Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Writer in the School

I had the pleasure of visiting Ryerson Community Public School yesterday to talk about history and writing with Grade 6 and 5/6 classes there. I talked about Champlain and The Story of Canada and The Big Book of Canada (details here) and about being a writer and a historian, and the kids had questions forever -- good, smart, thoughtful questions too. The kids are alright. That's not a kid I'm hugging in the photo. That's the teacher!]

I had not visited a school class for a while, and I discovered afresh that flood of energy that comes in from the kids, particularly kids realizing for the first time that the names they see on books are connected to real live people who may even live in their community and will drop in to talk with them. I was pumped for the rest of the day.

Ryerson PS is at Dundas and Bathurst in central Toronto, and lots of the kids are immigrants to Canada. But then so am I and so is their teacher, and we had a good talk about how people have been coming to Canada for a long time and getting to do great things. Thanks, kids, and thanks to Charmaine P-M for inviting me.

I went for the pleasure of it, and the public service too. But teachers and principals in Ontario might like to know about the Writers-in-the-Schools program, which can help fund them to bring writers into their schools too. (For BC/Yukon, it's here.)
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