Reading Rules at 2014 Silver Birch Conference

Nothing invigorates the mind quite like a good book. On Friday, May 2, hundreds of junior students from the District School Board of Niagara will gather to be inspired and share their love of reading at the annual Silver Birch Celebration of Literacy Conference. Fourty-one elementary schools will be sending students in Grades 5 and 6 to take part in the conference.

The conference is the culminating event for students who have participated in the Ontario Library Association’s Silver Birch Reading Program. The program aims to develop a love of reading in students, promote Canadian literature, encourage Canadian writing and the development of literacy skills.

Each year, students are asked to read the nominated works in each category and then vote for the winners of the Silver Birch awards. “Many authors consider these awards to be among the most meaningful, because they are voted on by students,” says Kim Salierno, DSBN Library and Educational Resources Consultant.

This year’s conference will certainly get the blood pumping. Author and Grantham Secondary School graduate David Carroll will be speaking to students about his novel “Ultra,” about a student who decides to tackle a 24 hour race known as an ultra marathon. Following the conclusion of the conference, David will be taking over 30 students and staff on a 5 km fun run. 

In addition to the keynote addresses by Canadian authors, students will have the opportunity to read, write, laugh and get creative by participating in a whole host of literacy themed workshops. Students will explore their artistic talents in “About Face: Portrait Drawing”, enter the world of crime scene investigation in “C.S.I It,” and compete to become the Silver Birch Iron Chef cookie baking champion in “Flambe’s Kitchen,” to name a few.

Salierno says for many students, the conference is one of the most highly anticipated events of the year. “Helping students achieve success in literacy is a core focus of the DSBN, and this conference is a fun and creative way to support students as they work on their reading and writing skills.”

Event Details:

Date: Friday, May 2

Time: David Carroll keynote address will begin at 8:45 a.m., fun run will take place at 2:45 p.m.

Where: Club Roma, 125 Vansickle Road, St. Catharines