This Fencer Won Gold with No Hands or Legs #WATWB


The #WATWB was created as a mission to negate the overwhelming negativity that has been present in our social media streams. For every negative news story in the world, there are plenty of positive, uplifting stories that show hope, compassion and the resiliency of everyday people who face insurmountable challenges. Our hope is to share heartwarming stories that lift the human spirit. 

The last Friday of every month bloggers will share their stories led by six co-hosts, this month’s co-hosts are  Shilpa Garg, Peter Nena, Eric Lahti, Roshan Radhakrishnan and Inderpreet Kaur Uppal

This Fencer Won Gold with No Hands or Legs

For more than ten year’s Professor Owl’s Book Corner has followed the wonderful young athletes from Variety Village and the Special Olympics who have overcome their physical challenges with determination to follow their dreams of excelling in the sport they loved so much.

This month we are featuring a very special young lady who did follow her dream and won a gold medal.

Beatrice “Bebe” Vio is a fighter in more ways than one. At just five years old, she showed incredible promise at fencing. But, at age 11, her dreams were threatened after she contracted a severe form of meningitis that cost her both her hands and legs. Still, Vio remained undeterred and returned to fencing within a year. She began fencing from a wheelchair using a special prosthesis to hold her foil. Her fighting spirit paid off when she won the gold medal at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

Beatrice Vio wins 2017 Laureus Award – IPC

For more information or to join our #WATWB please click here! 

Professor Owls Book Corner: Newsletter March, 2018 ~ Edition



Welcome to the March issue of  Professor Owl’s Book Corner Newsletter where in addition to supporting those with special needs and learning challenges, we are also committed to being more focused on YA/New Adult reading and literacy.  We will be featuring tips from a certified literacy tutor to help make your reading experience the best it can be.

We will also be encouraging young writers and artists with tips, writing exercises and will still be updating our Community News Boards with the latest news from Variety Village and The March of Dimes.

Professor Owl’s Book Corner hopes you are enjoying our new format! Please feel free to give us your feedback on our new issue, also send us any ideas you may have to help Professor Owl’s Book Corner be all that it can be.  We look forward to hearing from you and to bring you a new, more interesting newsletter.

Let this be the month you set your reading goals.

Professor Owls Newsletter is here to help you achieve them all.

“There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island.”
~ Walt Disney

Professor Owl’s Book corner with help you learn how to read, to assist you with problems and learning challenges and give you a bigger choice of books to choose from. We will be restarting our weekly book reviews again next Wednesday and our usual monthly books of the month in our monthly newsletter. We will also give you information where you can get the books you want to read.

Literacy and Reading

By Sylvia McGrath

When I was very young I was lucky enough to have a father, who loved to read books and, also living next door was a dear old man named Sheppy (Mr. Sheppard) who had large library of old books which he encouraged me to read and shared with me his love of books. When I was around ten he gave me a full set of classic books and soon had me reading Little Women, Treasure Island etc. at a young age. When I was old enough my father would take me to the library with him several times a week each of us would bring home three or four books each time.
Over the years my love for books never changed and when I was older and married, I had a daughter who I shared this love with. She is now all grown up but also has the same unquenchable thirst for books and reading, as I have.
Everyone probably has told you how important reading is, but have you ever asked yourself why. With television, computers and iPads you probably wonder why all the fuss.
Over the years I have had so much pleasure reading but I have also found it to be very necessary when it was time to go out into the working world.
Through my literacy tutoring I have met young people who had challenges with reading although in your young years you can get by. However, as you get older the need becomes sometimes quite urgent. One lady student I had just wanted to read stories to her children and help them with their homework. You may want to drive, get a good job, there are a few jobs available, but as one gets older, some are a lot harder to do. I saw how much these older people now want to learn to read. They realize now how important it is.
Below I will list out seven reasons why reading is important to me and to the students I taught. I hope you too can really find out the reason why reading is so important for you, so you can follow some of your dreams.
1.Introduce Yourself to New Ideas
When reading, you introduce yourself to new information, new things, you discover new ways to solve a problem, and new ways to succeed at things you love.
• Learning begins from reading and understanding.
• You may also find new hobbies to try.
• You might truly explore one thing you really like, and it may end up in your dream career and success in the future.
2. Self-Improvement
• Reading does help you form a better you, doesn’t it?
• When reading, you begin understanding the world more.
• Through reading, you begin to have a greater understanding of a topic that interests you; for example: how to build self-confidence.
• How to make the plan better before acting.
• How to memorize things better and more.
• All these self-improvements start with the reading; through reading, you create an organized path towards a better understanding and better actions to take in the future.
3. Improve Understanding
• The more you read, the more you understand things’.
• Reading allows you learn more about the things in your everyday life.
• You may learn what you need to be aware of when a place can be hazardous to your health.
• The purpose of staying away from being harmed or bitten.
• Or perhaps you can learn by reading about real-life experience or special sport.
• It can also help you find out how things work or the truth about something.
• Reading also increases a better understanding on the rules of life, to help you to adapt, adopt and adjust into the society better.
• You first need to read and understand the rules well. To play well in a game whether it be a sport or on the computer.
4. Ready for Action
• Before acting on anything, where should you seek help and guidance?
• Reading is an essential way which can help you out. In today’s world, getting reviews and feedback from other people can make a big impact on your next decision, and the pros and cons of each choice.
• Read about how to cook a meal, how to play a game, which place is nice for a holiday trip, read the menu before ordering food, read the manual before using a new gadget. These all can help you become more prepared before you really get into activities.

5. Learning Tools for Communicating
• Communicating is the most vital tool which can be conveyed through reading.
• As you communicate through reading, you understand more, and therefore you can connect better with people.
• A person that knows nothing, has not had anything to share, and probably doesn’t even understand what people are sharing.
• Through reading, you build a more solid foundation for communication.
• It is one of the most important tools we use every day to connect with each other.
• However, if you don’t read, you can’t even connect with the world and what people are talking about out there.
• Reading really does connect you with the world.
6. Your Brain
• When reading, you are in full silence because reading connects directly to your brain.
• In the silence, you seek for more information; in silence, your brain can focus, it is clear and ready to gather further data about the things you love.
• Therefore, you learn and grow, and you feel and see from the point of view of other people about everything in life. In the future you shape a better self.

We hope you will look at the lessons given in our Laubach section, and to help you find other help on line, please find below some of my favorite websites and news letter I think you will find fun and helpful.

Boys and Books | Reading Rockets
Boys and Books. By: Jane McFann. … Canada, says in one of her … and activities designed to help young children learn how to read and read better.

ABC Fast Phonics – learn to read online. Fun for kids or …
What Is ABC Fast Phonics? As a child struggling to learn to read, … Young children and other beginning readers of all ages can navigate the site just by using …the above link.

Home –
Programs and services for teenagers and young adults. … for measuring the performance of and … Young Canadians building a better Canada


Books for reluctant teen readers ~

“The more that you read,
the more things you will know.
The more that you learn,
the more places you’ll go.”
~ Dr. Seuss

Available from,, and

We would love to hear about your favorite books and your views on the ones we recommend here… send them


Writing prompts are a wonderful way to kick-start your creativity and generate ideas. There isn’t a right or wrong way respond, just be honest, be creative and use your imagination!

‘Don’t wait for the perfect moment. Take the moment and make it perfect.’ ~ Unknown

Write about the most perfect moment in your life.  It can be one that has already occurred or one you hope will happen.


✒ Write, be creative and most of all HAVE FUN! ✒

Writing Prompt~A picture is worth a thousand words…

A picture is worth a thousand words…


Write about a moment when you felt you were in the spotlight. Was it a fun experience? Was it embarrassing? What if anything did you learn from the experience?

APRIL is around the corner and CAMP NANOWRIMO STARTS 🙂Attention all aspiring authors: 

Are you 13 years old or older? Have you heard of Every November thousands participate in an online writing event to complete 50,000 words in just 30 days. Now they’ve made it even better, is a virtual writer’s camp, designed to inspire you and keep you motivated while you work on your masterpiece. Camp runs twice a year in April and July and unlike NaNoWriMo welcomes word-count goals of 30,000 and up. Writers can tackle any project they’d like, including new novel drafts, revisions, poetry, scripts, and short stories.

So sign up today!  See you at camp!

WANT TO START A BRAND-NEW NOVEL BUT DON’T KNOW WHERE TO BEGIN?  Check out this book: No Plot? No Problem! Revised and Expanded Edition: A Low-stress, High-velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days by Chris Baty


Chris Baty, founder of the wildly successful literary marathon known as National Novel Writing Month, has completely revised and expanded his definitive handbook for extreme noveling. Chris pulls from over 15 years of results-oriented writing experience to pack this compendium with new tips and tricks, ranging from week-by-week quick reference guides to encouraging advice from authors, and much more. His motivating mix of fearless optimism and practical solutions to common excuses gives both first-time novelists and results-oriented writers the kick-start they need to embark on an exhilarating creative adventure. Via Goodreads


Variety Village

Variety Village2

Everyone has the right to live a fit and healthy life and at Variety Village in Toronto, they believe that fitness facilities should be available for everyone regardless of their ability level, age, or financial situation. With this in mind, they created a welcoming fitness facility that was designed to welcome everyone in the community with an ideal set up designed to promote healthy, active lifestyles.
Fitness club memberships are very affordable. Special rates for seniors and financial subsidies for those that qualify are also available. They strive to keep their facility up-to-date with ongoing improvements. Free Wi-Fi is available.
Variety Village is located at 3701 Danforth Avenue in Scarborough. For more information, please visit their website, call 416-699-7167 or send an email. You can also follow Variety Village on Facebook.



For more information and to register, please contact:
Erica Mugan
1-800-263-3463 ext. 7758


wise-picks ~Lauback website, resources for Tutors and Student.

www.alphca aplus .ca ~ In these pages you will find resources and information to enrich your learning experience. ~ Register with this site and you get information on: Online tutoring, words and vocabulary, homework help and much more. ~ Lots of fun and challenging activities for you and your family.

If you would like to tell us about your goals, ask for assistance or information ~ Just drop Professor Owl a note – mail to: