Quilchena Reading Challenge: ALTERNATE April edition

Whoa. Hold on! Back that truck up! Did you read that correctly??? An ALTERNATE Reading Challenge? Mais, pourquoi? Well, I know that not everyone lives in the library, like I do, and I thought perhaps it may be a bit too challenging to find things to read to fit all the categories this month so…. I give you:

Get Caught Reading . . .   April Challenge version B

You probably have a favourite place to sit and read at home. You might have a few. You might be finding, these days, that you need to seek out new, interesting places to read because your usual spots are, well, a little overused at the moment. This month, you have an Alternate Reading Challenge: to Get Caught Reading in unusual places.
Be creative! Take a photograph of yourself for each category and send it to Mme Brogan.  Try to be reading something different in each photo.

This month, Get Caught Reading….

  1.  …under a tree.
  2.  …surrounded by soft things.
  3. …with a family member.
  4.  …while you’re eating.
  5.  …in public (but not too close to anybody.)

If your family doesn’t want to give consent for media release, you can still participate! Either you can pose for photos with your back towards the camera, or you can set up your shots with your reading material (and other personal touches) in the spot where you’re reading, just sans vous.

Quilchena Reading Challenge: April

Calling on all Quilchena Readers!!!

It is time for the fourth installment of the 2020 Quilchena Reading Challenges!!! Just because we’re not seeing each other at school every day doesn’t mean we can’t share our reading adventures. We can read together… apart!

I am going to continue posting our monthly Reading Challenges as planned, but I will also be posting ALTERNATIVE Reading Challenges each month in case the traditional challenge category format is a bit too tricky in the limited way we are living at the moment.
We will also have to modify how you can submit your completed challenges. More on that below.

If you’re just joining the fun, here’s how to participate:

  1. Download the April Reading Challenge.
  2. Start reading! Choose books, that match the categories in the challenge and write down the titles as you complete them. You must read these books in April. (There is no length/difficulty requirement. Choose books that interest you, that are an interesting stretch, or are in some way a good fit for you right now.)
  3. Stay tuned for what to do when you finish this month’s challenge. I have a couple of ideas of how you can show me…. I’ll tell you soon.

There will still be a draw for a prize for students who complete each month’s challenge.

I will create challenges each month from now until June. There will be a special prize draw for readers who completed and handed in all 6 challenges.

Read on for the April editions of the Quilchena Reaching Challenge:

Spring has sprung!  April Challenge version A

The first day of spring was technically last month but the weather is now getting noticeably warmer and the trees and plants are growing new leaves and flowers. There are many special days in April (did you know that World Penguin Day is April 25th?) Maybe you should take your book outside and find a perfect reading spot from which to observe the warming of the season.

  1. A book of poetry or a story told in verse. (April is Poetry Month)
  2. A joke book, or a humorous novel. (April 1st is April Fools’ Day)
  3. A book with an environmental theme. (April 22nd is Earth Day)
  4. A book in honour of a cultural or religious festival. (Sakura, Vaisakhi, Ramadan, Passover, Easter, etc)
  5. A story that takes place in a forest.

The eve of our return to a new way of being together

Greetings Quilchena families,

I hope that you are all healthy and that you are finding ways to be calm and joyful these days. This is a very strange time we are living through right now and there are so many different ways to react; we may experience many of those different reactions all in one day!

As we navigate the next few days and weeks, you will hear from classroom teachers and from Mrs Sleep. You can also stay tuned here for links to activities, conversation starters, and other helpful connections to our learning community.

You will hear from your classroom teacher by the end of this week. In the mean time, start getting up at a regular time each day and follow a basic schedule (that includes getting dressed and eating regular meals 😉) and KEEP READING.

I’m looking forward to the interesting things we will discover as our attention is focused in different ways over the next few months. Please reach out if you are struggling: hearts are open.

take care, and stay tuned.


Does your family get enough sleep?Image result for children sleeping creative commons

We often sacrifice sleep for other things in our lives but sometimes we push our baseline too far and our lack of sleep can impact our health.

Did you know:

  • According to the World Sleep Society, the risk of injury increases by up to 70 per cent when young athletes get less than eight hours of sleep. Conversely, sleeping more than 10 hours a night has been shown to increase sprint speed, shooting accuracy and mental health of college-aged basketball players. (source article)
  • Lack of sleep causes irritability, increased stress, forgetfulness, difficulties with learning and low motivation. Over time, it can contribute to anxiety and depression. (source article)
  • Sleep problems are one of the most common concerns for parents. In fact, sleep problems have been estimated to affect 30% of children. (source article)

The Canadian Pediatric Society has produced a general guide to the amount of sleep young children need over a 24-hour period, including naps.


There are a lot of excellent resources on the Canadian Sleep Society website. There is a lot of great information, podcasts, and other resources.


Moving Remembrance Day forward

Some families have very particular traditions of how they mark Remembrance Day on November 11th. For others it can be a day with not a lot of focus towards a specific purpose. Many teachers have been reflecting on how best to approach this day in an inclusive way, while being mindful of the diverse backgrounds our students carry with them–some may have violent conflict in their very recent past, while for others war may be a more abstract concept.


Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña

Click for more information on this titleI offer a possibility for a new tradition on Remembrance Day (I am likely not the first to take this path): Use this day as an opportunity to reflect on how compassion plays a roll in your life. Read some thought-provoking books about compassion and living a peaceful life, be intentional about sitting or walking quietly to think about where compassion often plays a roll in your life, and where it might be needed, or have some purposeful conversations with loved ones.


Book - Why Am I Me? by Paige BrittPictured are a few of the books in the Quilchena library that are good conversation starters. Each image is linked to the book’s catalog record.

Fall into a good book

The weather is getting cooler. I LOVE going for an autumn walk and then curling up inside with some tea and a book.

I follow Brightly.com for their book suggestions and for their ideas to make reading even MORE fun. This month they have published an October Reading Challenge that you can download from their website. Give it a try as a family! I love reading challenges as a way to integrate reading into other activities, and to stretch myself as a reader. (There will be more posts about reading challenges coming up.)

Orange Shirt Day: Every Child Matters

Today (Sept 30) is Orange Shirt Day. Quilchena students have been learning about and reflecting upon our history of residential schools through literature. Quilchena Elementary is located on the traditional and unceeded lands of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh people.

Orange Shirt Day library display
Orange Shirt Day display in the Quilchena library.

The information in this post is quoted and paraphrased from the Orange Shirt Day website:

In 2013 there was a reunion and healing ceremony held at St. Joseph Mission (SJM) Residential School (1891-1981) in the Cariboo. It brought together former students and their families from the Secwepemc, Tsilhqot’in, Southern Dakelh and St’at’imc Nations.

The events were designed to commemorate the residential school experience, to witness and honour the healing journey of the survivors and their families, and to commit to the ongoing process of reconciliation. Chief Justice Murray Sinclair challenged all of the participants to keep the reconciliation process alive, as a result of the realization that every former student had similar stories.

Orange Shirt Day is a legacy of this project. As spokesperson for the Reunion group leading up to the events, former student Phyllis (Jack) Webstad told her story of her first day at residential school when her shiny new orange shirt, bought by her grandmother, was taken from her as a six-year old girl.

The annual Orange Shirt Day on September 30th opens the door to global conversation on all aspects of Residential Schools. It is an opportunity to create meaningful discussion about the effects of Residential Schools and the legacy they have left behind. A discussion all Canadians can tune into and create bridges with each other for reconciliation. A day for survivors to be reaffirmed that they matter, and so do those that have been affected. Every Child Matters, even if they are an adult, from now on.

The date was chosen because it is the time of year in which children were taken from their homes to residential schools, and because it is an opportunity to set the stage for anti-racism and anti-bullying policies for the coming school year. It is an opportunity for First Nations, local governments, schools and communities to come together in the spirit of reconciliation and hope for generations of children to come.

On this day of September 30th, we call upon humanity to listen with open ears to the stories of survivors and their families, and to remember those that didn’t make it.

Families are welcome to come to the library this week and borrow a book from the display to read together at home.