Professor Owls Book Corner: Newsletter ~April, 2018 Edition


Welcome to the April 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 enjoy this month’s edition! 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.

Positioning the adult literacy rate in context

An international adult literacy survey results dispelled the old notion that
Individuals are either literate or illiterate.
There are no uniformed standards distinguishing whether adults do have skills or not. Instead, skills use the information to function in society.

Adult surveys showed a strong link between literacy and a country’s economic potential

For most, this is the IALS survey, but for Canada, Norway, Switzerland, and the U.S., the results are from the ALLS survey.
Three categories of literacy were tested:

1. Prose literacy: the ability to understand and use information from texts such as editorials, news stories, poems, and fiction.

2. Document literacy: the ability to locate and use information from documents such as job applications, payroll forms, transportation schedules, maps, tables, and graphs.

3. Quantitative literacy: the ability to perform arithmetic functions such as balancing a cheque book, calculating a tip, or completing an order form.
An average of the results from these three literacy categories is used in the Conference Board’s ranking system.

Participants’ skills were rated on a continuous scale from level 1 to level 5.

Those at levels 1 and 2 literacy had low literacy skills. The easiest task in level 1 asked the participant to look at a medicine label and determine the “maximum number of days you should take this medicine.” The participant had to go to the label and locate the phrase “no longer than 7 days.”

Level 2 participants could deal only with material that was simple and clearly laid out; they may have adapted their lower literacy skills to everyday life but would have difficulty learning new job skills requiring a higher level of literacy.


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

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


Make sure you turn your sound on: Then click the link to learn your words for this month

Adolescent and adult reluctant reader

English Language and Literature:
Queen’s University Library provides subject, course, and how to guides to help you connect with the best tools, resources, and strategies for research.
The liaison librarian for English Language and Literature is available for research consultation and can help you design research strategies, access key databases, effectively use the information resources of Queen’s University Library and beyond and stay current in your field. Tailored research skill instruction can be provided for specific classes. We also evaluate, purchase, and make available teaching and research materials, including books, journals, and databases to support the discipline.

Publication Date: 2011-09-01

The Terry Fox Story

By Terry Barber

Terry Fox is specifically written to meet the needs of adolescents and adults who are reluctant readers. The photographs, maps, and illustrations reflect the text, making the words easy to decode. This high-interest, low-vocabulary biography is ideal for English as a Second Language or adult basic education students. Terry Fox (1958-1981) was an active teenager involved in many sports. He was only 18 years old when he was diagnosed with bone cancer. His right leg was amputated 15 centimeters’ (six inches) above the knee in 1977. While in hospital, Terry was so overcome by the suffering of other cancer patients, many of them young children, that he decided to run across Canada to raise money for cancer research. He called his journey the Marathon of Hope. It was a journey that Canadians never forgot.

Books for reluctant teen readers ~




Blue Window Kindle Edition

by Adina Rishe Gewirtz (Author)

Five siblings fall through time and space into a strange, unkind world — their arrival mysteriously foretold — and land in the center of an epic civil struggle in a country where many citizens have given themselves over to their primal fears and animal passions at the urging of a power-hungry demagogue.
When siblings Susan, Max, Nell, Kate, and Jean stumble one by one through a glowing cobalt window, they find themselves outside their cozy home — and in a totally unfamiliar world where everything looks wrong and nothing makes sense. Soon, an ancient prophecy leads them into battle with mysterious forces that threaten to break the siblings apart even as they try desperately to remain united and find their way home. Thirteen-year-old twins Max and Susan and their younger siblings take turns narrating the events of their story in unique perspectives as each of the children tries to comprehend their stunning predicament — and their extraordinary new powers — in his or her own way. From acclaimed author, Adina Rishe Gewirtz comes a riveting novel in the vein of C. S. Lewis and E. Nesbit, full of nuanced questions about morality, family, and the meaning of home

The story is told in interchanging points of view about five siblings discovering a new world where nothing is what it seems. A magical book with relatable characters. I found the book a little vague around the building of the world. However, the concept of magic was unique and there were times I found it hard to put the book down. It did have an enjoyable ending.  The book was very much like the stories, I read in my teens,  it is the type of book that is very popular these days with the young adult reader.

Available from,, and other fine bookstores.

We would love to hear about your favourite 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!

“So as long as a person is capable of self-renewal, they are a living being.”

~Henri Frederic Amiel

Spring usually signifies new beginnings and renewal.  In what area of your life would you like to “start-over”?

Reflect and write!

Get creative, write but most importantly…have fun!!

Writing Prompt~A picture is worth a thousand words…

A picture is worth a thousand words…

Pink Gerber Daisy

Spring is in the air…..write about something coming back to life!

Attention all aspiring authors: 

APRIL 1st, 2018



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!

“Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it’s the only way you can do anything really good.” ~William Faulkner



Variety Village

Everyone has the right to live a fit and healthy life and
Variety Village2at 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.

EVENTS ~ April 2018

Join the movement! Join us for Variety Village’s Annual Active Aging Fundraiser. This two-hour event challenges and tones your whole body and is safe for any fitness level.
Active Aging members help raise funds for Aquatics programming by collecting pledges offline or by creating their own personal fundraising page online and encouraging friends and family to make a contribution.

Top Fundraiser wins a 2-month free Active Aging Membership!

DATE: Thursday, April 5, 2018
TIME: 1:00-3:00pm
Refreshments: Barall Centre, 3:00-4:00pm
Registration (member’s only): $25.00

For more information contact:
Tara Colby
416 699 7167 x268
Carly Cookman
416 699 7167 x254

DATE: April 15th.2018


Don’t miss this opportunity to cheer on the Toronto Marlies and skate at the Ricoh Coliseum!
Bring the family out and cheer on the Marlies hockey team as they play against the Belleville Senators on Sunday, April 15 at 4pm. Once the game is done, you and your family will have the chance to skate on Ricoh Coliseum ice with some of the Marlies’ players!
Sunday, April 15, 2018 – 4pm
Ricoh Coliseum
45 Manitoba Drive, Toronto, ON
Ticket Price Includes:
– Tickets to the Marlies vs. Senators game
– Post-game skate with members of the Marlies


DATE: April 26th,2018



Please join us as we toast our past successes and our bright future.

Variety’s In The Spotlight Cocktail Reception is a dedicated event that recognizes outstanding community service which has contributed to the success of people with disabilities. These contributions ensure the delivery of vital community services and the promotion of a healthier tomorrow for children with disabilities and their families.

Thursday, April 26, 2018
Variety Village
3701 Danforth Avenue, Scarborough
Dress: Business
Parking on-site
TICKETS: $40 Individual | $75 Couples
NOTE: Tickets are open to Variety members and their guests only.

In the Spotlight Award Recipient

Rick Mercer is a Canadian comedian, television personality, political satirist, author and advocate for people with disabilities, including our Paralympic athletes. He is best known for his work on the CBC Television comedy shows This Hour Has 22 Minutes and The Rick Mercer Report.
MORE INFORMATION: Zoe Pagazani, Events Coordinator

Watch Rick Mercer’s Report at Variety

Rick spends a day checking out our programming and state-of-the-art equipment at our facility dedicated to people of all abilities.

March of Dimes is a community-based rehabilitation and advocacy charity for people with physical disabilities
EVENTS ~ April  2018
An American In Paris by Mirvish

Wednesday April 4, 2018
Join March of Dimes Canada Recreation department at the new Tony Award®-winning musical about an American soldier, a mysterious French girl, and an indomitable European city, each yearning for a new beginning in the aftermath of war.
For: Adults (18 yrs+) living with a disability
When: Wednesday April 4, 2018
Time: 1.30 pm
Location: The Princess of Wales Theatre 300 King Street West, Toronto ON M5V 1J2
Price: $75.00 per person (for seats in the dress circle) OR $ 55.00 per person (for seats in the balcony)
*Includes ticket to An American in Paris show, accessible and non-accessible seating available

Transportation details:
Transportation is not available for this trip

Space is Limited – Register Early!
(Registration may close earlier if event capacity is reached)

A non-refundable payment of $75.00 or $55.00 must be included with the application form.
Application forms can be submitted via email, fax or mail.

Email :
Fax: 416-425-1920
Mail: Attention MODC Recreation
March of Dimes Canada
10 Overlea Boulevard
Toronto ON M4H 1A4

For more information or to purchase a ticket with a credit card please contact:

Rubby Nwaluka Keith Rashid
416-425-3463 ext. 7212 416-425-3463 ext. 7213
1-800-263-3463 ext. 7212 1-800-263-3463 ext. 7213

April 24th

Legends in Concert
Wednesday April 25, 2018
Join March of Dimes Canada recreation as we experience a stunning performance at the Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort. With incredible costumes and award-winning performers, discover the unbelievable tributes to Roy Orbison, Garth Brooks, Bruno Mars, George Michael and Frank Sinatra. A truly legendary experience!
For: Adults (18 yrs+) living with a disability
When: Wednesday April 25, 2018
Time: 9.00 am – 8.00 pm
Location: Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort 6380 Fallsview Blvd, Niagara Falls, ON L2G 7X5
Price: $125.00 per person
*Includes ticket to Legends in concert show, lunch at a local eatery, accessible and companion seating available.

Transportation details:
Round trip transportation included on our wheelchair accessible bus: Departure from 10 Overlea Blvd March of Dimes Canada at 9.00 am Return to 26 Overlea Blvd Toronto (Tim Hortons/Wendy’s) at 8.00 pm

Space is Limited – Register Early!
(Registration may close earlier if event capacity is reached)

A non-refundable payment of $125.00 must be included with the application form.
Application forms can be submitted via email, fax or mail.

Email :
Fax: 416-425-1920
Mail: Attention MODC Recreation
March of Dimes Canada
10 Overlea Boulevard
Toronto ON M4H 1A4

For more information or to purchase a ticket with a credit card please contact:

Rubby Nwaluka Keith Rashid
416-425-3463 ext. 7212 416-425-3463 ext. 7213
1-800-263-3463 ext. 7212 1-800-263-3463 ext. 7213

We look forward to seeing you!

For more information on the March of Dimes and their events please visit > ~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.

This entry was posted in Newsletters by writingmama. Bookmark the permalink.

About writingmama

Sylvia McGrath ~ AKA Writingmama, a freelance writer from King City, Ontario has worked in the business field for about forty years obtaining business management experience and business writing skills. She also spent several years in social work for Children’s Services. Now retired is living her childhood dream of being a writer. A few years ago Sylvia decided to take a course in freelance writing, which she really enjoyed as it was the key to follow her dreams. Since completing the course, she has worked as a professional writer, a published poet and co-authored a book with Two Maximum Life Coaches about living with chronic illness; this is titled After The Diagnosis: The Journey Beyond.” She also co-authored an E-Book of Resources for the parents of children with special needs, chronic illness and learning challenges titled “The Treasure Chest of Resources,” part-one has already been sent to the Canadian National Library Archives. Sylvia has also written several articles on chronic illness for the following online sites. • • • Besides working as a freelance writer, Sylvia still finds time for two other passions of hers; to volunteer as a literacy tutor for her local Learning Centre, and assist in facilitating of workshops on disability awareness. Her main mission for the future is to write a series of books for young adults and children who have learning challenges and suffer chronic illness. At present she is also the co-owner and columnist for “Professor Owl’s Newsletter” which is published on-line monthly for children.

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