We are reading the story of our lives as though we were in it as though we had written it.
Poet, The Story of Our Lives
No matter the project, our goal is to strengthen communities and individuals through storytelling and reading festivals. To do good with words we work to engage diverse – and increasingly, physically distanced – people so all stories can be told and heard.
DOING GOOD WITH WORDS. VIRTUALLY!
In March 2020, we suspended all activities internationally and are now focused on virtual author festivals and storytelling events here at home. The first of our COVID-19 era projects is “ReadableFest” in Simcoe County schools. ReadableFest is about empowering students to champion accessibility. The festival is a specialized reading program for students in grades 3 to 5 to address the critical task of building more accessible school communities. The program features nine selected fiction and non-fiction titles with disability themes and a full-day, participant-driven conference.
UNESCO WORLD BOOK DAY IS APRIL 23, 2020.
Every Picture Tells a Story.
Our good friend, Jeff Sprang, is a much-awarded portrait artist who has a great idea to celebrate World Book Day. Jeff kindly donated 50 signed prints of hockey legend Sidney Crosby as a fundraiser. The 36” x 24” watercolour portrait depicts Canada’s team captain sporting his gold medal from the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games. The original hangs in the Hockey Hall of Fame. But, when you make a $100 donation through CanadaHelps, we will courier a print to you in a durable mailing tube via CanadaPost – as our thanks. All proceeds support OneWorld Schoolhouse Foundation’s programs.
RESPONDING TO COVID-19
Reading is still a good story.
There’s always been a lot going on at OneWorld Schoolhouse. Book drives. Reading festivals. And running events to raise funds for the right to read. COVID-19 has curtailed our programs but can’t diminish the extraordinary benefits reading offers. Especially if you stayed involved by donating to CanadaHelps. Please stay safe; we will be back as soon as possible.
HELPING REBUILD SCHOOL LIBRARIES AFTER HURRICANE DORIAN
We are a nation in mourning. The grief is unbearable following the devastating impact of Hurricane Dorian, which has left behind death, destruction and despair on Grand Bahama and Abaco, our second and third most populous islands.
Bahamian Prime Minister
Ontario schools can help!
Hurricane Dorian was a Category 5 storm that tore through the islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama in September 2019. It was the strongest storm to ever make landfall in the Bahamas.
We understand rebuilding will take time. Homes. Businesses. And schools. Too often, Caribbean nations face the daunting task of recovering from natural disasters but it is possible to return to a normal way of life. We believe we all can help.
That’s why we launched Books for Bahamas campaign for the 2019 – 2020 academic school year. We asked Ontario schools to conduct book drives to fill 500 boxes of gently used books to help restock school libraries – but COVID-19 has stopped everyone in their tracks. However, we managed to collect about one tonne of gentle-used storybooks and when it is safe again to visit schools and ship internationally, we will drawn down on over 5 metric tonnes of books in our warehouse – and get the job done.
ABOUT OUR RAINFOREST OF READING FESTIVAL
In St. Lucia, Volunteers are the story behind the stories.
Book time off for books: join us as a Volunteer!
See what families, adults and students say about being volunteers in our video. Learn more about our Rainforest of Reading program here.
We’d love to hear from you so we can share our “travel with purpose” program during the March Break in St. Lucia.
Rainforest of Reading celebrates its fifth anniversary!
Pirates and dragons and monsters – oh, my!
Jennifer Mook-Sang (ABOVE), author of Captain Monty Takes the Plunge, travelled with fellow storytellers and volunteers to meet over 8,000 readers in St. Lucia in March 2018! Here’s the Very Special List of 12 Stories, their authors and illustrators selected for ROR 2018. Thanks to the Canadian publishers who submitted their titles. Calls for submissions for the next ROR are announced here.
ABOUT FIND 52: THE ROAD TO READING
When you put yourself in another person’s shoes amazing things happen.
Be part of the journey at your school this year!
More and more schools are signing up to join what students from Guelph’s Centennial CVI, John Galt PS, Saint-René-Goupil, Our Lady of Lourdes plus amazing Haliburton Highlands Secondary have done to support our annual Find 52 Relays in St. Lucia. Canadian Olympian Eric Gillis even came out to motivate kids in Guelph to really go the distance! See how schools raise over $12,000. Watch the video above or read: Find 52 Thousand: The Road to Reading 2018. To show your solidarity for global literacy encourage your student council or a teacher advisor to contact us soon!
ABOUT OUR SCHOOL-BASED BOOK DRIVES
Want to make a real difference? Host a 2 week book drive.
If you believe in the right to read, we’re on the same page!
Algonquin Ridge Elementary in Barrie (ABOVE) is one of almost 100 schools who’ve run a book drive to support global literacy. It’s a fast, fun way to do good with words. From boxes to morning announcements, we’ll get you everything you need to succeed!
ABOUT OUR STAND-OUT SUPPORTERS
The Slaight Family Foundation.
From student-led book donations in Ontario to reading festivals–our supporters really make the imaginative power of stories possible. We thank the Slaight Family Foundation for their support of the Find 52: Road to Reading.
Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation and Ontario Teachers’ Federation.
Public education’s leaders are at the front line of literacy advocacy. We thank OSSTF and OTF for their durable assistance which has allowed us to bring the Rainforest of Reading to the Eastern Caribbean.
Chase the Coyote Trail Race.
Norm Nadon and Jodie MacNeil unleashed hundreds of enthusiastic runners through their organized run in beautiful Mono Cliffs Provincial Park. We are grateful for their support.
Auto World Imports Network.
Literacy is all about transporting readers through stories, enlarging our capacity to imagine, to be mobile thinkers – ready for whatever is down the road. Thanks to our friends at AWIN Group of Dealerships. Dr. Sylvester Chuang, Pauline Chuang and their staff are helping young readers in both Ontario and St. Lucia to be better readers and engaged citizens.
If you’re an individual with books to give away
We regret we’re not able to accept book donations outside of a school book drive. However, there are a number of groups who will: Goodwill Industries or Habitat for Humanity. If you have high school or university textbooks try Textbooks for Change and Canadian School Book Exchange.
Good With Words
We’re engaging young Canadians who’ve made a commitment to social responsibility. For donor schools, the experience promotes pro-social values like compassion, empathy, generosity. For recipient schools, book drives dramatically increase the inventory of literacy resources.
Our goal is to transform lives – locally and globally
The remarkable story of literacy renewal is told in the film below. You’ll meet 7,000 young Caribbean readers, their teachers and the Ontario student volunteers and Canadian storytellers who came to meet them.
Books can take you places you’ve never been. But you have to have books.
We operate in four small nations: St. Lucia, Grenada, Montserrat and Nevis. Here, natural disasters and a persistent recession have eliminated most school libraries. In Canada, there is an abundance of reading materials at home and school. Ontario libraries alone – and there are over 1,000 of them – receive 72 million in-person visits each year. Libraries circulate 131 million items. It’s this culture of reading that encourages us to connect kids from two distant worlds.
What we’re doing
Through our province-wide school book drive program, OWSH is engaging Ontario students who are taking action and improving literacy resources for their fellow students. To annual festivals in the Eastern Caribbean, authors and illustrators from Canada are bringing stories to life. Adult volunteers and their families are packing books in our Bolton Ontario warehouse while others eagerly assist at festivals in St. Lucia – at their own expense.
Why we’re doing it
What children’s stories do with immediate and considerable effect is engage the imagination. In a world that is constantly challenging and sometimes defeating, imagining what is possible may be the one essential tool for children in the developing world. Our indispensable supporters are helping the foundation to build a sustainable effort so students in the Caribbean will be ready for their future.
You or your school can create change. Imagine that!
As foremr Governor General, the Rt. Hon. David Johnston has said: “Let’s demonstrate to the world what a smart and caring nation can look like in the 21st century.”
We invite you to join OneWorld Schoolhouse!