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Celebrating students’ love of reading

By Stefany Harris/The Oshawa Express 

More than 1,000 local students recently gathered in unison to show their love of reading.

The students all recently participated in the Ontario Library Association’s 19th annual Forest of Reading program.

A final celebration of the program was hosted by libraries of the Durham District School Board (DDSB) and the Durham Catholic District School Board (DCDSB) at Durham College’s Recreation and Wellness Centre.

During the winter months of the school year, students in Grade 4 to 8 read a variety of nominated books, and when they were done reading, a vote would be held on what their favourite was.

Students found out the winners at the celebration on May 13.

There are two categories in the Forest of Reading program, the Silver Birch and Red Maple, with winners in both fiction and non-fiction.

According to Richard Reid, innovative education facilitator at DDSB, one of the most notable Silver Birch winners was Carey Price: How a First Nations Kid Became a Superstar Goaltender by Catherine Rondina.

“It’s these kinds of titles that really make kids think and ask those critical questions, and hopefully get them wondering about a new culture of a new way of life,” Reid said.

Blue Heron Books, a bookstore in Uxbridge assisted with the program. They helped bring the authors to the celebration, and secured the titles for the program.

Volunteer for Blue Heron Books, Jill Minshull says that the children were excited about the books they were reading.

“They were really enthusiastic and happy to be there. More than 1,000 kids listened attentively.  They were so excited, they were recommending ones to me that they thought I would like,” said Minshull.

Reid said the program introduces students to the love of literature and the love of reading, and he hopes that they will all continue to immerse themselves in the reading culture.