Professor Owl’s October 2012 Newsletter

A chill is in the air and autumn is in full swing! This month Professor Owl has plenty to share with you including updates from our favourite organizations, an interesting article, some fun Halloween ideas as well as our usual Professor Owl’s book recommendations!

Also, take Professor Owl’s reading challenge – write and let us know what books you are enjoying and win prizes. **Remember though you must let your parents know that you are writing to us…**

October is National Literacy Awareness Month

In the United States October is National Information Literacy Awareness month. In today’s digital world, people who are information literate know how to find, access, and critically evaluate information to improve their health, their environment, their education and workplace performance.

Having that skill set empowers them to interpret and make informed decisions about their lives, in essence, taking more responsibility for their own individual welfare and that of the nation.

Read More … …  …

The Canadian Library Association / Association canadienne des bibliothèques (CLA/ACB) is pleased to announce that October has been designated as Canadian Library Month!

Introduce your child to your local library!

The idea for a month dedicated to library and information services in Canada was developed by library partners from across the country to help raise public awareness of the valuable role that libraries play in the lives of Canadians.

Trick or Treat: Halloween Treats For Tots With Food Allergies

For parents of kids with food allergies, the scariest part of Halloween isn’t frightening movies on TV or too realistic monster masks, it’s the idea that one tot’s treat is another’s anaphylactic shock. Eight allergens account for 90 percent of all food allergies — milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy, and wheat. Since we’re dealing with candy, the fish and shellfish allergies aren’t really an issue, but the other six definitely are, as they’re all common ingredients found in many types of sweets.

We’ve found a great selection of candy for kids with all types of allergies — from gluten to soy to dairy to tree nuts — so that no one has to be left out of the candy binge. At the end of the night, when parents are nervously assessing their tots’ haul, they’ll appreciate being able to give something back to their little ones, worry free.

Halloween Chocolate Lollipops ($3)

Chocolate definitely presents a challenge when looking for dairy-free options. These Halloween Chocolate Lollipops aren’t inexpensive at $3 a pop, but the fact that they’re free from the scary big eight allergens — with no gluten/wheat, dairy/casein, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, fish, shellfish, or egg — makes them priceless for chocolate-craving tots who are used to being told ‘no’.

Gluten Free Recipes:

Gluten Free Candies

Diabetic Recipes:

Nut Free Candies from the stores

      • Twizzlers
      • Skittles
      • Mike & Ike Jelly Beans
      • Junior Mints (not safe for all allergies, but safe for nut allergies)
      • Pez
      • Tootsie Pops
      • Carmel Apple Pops (made from the Tootsie Roll company, a completely nut-free facility!)
      • Life Savers
      • Starburst
      • Smarties

Halloween Costume Ideas for Canes and Wheelchairs

Halloween is a holiday that is accessible to everyone. Please visit the website below for some great and inexpensive costume ideas.

I recently came across this wonderful website that really is a great source of information for children with special needs.

Amber Bobnar of was kind enough to allow Professor Owl’s Newsletter to link to her site so that you can read about her wonderful ideas that she loves to share.

Many, many thanks Amber!


Professor Owl’s Book Corner

Professor Owl’s Reading Challenge

Welcome, my name is Professor Owl.

On my face, there is never a scowl,

For you see I am a happy bird,

I can make a difference word by word.

I will teach you how to love to read,

And for today that’s my good deed.

In my corner, you will find,

Books and news of every kind.

I challenge you to read five pages a day,

And then you can go out play.

By Sylvia McGrath

Book Of The Month for October 2012

 The Halloween Tree [Paperback]

Ray Bradbury  (Author)

Price:  CDN$5.50

“Halloween Tree” recaptures the surreal spookiness of a child’s Halloween with the knowledge of an adult. One of Ray Bradbury’s relatively few books for children is a wildly imaginative ride, with a strong subtext about friendship and death itself.

Eight young boys congregate to go trick-or-treating on Halloween night; the only one missing is Pipkin, the universal favorite (Bradbury devotes an entire chapter to singing Pip’s praises). Pipkin does show up, but he acts strangely and isn’t wearing a costume. When they show up at the House, a haunted edifice, they find the sinister, skeletal Mr. Carapace Clavicle Moundshroud and an enormous tree hung with jack-o-lanterns — a Halloween tree. Pipkin appears nearby, and then is carried off into the darkness.

To save Pip, Moundshroud takes the boys on a strange trip through time and space, through history and across the world. He shows them the death-related rituals that spawned Halloween: Egypt’s mummies, the Celtic Samhain and its lord of the dead, the Christian All Hallows Eve, the Mexican El Dia De Muerte, and others. Through time and across the world, they chase Pipkin and try to save him — but what can they do against death?

“Halloween Tree” succeeds in being a good fantasy, a good spinechiller, a good glimpse back in history, and an excellent story about friendship all in one. A wonderful read, and not just for Halloween either.

Professor Owl’s Book Recommendations

October 2012 ~ Professor Owl’s Halloween Picks

One Trick for One Treat: Sign Language for Numbers [Library Binding]

Dawn Babb Prochovnic (Author), Stephanie Bauer (Illustrator)

Price: CDN$ 18.01

Gooey Goblins: Halloween Special [Paperback]

Helen Perelman (Author), Erica-Jane Waters (Illustrator)

Price: CDN$ 6.99

Goosebumps HorrorLand Special Edition: Weirdo Halloween [Mass Market Paperback]

R L Stine (Author)

Price CDN$ 8.99

Smiley Book


Calling all budding book reviewers! Have you read a book recently that you think Professor Owl would enjoy?Please send in your reviews! Be sure to include the complete title of the book and the author’s name so that we can give proper credit! 🙂

Variety Village Logo

Variety Village News October 2012

Variety Village: Sports & Special needs Activities for Kids in Toronto

For over 60 years their goal has been to improve the quality of life of all people, regardless of their abilities. By offering specialized programs and services, they create a level playing field without barriers, intimidation or other obstacles. Dedicated to people of all abilities, Variety Village is a great place to get fit and have fun. Become a member of Variety Village and be part of a great community. Come discover the most inclusive and family-friendly fitness, sports and life skills facility in Toronto.
Variety Village: Sports & Special needs Activities for Children in Toronto

To receive a copy of their Fall/Winter Guide – please visit:

3701 Danforth Avenue

Toronto, Birch Cliff

Scarborough, M1N 2G2




Read Parent Reviews for: Variety Village

Christopher’s Wish – A SPA!

In early August, we received an urgent call from Montreal Children’s Hospital. 16-year old Wish Child Christopher, who has been battling Rhabdomyosarcoma for the past two years, had taken a turn for the worse. His condition was deteriorating rapidly, and pain-management was become a daily struggle. Christopher had always wanted a hot tub, and as it happens, one of the only things that offered him comfort was soothing, hot water on his skin. This in itself, however, was difficult, given that standard bathtubs cannot accommodate his 6’2” frame. His only alternative was to take several hot showers a day for some small relief. Ideally, what he needed was a hot tub, where he could lie down in comfort for an extended period, and finally get some much-needed respite from the constant pain.

Two of our wish granting volunteers, Lyne and Dot, rose to the challenge of granting this special wish for Christopher as quickly as possible. With an extraordinary time constraint, and the added challenge of sourcing a tub that would be suitable for Christopher’s height, it really would take a miracle to actually bring this wish to fruition.

But, thanks to Make-A-Wish® partner, Marquis Spas, the perfectly-sized hot tub suitable was driven up by Laura and Mike from Country Pools in Vermont, and installed in Christopher’s back yard – only three days after the wish was made!

Make-A-Wish® Quebec salutes the incredible folks who came together to make this wish a reality! Six local firemen were on hand to install the hot tub, and Brian from RB Entreprises ensured the deck and electricity was prepared so that Christopher would see his wish come true as quickly as possible.

Christopher’s Mom couldn’t stop thanking everyone there that day, and declared that, “Chris already made the rules for the use of the spa…..and it includes no skinny dipping!”

For information about Make-A-Wish® Canada please contact them at

Make-A-Wish® Canada
4211 Yonge Street, Suite 520
Toronto, Ontario M2P 2A9

Phone Number:
Toll Free: 1-888-822-9474
General Email: nationaloffice@makeawish.ca

March of Dimes News for October 2012

List of Programs and Services by Province


Originally founded in 1951, Ontario March of Dimes has been on the forefront of the disability movement for more than 60 years. In 2005, the operating name of March of Dimes Canada was registered as a national charitable organization to begin the expansion of our programs and services nationally.

March of Dimes Canada provides Information & Advocacy Services on behalf of all Canadians with disabilities. In addition, our Grants & Awards, fundraising and awareness events are held across the country. March of Dimes Canada participates in many conferences and symposiums nationally. Partner products such as TravelAbility Insurance, eSSENTIAL Accessibility, Give and Get, and others are available to everyone, regardless of province.

Some programs and services, awards and conferences are also available outside of Ontario:

For more information across Canada and USA – Please visit

Contact Us

If you have any questions about these event, or if you are experiencing any technical difficulties, or if you prefer to make your donation by phone, please call March of Dimes Canada at 416-425-3463 or toll free at 1-800-263-3463, Monday to Friday, 9 am to 4:30 pm EST.

Phone: (416) 425-3463
Toll free: 1-800-263-3463 ext. 7704

Our mailing address is:
March Of Dimes Canada
10 Overlea Blvd.
Toronto, ON M4H 1A4


2 thoughts on “Professor Owl’s October 2012 Newsletter

  1. Pingback: Professor Owl’s October 2012 Newsletter | Welcome…

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