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Students encouraged to complete the 150 Literacy Challenge

More than 60 school children from CML Snider school in Wellington met award-winning children’s illustrator Bill Slavin at the Wellington Public Library on Wednesday.

Slavin visited the library in support of MP Neil Ellis’s Bay of Quinte Canada 150 Literacy Challenge.

The students, quizzed by Whitney Shantz, Youth Coordinator for the Prince Edward County Public Library, delivered correct answers about who Mr. Ellis is and on the reason for his challenge.

Ellis has challenged all students in is riding to read 150 pieces of Canadian literature – books, short stories, media or magazine articles – and record their progress on a form available here at the County’s six library branches. Those who complete the challenge will receive a signed certificate and letter from Ellis.

Shantz introduced Slavin to the students, noting he hails from the Belleville area and not only illustrates, but also wrote the graphic novel series Elephants Never Forget. His newest book is Who Broke the Teapot? He is well-known for illustrations on Linda Bailey and Ted Staunton books. He is the recipient of a number of awards and prizes.

Image from Bill Slavin’s Who Broke the Teapot?! (Fall 2016) Acrylic on gessoed board, hand-lettered. More at www.billslavincom

He showed the students photos from his studio and explained how every page in the storybook started out as a painting.

“Growing up in Belleville my weekly trip down to the public library on Pinnacle Street with my mom is one of the things that stands out from my childhood,” said Slavin. “Growing up there were always books in our house and I read them all, widely and indiscriminately. This embedded a love of story that has stayed with me throughout my entire life.”

Slavin says every day begins and ends with a book in his hands.

“The Bay of Quinte Literacy Challenge is a wonderful way to instill in others the love for reading I had as a child while promoting Canada’s 150th birthday.”

Shantz can’t think of a better way to help celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday.

“Growing up I was a voracious reader but, truth be told, I’ve slowed down recently. Issuing a challenge like this has helped re-ignite my passion for reading, and introduced me to authors I hadn’t previously enjoyed. I hope the Bay of Quinte Literacy Challenge does the same for readers all across the riding,” said Shantz.

Visit the PEC Libraries website for special events featuring Canadian authors and Canada 150 events, or call 613-476-5962.


Filed Under: Arts & CultureFeatured ArticlesHastings & Prince Edward District School Board

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