Professor Owls Book Corner~March 2019~Special Parent’s Edition


Welcome to the March 2019 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.

With March break upon us Professor Owl’s Book Corner hopes you enjoy this month’s parental 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.

Creativity for Children 

March Break Boredom?  Try these ideas! Journaling



It’s March break again, the time of year that strikes fear into the hearts of many parents.  What can you do to occupy and inspire your child during the week? 

  Are you going on a long drive or flight and are worried about how to keep your child occupied other than movies and gadgets?  Create an age-appropriate travel kit for your child.  Pack an inexpensive tote with journals, markers, coloured pencils, stickers, glue sticks, watercolours and drawing tablets.  Along the way encourage your child to keep a travel journal. At every stop have them pick up inexpensive postcards and incorporate them into their journal, writing about each stop.  This will not only keep your child occupied but also enable them to have a lasting memory of their travels.    

 Not traveling? No Problem!  If feasible, plan day trips to museums, theatres and your local zoo.  Have your child pick up postcards, ticket stubs and programs to add to their travel journal.  Is your child a budding artist? Have them take a sketchbook along as well.  Want to get out of the house?  Create an “around town” scavenger hunt.  By using a relatively inexpensive disposable camera give your child a list of items to photograph right in your own backyard.  Make it a “Signs of Spring” list i.e. bird, flower bud, chipmunk, etc. Another option does your child love cars?  Take them to a car show or around the neighbourhood looking for different cars, for example, the oldest car, the biggest car, a red car, etc.  Once all of the pictures have been taken have them developed and have fun with your child creating a special collage. 

 Local craft stores, libraries, and community centers may offer classes on everything from pottery to bead making helping your child to create a lasting treasure.  For inexpensive creative ideas often you don’t have to look any further than your local dollar or craft store. 

 Not only do creative pursuits help pass the time they also give your child tools to live a creative life.  Creating helps give your child a sense of accomplishment and boosts their self-confidence.  Learning how to tap into their creativity helps them find solutions to problems by teaching them how to think “outside the box”.  Another benefit of being creative is that your child also learns how to express themselves, learn new skills and discover their unique attributes.  

“Creativity is really the structuring of magic.” ~ Ann Kent Rush 

 Creative challenge for March Break:  Choose at least three creative activities to enjoy with your child this week. 

 This week’s affirmation:  I teach my child to discover their creative potential. 


In this video, the teacher leads her students through activities that begin with a previous homework assignment and lead up to reading an authentic science article. The teacher uses a series of scaffolded steps to develop students’ critical thinking and to prepare them to understand and discuss the technical article they read together in class. At the end of the class, the teacher explains her rationale for how she structured the lesson and reflects on what went well and what she changed or adapted as the lesson progressed


How to Teach Yourself How to  read:

Web Resources:

Our Web Resources provide students, tutors, and all who are interested in a relevant and organized listing of literacy-related websites. These sites have been found useful to adults who want to improve their reading, writing, math and essential skills and to tutors and trainers who work with these motivated learners. We also provide brief descriptions of each site that is listed. Each site is listed according to the Essential Skill provided.


GCF offers the computer and technology training you need for life – absolutely free! Whether you’re new to the computer, returning for review, or want to use technology to enhance your skills, has something for you, from basic computer skills to Microsoft Office training, free. (skills: RT, DU, TS, CU, CL)





The Artists Way for parents

For parents who are planning to follow our writers’ corner, the book below has some wonderful ideas that can be followed up over the rest of the year.

“In The Artist’s Way for Parents, Cameron helps parents unleash their children’s creativity and sense of wonder.” — BookPage

Winner of the 2014 Nautilus Award represents “Better Books for a Better World”—the Gold Award (Best Book of the Year) in the category of Parenting/Family.

According to Cameron, “Every child is creative—and every parent is creative. Your child requires joy, and exercising creativity, both independently and together, makes for a happy and fulfilling family life.” Focusing on parents and their children, newborn through age twelve, The Artist’s Way for Parents builds on the foundation of The Artist’s Way and shares it with the next generation. The spiritual concepts and practical tools in this book will guide parents as they steer their children gently to greater creativity. The Artist’s Way for Parents provides an ongoing spiritual toolkit that parents can enter—and reenter—at any pace and at any point in their children’s


For Teens & YA:

Apocalypse Five

By Stacey Rourke

Apocolyps Five


The end of the world is coming. How or when, scientists can’t agree upon. For decades, Earth’s best line of defense has been a team of young soldiers known as the Apocalypse Five, forced into virtual reality simulations to train for Doom’s Day. But, this is no game. Death on the grid is brutally final and calls up the next in a long line of cadets. Stationed aboard the AT-1-NS Starship, the A5 are celebrities thrust into the limelight by a calling they didn’t choose. All it takes is one unscheduled mission, showing seventeen-year-old team leader Detroit a harsh and unfathomable reality, to shake the A5’s belief in all they thought they knew. After questioning people with the power to destroy them, the team is framed for a crime they didn’t commit and marked for death. Now, the hunt is on. Can the Apocalypse Five expose the truth the starship would kill to keep hidden? Or, will their bravery end in a public execution?
I strongly Recommend This book.
This was a great sci-fi for young adults something like the Hunger and Enders Game. Readers find themselves thrown into a world of space launches, teen heroes into deadly missions. This book was very well written with interesting characters and lots of twists and turns that kept me glued to the book from start to the end. I would highly recommend this book and look forward to reading and finding out what happens next.

I would like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.


Stacy Rourke


Utopia Award Winner Author of the Year 2018 Utopia Award Winner for Best Villain 2018 for Ursela in Rise of the Sea Witch Readers’ Favorite YA Fantasy Bronze Medal Winner 2017 Readers’ Favorite Fantasy Silver Medal Winner for 2015 Turning Pages Magazine Winner for Best YA book of 2013 & Best Teen Book of 2013 RONE Award Winner for Best YA Paranormal Work of 2012 Young Adult and Teen Reader voted Author of the Year 2012Stacey Rourke is the award winning author of works that span genres, but possess the same flare for action and snarky humor. She lives in Florida with her husband, two beautiful daughters, and two giant dogs. Stacey loves to travel, has an unhealthy shoe addiction, and considers herself blessed to make a career out of talking to the imaginary people that live in her head. Visit her at Facebook at or on Twitter or instagram @Rourkewrites.

Animals, Acrobatics, Attitude and Amore

By Lynn Hallbrooks.


Have you ever wanted to know more when a short story ended?

Sometimes a story is written to certain stipulations and when it’s finished it leaves more questions than answers. Lynn Hallbrooks has paired up some of her earlier short story works with companion pieces. She allowed her imagination to blend talented animals, mythical beings, and real-life happenings in a relative clean, cozy fantasy short story collection she named, Animals, Acrobatics, Attitude, and Amore. Come for the cat and stay for the attitude. There is something for everyone at all ages.

We at Professor Owl loved reading the short stories which were quirky, fun and extremely enjoyable.

The eBook is available in various locations and these links should take you there.
Amazon US link:
Amazon global link:
Multiple vendor link:


Lynn HallbrooksYou are invited to visit either of her websites.

Books and Business:
Author and Readers:

You can follow her on Twitter:

We would love to hear about your favourite books and your views on the ones we recommend here…email us at:


Photograph Copyright Belinda Witzenhausen

Journaling and Young Adults

“Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go”. ~ E. L. Doctorow

Journaling is becoming more mainstream and it’s not just reserved for keeping secrets under lock and key.  Journaling is more of an art form and healing too. There are so many benefits of encouraging your young adult to journal…

  • Helps your teen with writing skills.
  • Encourages and fosters creativity.
  • Gives them an outlet to express themselves.
  • A tool for your young adult’s self-development and actualization
  • Can assist in making decisions by making pro and con arguments.
  • Can create a time capsule that your young adult can keep into adulthood.
  • For storytelling or writing prose. Give your young adult a place to record story ideas, poems, or lyrics.

Four tips to setting up a journal practice for your young adult…

  1. Let your young adult choose a journal that expresses their personality. Choosing one in their favourite colour or with a design that is meaningful to them will go one step further in making it special for them.
  2. Help them to create a special ritual to make it time just for them, something that can be a lifelong habit.
  3. Allow them to do whatever they want using stickers, washi tapes, markers, stamps, ticket stubs, scraps and perhaps even a mini polaroid for them to attach pictures of special events.
  4. Respect their privacy. Allow your young adult to have a safe space to record their thoughts, feeling emotions fostering trust and respect


Writing prompts are a wonderful way to kick-start your young adult’s creativity and generate ideas. There isn’t a right or wrong way respond, just encourage them to be honest, creative and stretch their imagination!



Writing Prompt…

You can make anything by writing.”~C.S. Lewis 

What would happen if you could write something into existence? Would you write about a new pair of kicks or would you choose something larger, perhaps world peace?


Variety Village2

Follow this page every month in Professor Owl’s Book corner to get the most up to date events at Variety Village.

Variety the Children’s Charity and Variety Village promotes appreciation, interaction,
empowerment and inclusion. We facilitate the achievement of life goals for people with
disabilities through sports, fitness, wellness; awareness; education for more than 60
years, Variety Ontario has worked with young people with disabilities and those who
face developmental barriers to achieve their life potential. We are a world-recognized
authority providing integrated sports and life skills programs, applied research and
learning programs that change children’s lives and strengthen communities.

We’ve achieved this reputation because of our ongoing work to better the lives of children and young people with disabilities. We are active in the greater Toronto area and across Ontario promoting the inclusion of young people through our three areas of expertise:

Integrated sports and life skills programs:

Children’s programming is delivered at Variety Village and throughout Ontario.

Applied research:

Reflecting on our philosophy, our practical and theoretical work develops equipment, games, and curricula promoting access, awareness and adapted activities.

Learning programs:

Our academic and professional certifications programs draw students and teachers from around the world to learn and study our best practices and approaches, to participate in their applications and to learn how to adapt their own programs and initiatives.

Our hope is to foster a more integrated society, where everyone feels welcome, inspired and hopeful about his or her future.





When: Wednesday, March 13, 2019
Time: 4:30-6:30pm
Where: Markham Pan Am Centre, West Gymnasium,
16 Main Street Unionville
Program information:
Archie Allison 416 699 7167 x236
Location information:
Susan Stiles 905 475 4730 x3023

For more information on Variety Village Events ~ Contact Information:
3701 Danforth Ave. Toronto, ON M1N 2G2
For more information on these Variety Village Events and Programs, please contact/




March of Dimes is a community-based rehabilitation and advocacy charity for people with physical disabilities http://www.marchofdimes.

Liberty Tax ServiceEvery Tax Return Counts on March 8th

It’s tax season again and, while we can’t make doing your return more enjoyable, we can make it more charitable.
MARCH 8th is the 3rd Annual March of Dimes Day at Liberty Tax Service and once again, certain Liberty Tax Service locations will be donating $10 from every return filed on March 8th to March of Dimes Canada in support of March of Dimes Day. You don’t have to do anything except show up with all the necessary information. File your return on March 9th, and Liberty Tax will give MODC $10.
Not only do you get to feel better for being part of a charitable donation, Liberty Tax will also give you $20 off tax filings at participating locations, if you bring in this coupon or use the promo code MODC20 when you file your tax return with them.
* Review details on coupon.

Liberty Tax Service MODC Coupon 2018

Check Out an Event Near You!
Rock for Dimes national fundraiser currently has 12 events in communities from coast to coast. Select images or event titles to learn more about each location.

March of Dimes Canada. Head Office
10 Overlea Blvd, Toronto, ON M4H 1A4
East York
Office phone
416-425-3463 ; 416-425-DIME
Toll free
Website –
Hours – Mon-Fri 9 am-4:30 pm
Children and adults with physical disabilities
Community-based rehabilitation and advocacy
* affordable supportive housing for people with physical disabilities

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