Saturday, May 17, 2008

Reel Reading and Writing in the World...

Sometimes I wonder why I am tired at the end of the week and then as I look back I think it can be the sheer breadth of what happens. A personal thrill was having the opportunity to see Erin Gruwell, famous for Freedom Writers which I have blogged about previously. I found myself for the second time in a week at The River Rock Casino Hotel where I had never previously been. I think I particularly enjoyed seeing a news clip of the real Freedom Writers, who were the basis of the movie which everyone needs to see. Erin Gruwell proved to be a pretty special person as she spent quality time with a group of Champlain Heights students who had fundraised their way to the event. I will have more about this in another blog!
Speaking of writers, I met some very talented writers at Carleton at their Writers' Festival this week. All their intermediate students read to each other in small groups and had a big celebration of a year of writing.
I also found out about a project new to me, Room to Read, a non-profit organization begun by a Microsoft executive who went on a vacation to Nepal but found a worthy cause. I am looking forward to working with the Vancouver chapter on projects in the future. Another fun event was getting an opportunity to listen to the creators of Real 4. On this website you can see a schedule of upcoming documentaries on CTV (also being broadcast on National Geographic station worldwide. Our own Angela Brown had been telling me about Sol Guy, British Columbian hip hop artist, recording studio executive in New York City, who took a change in direction after visiting Sierre Leone, and now is dedicated to creating social change through action, art, and culture. I was impressed.
Finally, spent a couple of good sessions with National Geographic , Hampton-Brown trainer, Susan Maguire this week, one of using their materials to differentiate instruction, and another on the Edge reading program for high school students. I think for many of us National Geographic magazines were our first window to how amazing and diverse the world is. There seems to be a theme of the world and reading in this blog. And now I am going to enjoy the sunshine on this long weekend!

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