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The First "Reading Liberia" Books

January 6, 2011

The first books for Liberian children by Liberian authors will soon be out. Imagine how exciting that will be for both the children who will hold those books that reflect their lives and for the writers and illustrators who created them! I first became involved in “Reading Liberia” two years ago, and I’m proud to…

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Reading at the CNIB

January 13, 2011

For close to seven years now, following a successful audition, I have been a volunteer reader at the CNIB. Pictured with me in the booth at the Recording Studio in Toronto is Alex MacDonald, who has been reading for roughly twice as long. Ordinarily during a recording session, there is one narrator, seated, reading a book aloud inside…

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International Year of the Volunteer

January 27, 2011

According to Volunteer Canada, there are 12.5 million volunteers in this country, working to make a difference in their communities. The United Nations has declared 2011 the 10th International Year of the Volunteer. To help celebrate the impact volunteers make, the Toronto Association for Volunteer Administration has set an interesting goal: to collect 2011 images…

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Word from Liberia

February 23, 2011

Exciting news! The first page in the history of Liberian children’s literature has now been written! Yes, the first books written and illustrated by Liberian authors and illustrators as part of the Reading Liberia program have now arrived in Monrovia! Yvonne, one of the founders of the program, wrote: Hello Kathy, Guess what! We have…

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A Volunteer-Reader’s Anniversary

March 2, 2011

Seven years ago this week, I began volunteering at the CNIB Recording Studio in Toronto – reading books and teching for others who are reading. In addition to magazine articles and chunks of various textbooks, (and the foreword to a book being read by a male narrator), I have read a wide range of books – for kids,…

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Jan Coates, An Alumnus of the Seaside Writing Workshop

April 12, 2011

Jan Coates first came to our Seaside Writing Workshop/Retreat in 2008 to work on several picture book manuscripts she needed help with. Second Story Press had published Rainbows in the Dark in 2005, but since then, Jan had collected only rejection letters in response to her submissions. During sessions focused on her work, she got feedback from…

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Reading Liberia – June 2011

June 29, 2011

June 2011 presented me with the opportunity to work for a third time with Liberian writers through workshops and one-on-one meetings – thanks to CODE (Canada) and to We Care (Liberia). The president of the country, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, expressed an interest in participating in the launch of the first Liberian-authored, Liberian-illustrated children’s books. She…

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Good News from Africa

February 8, 2012

Laptops for Liberia have begun to trickle in. More are needed. Please help spread the word anywhere that a laptop of use to a writer in Liberia might be found. And don’t forget to email me if you have a laptop you’re finished using and would like to donate. Liberian illustrators are now bringing to…

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Organ Donation & A Grateful Heart

February 29, 2012

The person in the front of the canoe in this photo is Kristin Millar. The remarkable thing about this scene is that Kristin is attached to an LVAD (a Left Ventricular Assistive Device) – a pump that does the work the heart does for most of us, without our thinking about it much. But Kris…

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“An Intimate Examination of Sock Fluff” Part 4

March 7, 2012

The next excerpt from my PYI keynote in a series that started in December 2011… Up on Ipswich Road a girl my age, not a servant, boards with Doctor Griggs. Uncle Ingersoll says the girl’s so quiet you can hear snowflakes falling ‘pon her cheek. “Elizabeth,” I call when I pass her on the road…

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