‘I Read Canadian Day’ celebrates national authors

Published On April 6, 2020 | By Shruti Mehra | Life
Two girls reading a book in a library. (Billy Brown/Flickr)
Shruti Mehra

The first-ever I Read Canadian Day took place nationwide to celebrate excellence in Canadian literature on Feb. 19.

The event was founded by children’s author Eric Walters to encourage schools, families, organizations and children to read Canadian books and share experiences.

Walters partnered with the Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators and Performers (CANSCAIP), Canadian Children’s Book Centre (CCBC) and the Ontario Library Association (OLA.) to begin this initiative.

The initiative challenges people to read any Canadian book for 15 minutes and to share their reading experience at public libraries, school and even on social media.

 “This day is one of its kind and it’s a day to celebrate Canadian authors and illustrators who call Canada their home,” said Lexi Black, manager at Brampton Library’s Springdale Branch.

“We’re honouring the ‘I Read Canadian Day’ across our eight library branches with programs and special displays highlighting Canadian children’s books and literature,” Black said.

The Springdale Branch celebrated the day by organizing a family story time event, where both parents and children gathered to read their favourite stories by Canadian authors.

Two kids reading books in a library. (Natasha J/Flickr)

Black said there are so many fantastic Canadian titles hidden on the shelves of the library and this was an opportunity to highlight them for the readers.

“We’re reading Grumpy Bird by Jeremy Tankard today and I believe this is a great opportunity for children to come together and not only to read good stories but to socialize,” said Robin Arora, a parent at the family story time program.

He said taking children to public libraries and to programs like this help them in getting engaged in something with a positive outcome.

“Learning can never go wrong, especially when you’re in such a happy place with people of your age reading your favourite book,” Arora said.

This initiative also includes the I Read Canadian Fund, which works to provide new Canadian books to children across the country.

The fund also focuses on reaching out to young children in rural and indigenous communities to empower them with great Canadian literature and to encourage them to read and learn.

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