It’s getting colder outside. The wind is blowing and the trees and plants are getting ready to sleep for the winter. What a great time to curl up in a comfy spot with an interesting book and a warm drink!
Warming up with reading can also mean that we are getting into our groove this school year. We got a little rusty, perhaps, with so long away from school but we are settling in to our routines now. A focus for students in all grades should be to try to make more time for reading.
Here are the categories for the November edition of our Reading Challenge:
A book about or set during a war.
A book by an indigenous author.
A story with a main character who is a person of colour.
At least three tales in a book of fairy tales
A book with a one-word title.
Download your own copy of the challenge sheet below. Quilchena adults are encouraged to participate too!
Welcome to the first Quilchena Reading Challenge of 2020-2021!
As we all know, September was a bit different this year and my focus was elsewhere so I wasn’t able to publish a reading challenge last month. We will start with the October challenge and now that our routines are beginning to settle in, we can all get back to our reading.
The Quilchena Reading Challenges are for all students, teachers, and parents. The categories are designed to be applicable to any and all reading levels. As a reader, you get to choose how long, how hard, and in what format the books are to complete this challenge. I trust you to make good choices for yourself.
Start Something New
Even though it’s not September anymore, we are still settling into this slightly different newness of a school year. This month, take an opportunity to embrace new things and read something new, all from the comfort of a familiar, cozy reading spot.
A book about a subject (like an animal) you know nothing about.
2. A story or non-fiction book about a refugee or immigrant experience.
The first book in a series.
A story or non-fiction book about or set during autumn.
A book of short stories (you don’t have to read all of them.)
One of our most beloved library monitors is finishing grade seven and going off to high school. Emma has been a dedicated library monitor and is a Reader Extraordinaire! She has completed every monthly Quilchena Reading Challenge, as well as this June bonus “Get Caught Reading” photo challenge. She also tells me that she’s almost finished the Read Harder 2020 reaching challenge, which is designed for adults and is meant to last the whole year. Amazing!
And without further ado…
There are some events happening right now, mostly in the United States, that are very upsetting. There are people who have been hurting for a long time and are trying desperately to make their voices heard. I won’t describe the events in detail here, rather I will let families choose how much of this specific story is known in your homes.
One thing that I believe is not optional, especially for those of us who are in positions of the most privilege (white, cis, able-bodied, neurotypical, and whose people come from a Christian background), is that we work to make space for stories of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) and other folx who live within the structures of oppression in our society.
There is racism in Vancouver, and there is racism in our schools. There has been, in some way or another, always. In the last couple of months people with Asian family heritage have been targets of escalated verbal and physical violence. That racism is present and active in our city and schools is something we all need to understand and accept before we will be able to create spaces that are truly safe and supportive for every single one of our students and their families.I want every family at Quilchena to know that acts of racism or any other acts of oppression are not okay in our community.
This year I started working on a diversity audit of our English fiction collection in the Quilchena Library. This means that I have started gathering information about how diverse (or narrow) the selection of stories is in our library. This will be an ongoing project for me as I work my way through our French and English fiction, our French and English easy chapter books, our French and English readers, and our French and English picture books. I will be devoting a significant portion of my library budget over the next few years to improving the balance of voices represented in our library collection, specifically focusing on #ownvoices titles.
There are a lot of great lists being published right now that can help us find books written by and about people who are not always represented on our home and school library, and classroom shelves, but who are definitely represented in our community. I have also found some helpful tips for talking to kids, particularly kids living with systemic privilege like my own daughter, about racism.
If you would like any help pursuing these topics at home or at school, I am happy to chat or host a more formal conversation about it.
I am giving us a second crack at the BONUS reading challenge that I posted a few months ago. I think it got lost in the shuffle of getting organized and re-calibrated to teaching and learning.
This is a BONUS ROUND in our Reading Challenge series. I will be posting a June challenge shortly. In this BONUS Challenge you are encouraged to send your photos to Mme Brogan or to post them on your class Team.
Welcome to May! I hope this month brings you soft breezes, delicious drinks with ice cubes in them, and some great stories.
This month’s Challenge title is: Adventures you can have at home
In case you missed it, we have an exclusive (modest) discount at Book Warehouse right now. It is particularly for the reading challenge, but you can buy other things with it too. It is applicable at the West Broadway and Main St locations and all you have to do is tell the cashier that you are part of the Quilchena Reading Challenge and they will apply your discount.
I know that you have all been worried about how you will complete the Quilchena Reading Challenges now that you don’t have access to our library. Well, never fear!
I am happy to announce that I have secured a small discount of 10% for all Quilchena Readers at Book Warehouse (both the W Broadway & Main st locations.) You can call or go online and choose your books and they will get them ready for you to pick up. They are also allowing one family at a time in the children’s /YA section (but better to not browse right at the moment. Talk to me in your Class Team if you need suggestions of what to read.)
When you pay for your books, simply tell the cashier that you are from Quilchena and are doing the Quilchena Reading Challenge and they will apply your discount (you can use this discount for reading material other than the challenges too.)
You may also be aware, but there are other local bookstores that are being pretty great right now too: Pulp Fiction Books and Massy Books both have free delivery anywhere in Vancouver, and Iron Dog Books is a great new store that has a great selection (including puzzles) and can schedule pick up times like Book Warehouse.
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….
…under a tree.
…surrounded by soft things.
…with a family member.
…while you’re eating.
…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.