration to me. I have asked Elva why she still likes to help in schools. Her response is simple and sweet: ‘It’s what I love to do.’

She is a true Reading Champion!”

Scholastic library donation made to:
Alexander First Nation Kipohtakaw School

Grace Yan

As nominated by Razia Khan:

"I would like to nominate Grace Yan for consideration as a recipient of the Scholastic Reading Champion award. Grace is a school librarian and guides all the students in promoting community awareness by creating special interactive projects. One such project was introducing students to the history of Chinese culture within both Delta and all of British Columbia. Grace created a learning session and brought in a Chinese heritage package from the Delta Museum that included photographs, newspaper articles and labour contracts of Chinese labourers. This engaged the students, who became more aware of their heritage and the history of their community, as well as promoted empathy to the plight of early Canadian immigrants. Grace has worked to introduce Indigenous culture within the school. The project captured in the photos was designed to align students with the cultural experiences of Indigenous peoples and inclusive communities.

In addition, Grace brought in a World War I exhibit, to align with Remembrance Day, which introduced the students to the conditions faced by Canada’s brave soldiers. This exhibit was an important introduction and history lesson; there are no more World War I soldiers and few World War II survivors to keep the memory strong in the minds of the younger generations. By introducing the students to the artifacts, Grace has brought the students a more tangible understanding of Remembrance Day. Grace’s dedication reaches beyond bringing in interesting exhibits and projects. She also dedicates her time to attending after-hours fundraising events, such as Movie Night. She has brought an interest and excitement into the library, making it a place where kids want to be and contributing to awareness of what libraries in Delta have to offer."

Scholastic library donation made to:
Gibson Elementary School

Todd Berg

As nominated by Lindsay Sali:

"Todd Berg is a Reading Champion because of his dedication to his students. At the beginning of the school year he implemented a Bedtime Book Club to foster habits of reading before bed. The parents of students were also highly encouraged to get involved with reading books before bed. The initiative had three phases throughout the year. The first phase was 15 for 15, where students had to read for fifteen minutes, fifteen days in a row. The 76 students who completed the challenge were entered in a draw for fun prizes. The second phase was 20 for 20, where students had to read for twenty minutes for twenty days. They had an increase in the number of kids who successfully completed the challenge, at 104 students. The last phase was a Bedtime Bingo, where the students needed to read a variety of genres. At the beginning of the year, the students were tested and it was found that 45 percent were at their reading level or above. This month when they tested they found that 68 percent of the students were at their level or above. I think that a contributing factor to the success of the program is that he picked high quality literature for students and he gave them agency in which books got put into their classroom libraries. Over the course of two days he bused the entire student body to McNally Robinson Booksellers, where many were introduced to a bookstore for the first time, and they were able to pick out books for themselves."

Scholastic library donation made to:
Mayfair Community School

Pam Snow

As nominated by Niki Toomey:

"Pam Snow is one of three early childhood educators in the toddler room of the Leeds Street Child Care Centre. While each and every one of the teachers is incredible, dedicated and amazingly knowledgeable, when it comes to the love of reading Pam takes the cake. Watching Pam read a book to the children in her care brings a smile to your face. With gestures, voices and snuggles on laps, Pam’s kids hang on her every word. She knows each child’s favourite book and character. My daughter is still potty training, and Pam and the other teachers started incorporating more potty training books and songs into the day and made some recommendations to me. It switched things for me from being something that I had failed at to something I suddenly had a support network for, supported with reading. Pam and the other teachers also often incorporate other languages into the classroom, particularly French. My daughter Willa has long shown an aptitude for language. Pam picked up on this and started to incorporate more languages into her teaching. Pam would use her phone to teach the children French words, phrases and songs, and they ate it up! While this was going on, I had the opportunity to visit Quebec. While there, I bought some age-appropriate French language books. When I brought the books in and gave them to Pam, she cried. She was so excited to start to read the books to her kids and teach them some new words and phrases. She and the other teachers at the Leeds Street Child Care Centre are spectacular."

Scholastic library donation made to:
Leeds Street Child Care Centre

Susan Hadfield

As nominated by Melissa Piva:

"Susan Hadfield is the librarian at Malden Central Public School. She oversees the book orders for the entire school, and organizes and oversees an annual book fair. She helps the kids to find books that suit their interests, and she really connects with them. The reason I am nominating her is because of something that happened when my youngest child was entering SK. The summer between JK and SK, my child began a journey of gender expression and identity exploration. At the time we notified the school of our situation, Susan was approaching maternity leave. She was quick to not only see that the school library was stocked with many books embracing diversity and acceptance, but also to make diversity and acceptance strong points in the curriculum she was preparing for our substitute librarian by lining up story time books about different types of families, diversity, gender expression and acceptance. In doing this she helped to pave the way for a smoother and more accepting transition for my child, as well as any other children that may stand out for their differences. Her efforts and acceptance meant the world to both myself and my daughter."

Scholastic library donation made to:
Malden Central Public School

Salon du livre de Montréal

As nominated by Veronica Rousseau:

"I’m delighted to nominate the Salon du livre de Montréal (Montreal Book Fair). This non-profit corporation was created from a passion for books and the event has taken place annually over the past 40 years. Today, the Salon brings together more than 2,000 authors and 1,000 publishing houses, and is a cornerstone of Montréal's cultural scene. In 2017, the Salon received 119,000 visitors over the course of the 6-day event and welcomed 18,000 children through school trips. The Salon is the perfect opportunity for young people to discover a literary world that may be unfamiliar to them. The activities and the performances at Salon inspire a passion for reading. The Salon also partners with the Fondation pour l’alphabétisation (Literacy Foundation) through the La lecture en cadeau (Gift of Reading) program. The Salon team have made it their mission to promote reading and showcase authors within Canada and around the world. Salon du livre de Montréal deserves the title of Reading Champion because of its support of the literary world. For 40 years, the Salon du livre de Montréal has fostered public contact with regional, national and international publishers. It is recognized as an outstanding contribution to the promotion of reading, books, Canadian authors and the publishing world."

Scholastic library donation made to:
Gift of Reading

Reading for the Love of It

As nominated by Joan Barrett:

"Reading for the Love of It is a non-profit organization of teachers from the elementary and secondary panels of both the Toronto Catholic District School Board and the Toronto District School Board. This group of dedicated teachers have been fostering the love of books and reading for the last forty-one years, giving freely of their time. This group began as a dream, the inspiration of two school boards — East York and Scarborough — and originally held their small conferences in a school. From its beginning, Reading for the Love of It has been committed to improving the quality of literacy instruction in schools. Now it is known across the country. Yes, teachers from all parts of Canada come together to celebrate reading for two days each year!

Over 2000 teachers, vice principals, principals, consultants and superintendents come to the Language Arts Conference in Toronto each February. Everyone has opportunities to learn more about the teaching of reading, meet famous authors, discover new book titles to take back to their classrooms and meet with teachers from other parts of the province, the country and often other parts of the world. We are excited, too, that in the last few years we have had teachers join us from fly-in Indigenous communities.

Outreach is a major focus of the work this organization does, as it supports literacy both here in Ontario and around the world. All money from the conference, after expenses, goes to outreach projects selected yearly by the Outreach Committee. Over the years, we have supported teachers and students in Kenya, Peru and Haiti; provided needed school materials and backpacks to various places in the world; given books to food banks, an Indigenous daycare centre and other outreach centres in the GTA; and placed books in the hands of refugees — most recently in Ioannina, Greece.

I believe this group of dedicated people deserve to be recognized as Reading Champions as Scholastic celebrates their 60th anniversary."

Scholastic library donation made to:
Outreach Committee

Maria Martella

As nominated by Rachael Stein:

"When I was first assigned the role of teacher-librarian eight years ago, I had the privilege of meeting Maria Martella at Tinlids Inc. She immediately welcomed me and guided me in making book choices for my school. Since then, I have looked forward to meeting with Maria when it was time to purchase books. Her knowledge of picture books, novels, graphic texts and non-fiction texts is outstanding.

I have also come to know Maria through Book Choices, an initiative of the Canadian Children’s Book Centre. For three sessions, I was a member of the selection committee that Maria was a chair of. She provided valuable insights and guidance in order for us to make the best selection of books to include in the CCBC’s Best Books for Kids & Teens magazine. It is also exciting to have Tinlids Inc. support the annual Forest of Reading program. Maria (and her staff) are highly organized, and her services have made this program run efficiently in my school and hundreds of others throughout the province.

In fact, I write this nomination on behalf of Ontario teacher-librarians who have certainly benefited and grown through conversations and book buying with Maria. I know that hundreds of elementary and secondary teacher-librarians would agree that Maria Martella is a Reading Champion extraordinaire."

Scholastic library donation made to:
St. Mary’s School, Blind River, Ontario

Travis Richey

As nominated by Nancy Game:

"Travis Richey is our incredible librarian at Rogers Elementary School. Although he is only in our school one and a half days a week, he has organized his schedule so that he can meet with each class for twelve weeks throughout the school year — and Travis works at Ècole Macaulay Elementary School and Strawberry Vale Elementary School as well. Each time he meets with a class he explains a section of the library and the books that can be found there. He shows the children a selection of the books and then reads them a book of their choice. His gift of reading and storytelling is appreciated by all of the children.

Travis is also amazing at supporting the teachers in our school. Often teachers like to use books to reinforce a concept or idea, or introduce a topic. All we have to do is ask Travis, and he will search until he finds it! His support with finding Indigenous resources and books has been invaluable since the new British Columbia curriculum has been implemented.

Travis is down to earth and the children LOVE him."

Scholastic library donation made to:
Rogers Elementary School, Victoria, British Columbia

Trudy Porter

As nominated by Karen Jackson and Sue Forsyth:

"Trudy Porter is a truly dedicated and passionate individual when it comes to passing on her love of reading and writing to everyone she encounters. We began working with Trudy in her role as the language arts consultant at the Department of Education in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, and our professional and personal relationship has grown extensively over the years. Trudy has since moved from the Department of Education to elementary principal and to her current position as a program specialist in the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District.

She has continued to work closely with teachers and students, sharing her knowledge and love for reading and writing. Her role extends beyond that of coach and mentor as she is always searching for better resources and introducing current teaching practices to enhance the lives of her students and teachers. Trudy’s belief in the impact of having consistent resources in every school across the province ensures equality, inclusiveness and common literacy learning for all students. As an integral member of the implementation team, Trudy has moved teachers forward in their thinking and learning about the teaching of reading and writing practices.

Trudy is the epitome of a lifelong learner. She recently started her doctoral program in literacy, adding to her already extensive knowledge of sound pedagogy and best practice. She is definitely a Reading Champion!"

Scholastic library donation made to:
East Point Elementary School, St. John’s Newfoundland,
and CBS Elementary School, Conception Bay, Newfoundland

Books With No Bounds

As nominated by Jesse Hildebrand:

"Emma and Julia Mogus are the teen founders of Books with No Bounds, a program dedicated to getting books in the hands of communities in need across Canada and the world. They largely work to collect and ship books to Indigenous schools across the country, helping them to access resources they otherwise wouldn’t and build up impressive libraries on all manner of topics, and in general aiding in their education.

They started this program as twelve- and thirteen-year-olds and have kept it going through to their university years, shipping over 115,000 books, supplies and more to students in need. They have also followed up with many of the schools, going in person to see their work in action, and getting hundreds of letters from kids about the benefits they’ve had from increased access to the materials they’ve provided. I can’t think of any others who could deserve the award more."

Scholastic library donation made to:
Keewaywin School, Keewaynin, Ontario

Eric Walters

As nominated by Marie Campbell:

"Eric Walters is the award-winning author of more than 100 books for children, from board books for the youngest through to picture books, chapter books and hi/lo readers through to middle-grade and young adult fiction. Of his many awards, some of the most relevant in support of my nomination of Eric as a Reading Champion are the Ontario Library Association President’s Award for Exceptional Achievement (for outstanding contribution of historic significance that has in a major way enhanced librarianship in Ontario), his appointment to the Order of Canada (in recognition of his service to children’s literature in Canada and broad-based charity and community work), and an honourable mention for the UNESCO Prize for Children’s and Young People’s Literature in the Service of Tolerance.

The recognition that Eric is himself the most proud of? The many children’s-choice book awards he has won. These are awards where children vote for their favourite books. Eric has won these awards across the country and is the only person to ever win three separate Silver Birch and three separate Red Maple awards. If children could make nominations for Scholastic Reading Champions, they would nominate the author who they have made one of the bestselling writers in Canada. Since I am over thirteen years old, I will do it on behalf of those children, with pride and honour."

Scholastic library donation made to:
Creation of Hope Foundation & Land of Lakes Public School, Burk’s Falls, ON

Laurie Thompson

As nominated by Lynzey Brodziak:

"Ms Laurie Thompson is the principal at Kikino School, on the Kikino Metis Settlement in northern Alberta, where I have taught with her for three years. and in those years. Laurie is a firm believer in making books accessible to all children. She often gives books away as prizes and reads stories to the students at lunch. She makes sure that we hold family literacy events at the school so that parents can understand the importance of a love of reading in their children’s lives. She implemented a nightly reading program and makes a point to congratulate and reward students who work at their reading skills. Last year, she set a school-wide goal to increase the number of kids reading at or above grade level. We started the year with fewer than 10% of the students at that level and finished the year with around 50% meeting that goal. This is a huge accomplishment! Our students will be better prepared for the educational roads ahead because of the work that Laurie has focused on in our school. She is a great example of a leader, educator and Reading Champion."

Scholastic library donation made to:
Kikino Metis Settlement

Dolores Sullivan

As nominated by Michelle Corneau and Wendy Banhan:

"Dolores Sullivan is far more than a typical school librarian. She goes far beyond that to instill a love of reading in the youth we serve, who are among the most vulnerable and marginalized in the entire school board, and who have had challenging experiences with schooling, often resulting in learning gaps. In this setting, Dolores displays a unique and exceptional effort in her commitment to bring the joy of reading to them. For example, Dolores recognized that many classroom resources did not match the reading level of students and worked to resolve the gap, providing individualized materials that are engaging, culturally relevant and responsive, at the appropriate reading level. Along with creating a love of reading, Dolores’s work has led to a significant increase in the number of students passing the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test.

Additionally, Dolores brings forward technology to support students’ reading, with programs that have seen them gain skills equivalent to two entire grades over a few months. Of course, literacy skill acquisition leads to functional life skills. Students across our sites comment on how this program has helped them learn to love reading, but they also report feeling an overall sense of confidence and well-being as a result. They also have a greater connection to staff, because they know they are being seen as individuals and that their well-being matters just as much as their academic success."

Scholastic library donation made to:
Section 23 Programs: First Nations School and Aboriginal Education Centre

Stefanie Cole

As nominated by Shelley Macbeth:

"Reading is alive and well and living in lovely Uxbridge, Ontario, as long as Stefanie Cole is in town! In her role as teacher-librarian, Stefanie has created event after event to inspire reading. In her role as a parent, Stefanie ensures her children read, frequents the library and supports the local bookstore. In her role as a citizen of Uxbridge, Stefanie commits to the arts in every way, joining in as an active participant in every book event. One of the events she organized, the Brock Street Read-In, saw participation from every area school. Students converged on the main street of Uxbridge and engaged in silent reading. There were thousands of children sitting on the sidewalk, perching on planters, leaning against lampposts, reading! Quotes about reading were written on the sidewalk, and shopkeepers, town councillors, townsfolk, so many joined in to quietly (well, almost) read on a lovely spring day.

Stefanie also organizes MANY book fairs and author events each year and always has a hook to get kids interested. She has dressed up as characters from Harry Potter and The Hunger Games — whatever was inspiring at the time. She jumped in with both feet to ensure her students were part of the annual Forest of Reading, as well as her Battle of the Books program. Students were not just participants, but active, enthusiastic READERS. Being excited about books herself was always the jumping-off point, but it is her creative approach that motivates others. This year, Stefanie is assuming the role of vice-principal at Scott Central Public School, where she will, undoubtedly, continue to inspire readers and enthuse a new generation of Reading Champions."

Scholastic library donation made to:

Books for Me

As nominated by Jo-Anne Naslund:

"I want to nominate Books for Me to be recognized as a Scholastic Reading Champion. Since 2011, this non-profit organization, with some thirty volunteers, has distributed free books to children from two to twelve years of age. Kids need books. Without them, literacy and educational opportunities decline, and for many families, buying children’s books just isn’t possible. The volunteers at Books for Me welcome children and caregivers at schools, StrongStart programs, neighbourhood houses, daycares and community centres, where they may choose a free book from the wide selection on display. After getting her first book, one small visitor recently exclaimed, “I get to keep the book for ever and ever!”

Books for Me also partners with the Children’s Writers and Illustrators of British Columbia Society to bring author readings and workshops to some of Vancouver’s most disadvantaged schools. The connections with authors not only enrich the schools’ reading programs but engage children in authentic reading and writing experiences. Books for Me promotes community sharing through facilitating book drives by schools and organizations. By supporting the responsible recycling of gently used books, opportunities are provided to many families who would otherwise not have any books in their homes.

Scholastic library donation made to:
Books for Me

Lise Bertrand

As nominated by Nancy Fontaine:

"Ms. Lise Bertrand is an exceptional library technician who is very involved at l’École secondaire de l’Île. She is constantly surprising us – my teacher colleagues, students and myself – by her energy and engagement. First of all, she has made the multimedia library a very welcoming space and positive reading environment by doing a décor project with college students studying interior design. She also makes every effort to satisfy the interests and needs of the multi-ethnic students in the school. The shelves are stocked with books for all reading levels, as well as dictionaries and books in multiple languages. She is constantly on the lookout for new titles that would interest both students and teachers. She keeps the school well-informed of new book titles with intercom announcements, emails, displays, etc. In addition, she conducts extensive research to respond to student requests, ordering necessary books, and sends students personalized e-mails when certain requested books arrive to give them the opportunity to borrow them first. Among other things, she participates in literary events in multi-ethnic communities, presents books to newcomers, and shares her knowledge with teachers. She also easily adapts to new technologies, such as reading digital documents and using certain tools like WordQ for students with learning disabilities. And, she acts as a mentor for interns and student volunteers. She sets a great example for them!

Without a doubt, Ms. Bertrand goes above and beyond in her job. She is devoted to satisfying her diverse clientele and offering books that truly meet the needs of students and teachers. She is a valued colleague who works tirelessly to promote reading in thousands of ways on a daily basis. That is why the title of Reading Champion suits her perfectly."

Scholastic library donation made to:
École secondaire de l'île

LeeAnn Piercey and the The Bookworm Club

As nominated by Angus Francis:

"The Bookworm Club is a co-operative run by over twenty-three Children’s Aid Societies that aims to promote the love of books in children in care from birth to age eighteen. The program is run in co-operation with the Children’s Foundation at Highland Shores Children’s Aid.

Children and youth in care are often behind their peers when it comes to reading skills. The Bookworm Club introduces them to books and makes learning and reading fun. We hear from the kids that they can’t wait for the delivery of their new box of books and supplies each month. Caregivers also look forward to the packages so they can read with their children and support their learning.

What started out as a small project with fewer than 100 children and youth has quickly grown into a province-wide program. LeeAnn Piercey and a dedicated group of volunteers work each month to ensure each child and youth gets the right books. LeeAnnco-ordinates the selection, packing and delivery of over 2,000 packages of books and reading materials across the province of Ontario. This totals over 12,000 books a month!

I would love for LeeAnn and the Bookworm Club to be recognized as Reading Champions!"

Scholastic library donation made to:
Belleville Professional Fire Fighters Association Inc.

Anne Brailsford

As nominated by Wendy Legaarden:

"I first met Anne in her role as reading specialist with Edmonton Public Schools in 1997. She was the architect of a new professional learning model offering an extensive two-year learning/coaching model in balanced literacy for elementary literacy teachers. The model was remarkably successful and spread quickly, ultimately involving the majority of the 200-plus schools in the district."

Post-retirement, Anne continues to have a positive impact on literacy in her community. She is the volunteer organizer of a seniors’ book club, reads with children at her local school regularly and tutors adolescent students. Someone recently shared with Anne that there was a need for books that infants and toddlers could read with their parents in the waiting room of a clinic in northern Alberta. Anne made it possible for books to be sent to the clinic along with tips for parents on reading to their children.

Dr. Anne Brailsford believes that literacy instruction should empower children by providing them with the tools that will enable them to be strategic, engaged readers and writers. There is no doubt that she is a Canadian Reading Champion who has truly made a difference to the country’s literacy landscape for both educators and children."

Scholastic library donation made to:
Little Red River Cree Nation

John Kennedy

As nominated by Carmelita Cechetto-Shea:

"Each year, the Adopt-A-Library Literacy Program (AALLP) provides schools in Nova Scotia with thousands of books as prizes for student participation in the annual reading challenge. The books are provided free and reward the children for their love of reading. Everyone in the school can participate. At the end of the reading challenge, schools have a celebration of literacy, and Constable John Kennedy (RCMP) attends, bringing banners and prizes to the schools. This program was formed on the basis of “fighting crime, one book at a time.” Studies have shown that high literacy rates equate to low crime rates, and that low literacy levels equate to high crime levels. AALLP connects kids with a love of reading in a vast number of ways — and with each new chapter that is formed we get a greater number of ideas. Everyone brings their own imagination to the table and anybody can be involved! Local business owners, police, librarians, educators, service clubs, individuals — anyone with a passion for helping children learn to read and thereby improving their quality of life."

Scholastic library donation made to:
Adopt-A-Library Literacy Program

Mary Poole

As nominated by Christina Petrisor:

"Ms Mary is a Reading Champion! She has been running the children’s programs at the Mary C. Moore Public Library in Lacombe, Alberta, since September 9, 2004. Each year our library has over 10,000 visits to our amazing children’s programs run entirely by Ms Mary. Ms Mary runs Itty Bitty Babies, Hot Tots, Story Time, Reading Clubs I and II, crafts and more! Her TD Summer Reading Club runs for seven weeks, and 1,100 children attend. The lineups for registration for her programs go around the entire Lacombe Memorial Centre. She has her own newspaper column and also a column — The Library Ladies — telling the tales of the staff for the monthly library newsletter. Everyone in our community loves Ms Mary. Lacombe is very lucky to have such an amazing ambassador of literature."

Scholastic library donation made to:
Mary C. Moore Public Library

Barbara Reid

As nominated by Senta Ross:

"I would like to nominate a Canadian literary icon for Reading Champion recognition. Barbara Reid, one of Canada’s finest children’s author-illustrators, has worked tirelessly in promoting the reading and literacy engagement of young people throughout Canada for many years. She is the author-illustrator of more than a dozen books and the illustrator of many more. Her books have won many national and international awards and are loved by young and old alike.

Barbara has also donated her time and artwork to many literacy causes. For example, after having participated in Family Literacy Day for many years, she has been the honorary chair since 2015. Families reading together and playing together is a theme that appears in Barbara’s books again and again. Barbara has donated her artwork to organizations such as the Toronto Public Library and the Canadian Children’s Book Centre.

Barbara has great respect for her reading audience. Over the years I have been fortunate to have had Barbara as a guest at five of my schools within the Waterloo Region District School Board, where I was a teacher-librarian. Those visits were simply magical. The connection these hundreds of students felt towards her was amazing to witness. Decades later, students tell me they remember her presentation and they still have the Plasticine artwork they created in preparation for her visit.

Barbara is a member of the Order of Ontario (2012) and the Order of Canada (2013), and now a brand new school in York Region, which opens in September, is being named for her. She is proof that creating books and pictures for children deserves just as much respect as writing for adults. Children, after all, are the first readers of books, and what could be finer than exploring the pages of one written and illustrated by the very special, one-of a-kind Barbara Reid?!"

Scholastic library donation made to:
Crescent Town Elementary School and SickKids hospital's Reading Room

Richard Magnusson

As nominated by Debbie Magnusson:

"As his wife, I have witnessed Richard's sustained and undying love of children's literature since 1976. Richard has always had the ability to enchant children by reading stories, developing their reading skills and involving them in creative projects.

As a teacher, Richard instilled a love for listening and reading independently. His reading voice was dynamic and suitably scary, suspenseful or goofy as warranted, and children would flock to his chair at story time.

Richard's teaching career made a delightful turn when he was asked to take responsibility for the Fulford School library. He was an agent of change by partnering with teachers on unit studies. The school's library collection grew. He guided students to materials, order books he knew would be devoured, culled, created displays, and always modeled love of reading.

Once retired, Richard began volunteering at the local library and after two years later become a librarian at the alternative elementary school in the Gulf Islands School District. He has built and maintained the school's collection and continues to be recognized by his peers as a source of ideas, materials, titles and resources.

Richard's love for reading and literature has been passed on to hundreds of others. To me, and I believe, to many, many others, Richard is truly a Reading Champion."

Scholastic library donation made to:
Phoenix Elementary School

Pauline Picard

As nominated by Colette Baillargeon:

"Pauline was a pre-school teacher for 35 years. She has read so many stories to young people and many still remember those stories. Now retired, Pauline (Mamie Po) continues to captivate children. For the past 7 years, she has led L’heure du conte every first Tuesday of the month at the Wotton Library. She is passionate about reading and shares that enthusiasm with others. You can see it in the eyes of the children aged 5 to 7 years old who take in her every word and closely follow the twists and turns in the adventures she tells during story time. She is so appreciated that very often children meet her outside the library and we can hear them call out, "Hi Mamie Po!"

She's a grandmother to two grandsons who benefit from her immense talent as a storyteller and who never grow tired of her stories.

This is why I think that Madame Pauline Lambert Picard deserves the title of Reading Champion."

Scholastic library donation made to:
Wotton Municipal Library

Wild Honey Children's Centre Inc.

As nominated by Karin Kliewer:

"Wild Honey Children's Centre is a nonprofit organization in Winnipeg's West End, a diverse neighbourhood in Winnipeg. Here inner city children, new Canadians and children with exceptionalities discover the world of reading every single day.

Staff take the time to read. They focus on the importance and benefits of literacy, but more importantly they foster a love of reading. My two-year-old comes home talking about concepts and stories that we haven't discussed or read about in our house, which is truly heartwarming!

At Wild Honey Children's Centre the book shelf is located in a very visible space and staff change up the books regularly to keep children interested and ensure access to variety.

We know that a good book is a powerful tool; it can help calm a crying child, it can spark the imagination, and it can teach language and complex emotional concepts. When parents pick up their children they notice Wild Honey staff sitting on an old (but comfy) couch, surrounded by children captivated by a storybook.

At Wild Honey staff members show leadership by creating space for reading. This is a gift to both parents and children."

Scholastic library donation made to:
Wild Honey Children's Centre Inc.

Ken Setterington

As nominated by Janet Murie:

"Ken Setterington is a retired librarian, a storyteller, an author, a children's-book reviewer, and an international authority on children's books. After many years as a librarian, notably the Child and Youth Advocate for Toronto Public Library from 1999 to 2010, Ken has retired but continues to be deeply involved in children's literature.

His awards include the Toronto Arts Awards, Librarian of the Year (Ontario Library Association), Champion of Canadian Children's Literature (Canadian Children's Book Centre), and Jubilee Award (University of Toronto) and he sits on the board of World Literacy Canada. Ken has won the prestigious Toronto Arts Award for Writing and Publishing.

Hi voice was long been recognizable on CBC offering book recommendations for young readers, and he has a public librarian's approach that encourages children to choose what they want to read. Ken has long been an advocate for gay & lesbian children's literature (before it became fashionable). As an author, he is interested on amplifying voices that we rarely hear.

To me, Ken is an ideal choice for a Scholastic Reading Champion: he is someone who has devoted his working career to getting books in the hands of children, and he continues to focus on this in his retirement."

Scholastic library donation made to:
Withrow Ave. Jr. P.S. & Quest Alternative Sr. P.S.

Care 'N' Share Inc. Family Resource Center

As nominated by Nancy Drost:

"I would like to nominate Care 'N' Share Inc. Family Resource Center, a non-profit organization that provides services to families with preschool children in six locations in central New Brunswick.

Backpack Adventures Family Reading Club is an annual program offered in the fall. Children receive a free book and get really excited about picking their own books to take home. The program aims to expose young children and their families to literacy-based activities. It is very popular with parents and children and in 2016 we had approximately 105 children from 79 families attend.

Each of the sessions starts with circle time where a book is read followed by a puppet show, games, art work, finger plays, snacks, and songs. Some comments from parents about the program include: “learned to listen, learned to glue and be crafty,” “she now loves to read,” “he benefited because he now has an interest in reading” and “excited to get books and read them at night.”

Other programs and services offered by the Family Resource Center include drop-in for families with preschool children, parenting programs such as How To Talk So Kids Will Listen, Nobody's Perfect, Active Kids, Emergency Preparedness and Response and a 12 week Off To School program for children who will be attending Kindergarten the following year.

Our center is a very busy place with many families benefiting from the programs offered. We truly do fit the description of Reading Champions.”

Scholastic library donation made to:
Care 'N' Share Inc. Family Resource Center

Humber Park Elementary School

As nominated by Amy Palee:

"The staff and students at Humber Park Elementary love to read and are true Reading Champions! We are a small school of around 200 students from primary to grade six.

Each morning most classes devote time to read at the beginning of school; whether it be silent reading or reading out loud to a class, they all enjoy being engaged with books. I am the librarian at the school, and it makes me proud to work in a school when I pass by a classroom and see the students listening so intently to a teacher reading a story out loud, or to seeing them sitting at the desks so quietly with their eyes gazing into a book. Reading to me is like dreaming with your eyes open.

Watching the older students teach and read to the younger students during Book Buddy time is extremely gratifying. Our students truly love Book Fair time and are always eager and excited to fill out their Book Fair wish lists and bring their families along on Family Night.

It would be such an honour to reward the staff and students of Humber Park Elementary School with the title of 'Reading Champions.'"

Scholastic library donation made to:
Humber Park Elementary School

Kendra Helfrich

As nominated by Simone Homeniuk:

"Kendra Helfrich has made an amazing contribution to her grade 7 and 8 classroom, her school, and our school division.

I have had the great opportunity to work with Kendra on a professional level that has led to a passionate learning friendship where we frenetically discuss how to increase passion for reading amongst Middle School and High School students. Kendra personally devours the latest research on how to encourage students to be actively engaged in their reading and writing and in turn we share these resources with each other.

Kendra consciously teaches her students how to develop their passion for reading, their critical thinking skills, and their ability to listen deeply, learning how to have meaningful, dialogical conversations amongst each other. She has invested her own funds heavily into providing access to a variety of genres in her classroom library. She takes suggestions from her students seriously so that she can provide more choice and opportunity for her students to discover their own passions as readers. She has a thirst to awaken her non-readers.

Kendra provides a sanctuary from the struggles that her students face to retreat into a good book. She and her students book talk daily. There is magic happening in her classroom and anyone who enters, can feel it!

I am forever grateful for my own passionate learning journey with Kendra.

Scholastic library donation made to:
Yorkdale Central School

Twice Upon a Time/Il était deux fois

As nominated by Kim Ferguson and Chang Hong:

"Alexandra Yarrow is the founder and leader of Twice Upon a Time/Il était deux fois, an organization run by volunteers who foster a love of reading and promote early literacy skills in the Ottawa area.

The organization gives away free books to children in need, from birth to twelve years old. Twice Upon a Time manages a free bookstore and participates in community programs and events, leading to a total of 6111 books being distributed to 2817 children in 2016 alone.

However, their quest to improve literacy skills does not stop there. They are constantly striving to strengthen and build partnerships with other community organizations and are always expanding their services and selection of books. Due to their positive social impact in the Ottawa community and their continual efforts to grow, Twice Upon a Time is undeniably a Reading Champion."

Scholastic library donation made to:
Twice Upon a Time/Il était deux fois

Eugenia Doval

As nominated by École élémentaire Charles-Sauriol and Forest of Reading/Festival of Trees of the Ontario Library Association (OLA):

"Eugenia Doval is truly a Reading Champion! Not only is she a passionate librarian at the French elementary school École Charles-Sauriol in Toronto, she is also an exceptional woman who shares her enthusiasm and love of reading in the many activities that she organizes, including literary events for families in the community, author and illustrator visits for students of all ages, and virtual visits with creators. All events are planned in a French minority environment and with limited means. What an accomplishment!

Her passion for children's literature is infectious – the school's library is now a vibrant place where it's fun to discover books both old and new. Eugenia is not only a Reading Champion; she's also coaching future Reading Champions!

To top it off, she contributes hundreds of hours of volunteer work organizing and managing the Forest of Reading and Festival of Trees Program – a province-wide reading program that encourages students of elementary and secondary schools to read and vote for their favourite books – this is why I am convinced that Eugenia Doval is the perfect candidate to be a Reading Champion!"

Scholastic library donation made to:
Charles-Sauriol School Library

Dr. Larry Swartz

As nominated by Jim Giles:

"Dr. Larry Swartz's commitment to literacy and expertise in Children's Literature is exemplary and it is a privilege to be able to nominate him for a Scholastic Reading Championship recognition. Over the past four decades Larry has presented and spoken throughout Canada to educators, librarians, administrators, parents, families, and children to promote a love of reading for young (and older) people.

Dr. Larry Swartz has taken the initiative to work in hundreds of classrooms, always with a book(s) in hand to inspire learning, critical thinking, and a love for literature! He has published several popular books connected to children's literature. He is certainly well-recognized for his book recommendations, his book lists and practical strategies for responding to books, and using literature throughout the curriculum. Noteworthy, too, is his commitment over the years to donating thousands of books to classrooms in need.

In particular, we have been honoured to have Larry present workshops for the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario (ETFO) over the past several years, with a focus on Creating Caring Classrooms: A Literacy Approach to Address Bullying. Dr. Swartz continues to get exceptional reviews for his workshop presentations as educators find them practical, engaging, and informative.

I am highly confident that Larry Swartz brings knowledge, enthusiasm, and passion to ensuring that Books Matter. Larry Swartz is a 'Reading Champion' extraordinaire."

Scholastic library donation made to:
Reading for the Love of It : Outreach Program

Sheilah Currie

As nominated by Nikole Kritikos, Deborah Zwicker and Dianne Scott:

"Sheilah worked as a Reading Recovery teacher for the York Region and Toronto District School Boards, helping at-risk children learn to read. She has written more than 60 story books that are used in elementary school literacy programs in Canada and the U.S., and has served as a developmental editor and manager of quality control in educational publishing.

In 2006, Sheilah received a City of Toronto Community Service Volunteer Award for her work with the ReadUP reading clubs, and in 2015 she received a Legacy Award from Volunteer Toronto.

As a person, Sheilah is an utter joy to work with. She is wonderful, positive, and knows every child and their parents by name, and she knows how to make them feel special through their reading success. I genuinely believe her ReadUP clubs make an unquantifiable difference in the kids' academic success, and in their emotional well-being. The ReadUP clubs provide a safe, inclusive space for families of all backgrounds. She is a true Reading Champion, and she inspires all of her volunteers to commit to this amazing project. Read more about ReadUP at"

Scholastic library donation made to:
ReadUP Reading Clubs

Cathy Fischbuch

As nominated by Dawn King-Hunter:

"Cathy epitomizes the perfect librarian. She is excited about reading and she personally reads 5–7 young adult books a week. She knows her stuff! This year, she orchestrated a "Battle of the Books." Initially, she chose 32 of the most popular library books and pitted them against each other. Each week, during library period, students would get a book talk about the contenders or an excerpt read from the books. Then, students voted on each duo of books and one of them would be eliminated. After six weeks, two books remained in the competition and the final vote indicated the favorite book. The kids were more excited about reading than ever. Throughout the month and a half, teachers promoted their favorite books by decorating their doors in the spirit of the book and by having friendly competition between colleagues. Even our busy principal got involved and was, quite frankly, very competitive. As a wrap up, we had a school-wide, dress-as-your-favorite protagonist day. Circulation in the library increased by well over 1200 books. Simply amazing!"

Scholastic library donation made to:
G.S. Lakie Middle School

Patrick Meyer

As nominated by Rosa Bicanic:

"Mr. Patrick Meyer is our amazing school principal. Within our school population, we have a high number of ELL students and many diverse learners. Mr. Meyer wanted to promote literacy within our school, and he organized an entire week of literacy activities for the students. We held our first 'Literacy Week' from May 1st until the 5th. It was a huge success and the students had a great time reading and participating in our literacy activities. Each day a different activity was scheduled to incorporate literacy in some way. A read-a-thon, word dress up day, and even a visit from an award-winning author, were some of the events held in our school. Jacqueline Guest, a local author, spent the entire day presenting to our students. Her books have been flying off the shelves since her visit. A book tournament was held for the entire week in which students had to read a selection of books and vote for their favorite one. A comic book club has now been formed after one of the literacy sessions, where students can create their own graphic novels. Thanks to Mr. Meyer and the efforts of the entire staff, it was a great idea and a huge success. Our students were engaged and interested. It was wonderful to see their interest and enjoyment. Circulation in the library has increased tremendously and that is due to Mr. Meyer and our first annual 'Literacy Week.' "

Scholastic library donation made to:
St. Wilfrid School

Robert Munsch

As nominated by Denise Anderson:

"Robert Munsch has logged countless miles over the past five decades visiting children in their schools and communities to share his stories. Many of those visits were to remote communities. I was lucky enough to accompany him to Rigolet, Labrador, and to witness the magic of Robert interacting with kids — talking not just about books and reading, but life as a kid in general. As his popularity grew, he moved to doing 'stealth' visits to schools. He tracked schools who had written him about visiting and would just show up at the school unannounced. 'You wanted me to come, I'm here!' I was at his home one time when a kid from Newfoundland knocked on his door and announced, 'I'm here!' The child had written to Robert and Robert told him to visit him if he ever got to Ontario. So the boy and his parents jumped in their truck and did a road trip to Guelph.

His connection to children is undeniable and even though he hasn't toured for many years, his books are still much loved by parents who enjoyed his stories as children and are now parents themselves, and by kids just discovering him.

Aside from his books, Robert acted for many years as Honorary Chair of ABC Life Literacy's Family Literacy Day, appeared on the Easter Seals Telethon and supplied countless of signed books for various fundraisers. And those are just some of the things we know about.

He also has for many years allowed his books to be translated into Indigenous languages without charging a royalty fee, helping communities to preserve their own languages and share them with their younger generations.

Robert is Canada's bestselling author, and he is probably one of the country's best-loved authors too!"

Scholastic library donation made to:
Kitigan Zibi Kikinamadinan School

Louise Mathieu-Mills

As nominated by Hélène Essiambre and Louise Mathieu-Mills:

"The Fondation de la Guilde du Pain d'Épices was founded in 1999 by Dr Louise Mathieu-Mills to promote the development of Canadian and international children by offering a hands-on opportunity to experience quality education with a gingerbread cookie and a book in one package. It organizes many literary and cultural activities to help children acquire basic skills for a healthy future, such as self-esteem, healthy eating and global awareness.

Each year, the Foundation makes a substantial donation of books for children ten and under to a rural community library. For the last five years, five libraries located north of the Lanaudière region received a book collection carefully selected for its educational value. Later, the Foundation adds more books to the collection.

The program allows hundreds of children, who would otherwise not have access to books, to borrow books and take them home. Moreover, it represents a unique effort to share the joys of reading with the children of the region; finally, it emphasizes the importance and benefits of literacy by allowing children to discover reading at a young age and to maintain this interest while they grow up.

Some of the yearly activities of the Foundation include: the Gâteau-livre délectable (in the spring), the Citrouilles solidaires (in the fall) and the Gâteau géant (Christmas market) in Joliette."

Scholastic library donation made to:
The Fondation de La Guilde du Pain d'Épices

Wendy Mason

As nominated by Larry Swartz:

"Wendy Mason is a book champion extraordinaire. For the past twenty years Wendy has worked in the children's book department at an Indigo book store and her knowledge and enthusiasm has resulted in thousands of books getting into the hands of thousands of people, including parents, educators and kids. What is specially notable about Wendy's interest is her commitment to promoting Canadian books first. She continues to be informed and connected to authors and illustrators and is eager to honour the many talented Canadian creators whose work may often be unread or unseen. Whether it's being a compass, a travel guide, or a cheerleader, Wendy enjoys cultivating readers with good books. Like all reading champions, she has a mission to get books into the hands and minds and hearts of young people."

Scholastic library donation made to:
St. Bernard School

Shelley Davis Forman

As nominated by Arrowwood students:

"We were touched by the tremendous outpouring of nominations from the grade 6-9 students at Arrowwood School who nominated their teacher, Ms. Shelley Davis Forman for being a reading inspiration. The children she teaches have been inspired and have learned that reading isn't just words on a page, it's what your imagination can come up with."

Scholastic library donation made to:
Arrowwood School

Rose Reid and Bonnie Ryan

As nominated by Sharon Wass:

"Bonnybooks was launched in 2005. Rose Reid and her assistant Bonnie Ryan, with the Bighorn Library in Exshaw, Alberta decided to act on their belief that every child should own books. Over the past twelve years the program has distributed 64,038 books to children who may not have otherwise had a home library.  A true testament to the success of the program is seeing young parents, who initially received books from the program, bring their children to the library to take part in the programs and to borrow books. I heartily endorse the Bonnybooks program for its continuing efforts to promote a love of reading and helping to ensure the Exshaw library has a great selection of First Nations titles on their shelves for their large number of regular young patrons."

Scholastic library donation made to:

Rebecca Gomes

As nominated by Daphne Young:

"Rebecca Gomes teaches inner-city children, new Canadians and children with exceptionalities in pre-kindergarten and kindergarten. Such a diverse group of children with vastly different skill levels requires special effort and understanding in order to engage them and excite a passion for reading. Rebecca has succeeded doing that. Being creative-minded, and an excellent knitter, she has had several 'mystery guests' (in the form of knitted animals) drop by the classroom and leave clues, which the class reads together. To build real-life skill sets she introduced to the classroom was their very own 'Pizza Parlour', complete with menus and signage. The children learn through active play, and they have great fun ordering their favourite pizzas. With mystery, creative play, and individual and group tasks, Rebecca Gomes is introducing a new generation to the joy of reading. She really is a Reading Champion!"

Scholastic library donation made to:
Greenway School

Lisa Perrotta-Huhse

As nominated by Zoe Harrison (with permission from her mother, Robyn Harrison):

"Mme P.H. is a reading champion because at our school she started a French home reading program and no one else had started one. She took the time to read with everyone who is doing the French home reading, not just my class, to make sure they were assigned the right level of French books to read and take home. That's why I think Mme P.H. is a reading champion. I like reading in French every night."

Scholastic library donation made to:
Franklin Public School

Julie Lampron

As nominated by Cindy Bérubé Lessard :

"Two years ago, I went from teaching third grade to first grade at my school. Julie was teaching the same grade as me. I was used to teaching with workbooks but Julie wanted to get rid of the workbooks. She wanted to teach using children's literature. Phew! That idea made me dizzy. But thanks to her passion and her will to make children want to read when they experienced real books, Julie convinced me and another colleague to do it her way. Now, because of Julie and her passion for books, our first graders learn by reading real books. I must mention that our students come from an underprivileged environment and don't have access to a lot of children's literature. Julie lobbied the school management to get books at an appropriate level and made us discover her favorite books, authors and illustrators. She presented projects based on books. In short, she transmitted her passion to my colleague and I, as well as to the students who are now familiar with Jon Klassen, Carole Tremblay, Mathieu Maudet, etc. They read the back cover to get an idea of the book, they flip through the text, make predictions, but mostly they read for fun. At the Maurice-L. Duplessis school, other colleagues swapped their workbooks for books, inspired by Julie. Therefore, more students are in contact with books.

Julie is also involved in the reading committee. Since she arrived at our school, she has been organizing the Caravane du livre and an exceptional reading week (rallye des livres coups de cœur, reading in the dark, reading with parents under trees, meeting book creators, etc.). She even started a free library book exchange (Croque-Livres in French) for the teachers.

Every year, Julie also approaches different publishers and foundations to get new books for our students.

Julie is inspired by books and is inspiring! Thanks to her, children's literature shines in our school! Thank you, Julie!"

Scholastic library donation made to:
École Maurice-L.-Duplessis

The Children's Book Bank

A number of nominations was received for The Children's Book Bank and the Director of Inventory and Outreach, Roxanne Deans.

"The Children's Book Bank is a charitable organization that provides free, gently used books to children in low-income neighbourhoods in the Toronto area. With its one of a kind storefront and through community partners, the Children's Book Bank gives children a chance to build their own treasured libraries and to develop a lifelong love of reading. The safe and welcoming environment provides parents and children with a sense of community and a place of imagination, dreams and possibilities. The Book Bank does many things to promote literacy on top of giving children books which become part of their personal library. Cost does not need to be a factor in allowing children to build a library of their own. Children and parents are helped with selecting books and parents get additional support when requested to help them promote literacy in their home. It is an amazing service that provides books to children and families who might not otherwise be able to afford them. The Book Bank has definitely helped foster a love of reading in kids."

Scholastic library donation made to:
The Children's Book Bank

Marnie Paterson

As nominated by Sandi Richardson:

"Marnie Paterson, better known by the students at Deer Run Elementary School, as Grandma Marnie, began a Reading Grandparents Program 22 years ago after attending an Anti-Poverty Conference. It was at this conference that Marnie learned about the link between poverty and poor reading ability. Marnie raised awareness at her church and friend groups and decided to create a group of "grandparents" that would support students with their reading on a weekly basis. …. It is definitely easy to see that Marnie is a very dedicated individual. She is passionate about building relationships, reading with children and making a difference in their lives. Marnie is a true "Reading Champion" in our eyes, giving students the gift of literacy."

Scholastic library donation made to:
Deer Run Elementary School

Katelyn Schubert

As nominated by Brandon Schubert:

"My wife Katelyn Schubert creates the most innovative environment for the developing minds of today. She works for the Petawawa Public Library in Ontario. She is employed there with 57 hours every two weeks but spends more than 80 hours in the workplace, cataloging the books she buys. On the Library's budget she's had to develop ways to stretch her book buying power. Everywhere she goes she is adding new and replacing old literature in her ever expanding shelves. On top of what I see on a daily basis she conducts some ingenious programs at the library, and I must say her book displays are incredible. Before every school year she will have the ""50 first books before kindergarten challenge"". She writes a column for the Daily Observer or local paper every two weeks to establish the importance of childhood literacy. My favorite program she does is for toddlers and it's called ""toddler time bingo"" where they play bingo with the column for ""B"" would have a blue square or a bumble bee or a baseball, etc. You would need to see the kids' faces…As you may have noticed I could go on for days. Sincerely, Brandon Schubert the lucky husband of the best children's librarian in Canada."

Scholastic library donation made to:
Petawawa Public Library

Carrie Gelson

As nominated by Heidi Clark :

"I, along with my colleagues, and the students of our school are fortunate to have Carrie as part of our staff. Her passion and dedication for the love of reading is a boon to our Inner City school. Carrie's blog, , is an ongoing love letter to literature. I can attest to her obsession with books. Walk into her classroom and you are in fact walking into a library. Shelves upon shelves of books line the perimeter of the classroom. Student art and writing inspired by literature line the walls. You can't help be in awe. In the staff room she brims with exuberance sharing her latest reading exploit. The past month she held Mock Caldecott awards in her class. This was followed by a Skype session with an author/illustrator. There is always something amazing happening in her classroom. I am grateful that I can pop into her classroom to be inspired and receive book recommendations. Outside of school hours I can be inspired by visiting her Twitter feed Carrie is a worthy recipient of Scholastic's Reading Champions. Visit her blog and her Twitter feed and it is readily apparent why she deserves this award."

Scholastic library donation made to:
The Writers' Exchange Society

Yves Nadon

As nominated by Chantale Lalonde:

"Yves has been promoting the joy of reading for more than 30 years. He has dedicated his career to teaching others about the importance of reading for children, especially in the classroom. He created a popular newsletter "Des mots et des craies", for educators, he has translated books on the subject, has written influential articles about using literature in the classroom, and also worked tirelessly to put together what became THE conference in Quebec, on the subject of literacy and promoting a love of reading in children. In short, he has been a tireless literacy advocate, , conference planner, a publisher, a translator, and a writer, all while being a classroom teacher himself. To the delight of his students, he also implemented a new vision for classroom layouts, creating a "reading loft", reminding us all that giving the gift of reading, can be as simple as making the reading space more fun."

Scholastic library donation made to:
École Marguerite-Bourgeoys

Al Jones

As nominated by Su Kerslake:

"Mr. Al Jones has been a volunteer with Edmonton Public Schools for more than six years since he retired from the Edmonton Police Service.  Through the course of his career, Al realized that many of the offenders he worked with had significant literacy difficulties and recognized that these literacy difficulties were impacting their economic choices, mental health and success as adults.  It was because of this passion that Al sought out a needy elementary school at which to volunteer his time. Al volunteers every morning from 9:00 until 11:30, when he can be observed working with individuals or small groups of students practicing spelling, reading and writing. But perhaps the most significant contribution Al makes to his students lives is the discussions he has with them. Through the context of literacy activities, Al encourages our students to talk about their lives, their successes and their struggles.  He helps them to see the importance of literacy and school in their current and future lives. His volunteer work has, and will continue to make positive impacts in the lives of children."

Scholastic library donation made to:
Thorncliffe Elementary School

Gail Ross

As nominated by Katherine Loughrey:

"Gail Ross is the manager of the Upper Miramichi Public Library, which used to be located next to our Elementary School. Due to consolidation, the library moved a fair distance away. This was a great loss to our community, but didn't stop Gail from bringing books and programs to our kids.  She visits our school at least monthly throughout the school year to deliver reading programs, organize author visits, accompany interesting guests, write and perform puppet shows, plays, and bring us exciting and interesting hands-on literacy activities.  It is always a great pleasure to have her come and share her excitement for reading and text.  She also runs fabulous programs out of the library, and works with our teachers to offer an awesome Summer Reading Program that helps to ensure that many of our students are receiving continued literacy support during Summer Break. I highly recommend Gail Ross as a great Canadian Reading Champion"

Scholastic library donation made to:
Upper Miramichi Elementary School and Community Library

A. Hatherell and A. Rosner

This founder and organization received over 25 separate nominations!

"This organization has done an AMAZING job of getting books into the hands of young readers in Indigenous communities who are less fortunate. These children live in often isolated communities where social wellness and access to literature is severely limited. The Books with Wings foundation is truly changing the lives of these children and their families. Their book donations are giving children hope by educating them and providing them with thoughts of the future and the possibilities that exist outside of their suffering communities. Anna regularly provides updates of the countless letters these children send in appreciation of the donated books. The thank you letters from children are so heartfelt and touching and it's so clear that Books-for-Wings is truly changing their lives for the better.  Since 2011, Books with Wings sent almost 10,000 books to children who are geographically isolated and would otherwise have no books.  It's my hope they will be chosen for the Reading Champions so they can continue to change page at a time."

Scholastic library donation made to:
Books with Wings: A First Nations Literacy Project

Judith Drinnan

As nominated by Susan Travis:

"Judith Drinnan has owned and operated The Yellowknife Bookseller since 1979, providing this community with its one and only bookstore.  She continually gives back to the community.  She has been instrumental in the developing &organizing of a literary festival called NorthWords, and works closely with educators, and librarians in the community to bring authors into the community and share the gift of reading with children at their schools. She is a force in the northern community and was instrumental in the success of a program dubbed "The Flying Bookstore", a project that took books to the communities in the North West Territories that, in some cases, were so remote they could only be reached by plane (hence the moniker!). Judith took an incredible amount of time each year in the choosing, curating and growing the selection of books to take into these communities, and the project reached 89 communities, giving away over 35,000 books! I truly believe Judith is one of Canada's foremost Reading Champions."

Scholastic library donation made to:
NWT Literacy Council

Margaret Gee

As nominated by Brianna Sims:

"Margaret Gee has inspired a love of reading in all of the children at Kitaskinaw School in Maskekosak (Enoch Cree Nation). Margaret has taught at our school for over fifteen years and has dedicated her career to improving literacy in her own classroom, as well as supporting literacy programs in her co-workers' classrooms. Ms Gee is currently our literacy coach and works with students from K–9 on a daily basis using a Reading Intervention program. Margaret also volunteers her free time by hosting a Reading Club every Wednesday, often dressing up as the characters in the stories! Ms Gee has been incredibly successful in instilling the love of reading in all of those who attend her Reading Club — it is always a packed class. Ms Gee deserves nothing less than to be rewarded for her dedication to improving children's experiences with literacy!"

Scholastic library donation made to:
Kitaskinaw School

Mary Friesen

As nominated by A Murray:

"Mary works tirelessly, bringing reading and the joy of books to children of all ages in our K–12 school. She doesn't stop there! She also shares this joy with the adults! Teachers and parents are often seen talking with her about books, and she matches their interests with literature that suits them. She is able to encourage reading books outside their regular choices and in doing so has broadened their love of various writing styles and genres. The Scholastic Reading Club program is run by Mary, and she works outside regular school hours to keep everything running smoothly. This past summer a program was started to have our school library open one day a week to continue to serve and encourage readers in our small community. As we do not have a local library, this was a great service to provide over the summer holidays. Mary is a gem in our school community and it would greatly honour her, I'm sure, to be recognized for all her contributions. We all benefit from Mary's love of books!"

Scholastic library donation made to:
Children's Hospital Winnipeg and Rosenort School

Sheila Koffman

As nominated by Maria Martella:

"Sheila Koffman was one of the first booksellers in Ontario to focus on books that promote awareness of social justice and equity themes for children, teens and adults. She has been a dedicated champion of the voices of minority groups and diverse books for over thirty years — before it was popular to sell these types of books. Sheila's vision and approach to bookselling brings affirmation to the lives of those we don't often hear from. She has drawn attention to books that encourage children and their parents to explore the diversity in our world. She is highly respected by her peers and customers, as well as publishers and authors. She supports reading through her many book events in the store, at school board events across Ontario, and every day in her bookstore and community. Sheila has a strong commitment to ensuring children are given the very best books, and it is evident to all who know her."

Scholastic library donation made to:
Rose Avenue Junior Public School and Queen Victoria Public School

We were so saddened to hear about the passing of Sheila Koffman on September 15th. Her work as a noted social justice activist, and 30 years as a bookseller were an inspiration to everyone who knew her. We are so deeply grateful we had the opportunity to recognize her as one of our first Reading Champions. Her understanding of how profoundly lives can be changed through the gift of reading is everything we wanted to honour with this program.

Cheryl Jewitt

As nominated by Laura Loschmann:

"Miss Jewitt IS a Reading Champion! Each year, she inspires her students to read their books each night by giving them critters to colour for every six books they read. When their "critter wall" is full, she uses her own resources and time at home to cook a taco feast as a reward for her students. Each year, this is a major event in her grade 1-2 class She loves to read and reads to her class with enthusiasm. I stopped by as a parent and was invited into a darkened supply room, where her entire class had gathered to read a glow-in-the-dark book where they were invited to guess the skeletons of several different species of animals by their glow-in-the-dark bones. Miss Jewitt is an exceptional teacher and she makes learning fun. Math is fun with Miss Jewitt's general store. You know science is going to be great when Miss Jewitt carries in pails of snow or when the students are having shake-the-jar competitions to make real butter. Her class also participates in a school-wide reading challenge each February, which they have won two years in a row for having the most number of minutes spent reading for the month — now that tells you something about her influence! Please consider this fabulous lady!"

Scholastic library donation made to:
Platsville Christian School

The Literacy Foundation – The Gift of Reading

As nominated by Nathalie Portugais:

"The Literacy Foundation offers many programs for both children and adults. The Gift of Reading program encourages a love of reading by providing children in need with reading resources and literacy support."

Scholastic library donation made to:
The Literacy Foundation

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