Professor Owls Book Corner ~ June 2020

Welcome to the June 2020 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.

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.

 We are sorry to say that although a few countries are now gradually opening their stores there are still few countries where they are still closed.  There are also quite a few countries where they still have to keep up with personal distancing, and washing their hands. Most schools have now closed down until the fall. In Ontario, Canada, there may be summer camps that open up in a few weeks, there will be no sleep overs,  just day camps.

Some of you may now wondering what you are going to do for the summer, well perhaps in this months newsletter, we will try to share some ideas on how you can spend your time this summer.  Libraries too are opening  up for curbside collection and pickups.

We are living in a time when  we have lots of technology at our fingertips.  Is there something you have always wanted to do, learn to draw, play a musical instrument or build something, learn how to use a new software?  There has never been a better time check out online courses many are free others  a small fee.. youtube also has an abundance of videos on how to do so many different things. Keep yourself  busy and the time will pass quickly even study a subject you had problems with at school last year or something you missed because your school year was cut short due to Covid19.

This will be our last newsletter for a couple of months as we have a few other projects lined up over the summer, but we will be back in August with a brand new format and look.  However, keep checking the blog for book reviews, as we will be putting up a review every other week and if you check our facebook page we will share a few posts we think you might enjoy as they come available.


A new study from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute canvassed children aged 10 to 17 across the country about their thoughts, expectations, and concerns about these unprecedented times.

May 11, 2020 – Canada’s children have held a unique position in the COVID-19 outbreak. While kids are statistically the lowest risk population, they have also been especially vulnerable to the effects of the pandemic’s resulting shutdown.

Kept home from school, trying to learn online, and worried about the financial and health risks to their parents, children have been anything but buffered from the realities of the last two months.

Are the kids alright?

The most common word they use to describe how they have been feeling recently is “bored”, chosen by 71 per cent. Significant segments (41%) also say they feel “normal”. Older kids are twice as likely as younger ones to say they feel “angry” compared to those aged 10 to 15, and half as likely to say they feel “good”.

When it comes to online classes, most say they are keeping up (75%) but are largely unmotivated (60%) and disliking the arrangement (57%). It stands to reason then, that one of the biggest worries for Canada’s young people includes missing out on school. Three-in-ten (29%) children identify this as their most major concern, a number that rises among teenagers 16 and 17 years of age. Another major fear: that parents or other family members may get sick.

More Key Findings:

  • Older teenagers (ages 16-17) are more likely to be spending isolation staying in touch with their peers, with three-quarters both texting/calling friends (76%) and spending time on social media (75%).
  • Asked how they would feel if they had to return to the classroom in the next month, kids are more likely to say they’re looking forward to it (36%) than not (26%). That said, nearly four-in-ten (38%) feel just “okay” about the prospect.

About ARI

The Angus Reid Institute (ARI) was founded in October 2014 by pollster and sociologist, Dr. Angus Reid. ARI is a national, not-for-profit, non-partisan public opinion research foundation established to advance education by commissioning, conducting and disseminating to the public accessible and impartial statistical data, research and policy analysis on economics, political science, philanthropy, public administration, domestic and international affairs and other socio-economic issues of importance to Canada and its world. To read more details on this survey please visit the following link:

If you are worried or anxious and would like to speak with someone, about how you are feeling, there is help only a phone call away.

Kids Help Phone

Kids Help Phone is always there for you. No matter what you want to talk about, we’re here to listen. No judgment, totally private, 24/7. Find out more.

Start a confidential conversation with a real person you can trust.

Texting FAQs – Kids Help Phone

With the generous support of our leadership donors and major funding partner, Canada Health Infoway, we were able to pilot Crisis Text Line powered by Kids Help Phone. Canada Health Infoway strives to improve the health of Canadians by working with partners, like ourselves, to accelerate the development, adoption and effective use of digital health solutions across Canada.

Crisis Text Line | Text HOME To 741741 free, 24/7 Crisis …

Text HOME to 741741 from anywhere in the United States, anytime. Crisis Text Line is here for any crisis. A live, trained Crisis Counselor receives the text and responds, all from our secure online platform. The volunteer Crisis Counselor will help you move from a hot moment to a cool moment.

Wise Picks

10 Great Free Websites for High School

There’s still nothing as reliable as the web when it comes to high school classrooms. Given all the free websites out there, there’s also nothing as overwhelming to sift through. Unfortunately, part of that vetting process is wading through the heaps of educational sites that aren’t mature enough in style and learning for high school students’ needs and sensibilities. To help point you in the right direction, we’ve done the hard work of curating a list of free web-based tools that’ll challenge and delight demanding high school students. The picks span all subject areas, including quite a few that cross disciplines.

The following video’s will help you improve your reading and essay skills, hope you enjoy them and improve your literacy skills.

Improve your reading Skills:

Speed Reading Skills


Essay Writing Skills:



Invisible Differences

Invisible Differences

by Julie Dachez

Professor Owl’s Book Corner,” often features books on special education and I enjoy reading those that bring differences to light. There are still false impressions about autism, and this book does an excellent job at showing a different view. I feel it would be proper to have as a resource for the teen students. It may even help general students understand their classmates with differences more.

This book has a lot of details about what Asperger’s really is or is not. I found it very educational and yet easy to understand also. The details and explanations never disrupt the story or the flow; they only improve it. They help to build the character and what she is experiencing.

This Graphic Novel is a fast, great read! Marguerite navigates life with Aspers, which I did not realize was not as well known or accepted in France as it is in the US and other countries. It is interesting story and keeps your attention. It is not lecturing at all but explains what it is like for a woman with Asperger’s in a fun story.

This book would be great for teens or those who would like to learn more about what life is like for someone with Asperger’s, especially woman who often go undiagnosed a lot more than for men.

I found a large amount of information that was detailed, and quite a lot of it, but it was shown in an extremely easy to read and to understand format.

From my point of view the story told within the novel really opened my eyes and I am now sure that many readers will be less likely to jump to conclusions. This was a very meaningful written story along with some beautiful “Art style illustrations.”

I have given this book five stars, it really is one of the best books that I have read this year.

Available from:, and other fine book stores

About The Author

Julie Dachezf

Julie Dachez

I graduated from ESCP and hold a PhD in social psychology. After being diagnosed with Asperger’s autism at the age of 27, I decided to change my life. Far from being a burden, this diagnosis allowed me to learn to love myself and to express my personality as I had never dared to do before. Passionate about human and social sciences, my two favorite subjects are autism and feminism. I am a transmedia actress and I express myself as well on my blog as on Youtube , which combines with them two more than two million views. In collaboration with Mademoiselle Caroline I published an autobiographical comic, The invisible difference, published by Delcourt editions in September 2016. I am also the author of Dans ta bulle! published by Marabout in April 2018. In conference and training, I show another vision of autism, far from clichés and sensationalism. Considering autism not as a disability but as a difference, I seek to make a voice heard that is still a minority.



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

Write, be creative and most of all HAVE FUN!

This spring so much has changed in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. We’re all social distancing at home, away from our friends, and routines. During these difficult our hearts go out to all of you, especially if you have been personally affected by this horrible illness.
Often when I face uncertainty, I find a way to use it to inspire creativity. This month’s writing prompt hopefully will do the same for you.
Your mission should you accept it…

“Great things happen to those who don’t stop believing, trying, learning, and being grateful.” ~ Roy T. Bennett

We all have creative goals we want to accomplish but for one reason or another we often let our own thoughts and fears stop us from even trying. What is something you have always wanted to accomplish but have been too scared to try? What would be the worst that could happen? How sill you feel if you don’t even try? What steps can you take today to be one step closer to your goal?

Writing Prompt~A picture is worth a thousand words…

Spooky Window Picture

During COVID many of us are home a lot more than usual. Let’s have fun with it…

Write about a real or fictional secret place in your home? Think of stories such as Narnia with its magic wardrobe, The Secret Garden with Colin’s room or the secret garden and how about spooky attics or Basements? Write about a real or fictional place in your home and get creative.

Get creative, write and most of all, have fun! 🙂

My Favourite Writing Books!

My Five Favs

I was asked last week what some of my favorite writing books were which considering how many I have read  it was hard to whittle down. Here are five books  I really enjoyed:

Stephen King on Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King

Perhaps one of the most down to earth and direct writing books I’ve read which I really enjoyed. Whether you are a fan of Stephen King or not one thing you have to say is he is definitely prolific having written hundreds of books, short stories and articles in his long career spanning decades.  This book part memoir, part instructional On Writing gives us inspiration and priceless wisdom that makes us realize that we are not alone on our writing journey, our thoughts, fears, hardships and triumphs are often universal among writers.

Write Mind: 299 Things Writers Should Never Say to Themselves by Eric Maisel

We all make excuses to friends and family about why we aren’t writing but in truth many of us tell ourselves even bigger excuses. Psychiatrist, Writer and Creativity Expert Eric Maisel gives us affirmations to replace the “Wrong Mind” reasons we tell ourselves about writing. i.e. “My mother doesn’t believe in me with the “Write Mind” I am endeavoring to believe in myself. Many times, our own worst enemy that stops us from writing is ourselves, this book will help change your self-talk to give you the Write Mind.

Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within by Natalie Goldberg

This isn’t so much a book about the technical aspects of writing but more about inspiration and just writing for the sake of writing, no editing, no second guessing but just letting the words flow onto the paper.  Writing Down the Bones are a collection of Natalie’s short musings and exercises to encourage writers to write daily and just write… “Don’t cross out, don’t worry about spelling, punctuation and grammar, lose control, don’t think, don’t get logical, go for the jugular”. Goldberg offers practical tips on motivating yourself and keeping a daily writing practice. She also encourages the reader to change things up if things aren’t working to keep yourself motivated.

Bird By Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott

Heartfelt, humourous and gritty Lamott tells us truthfully about the ups and downs of living a writers life and encourages the writer to tell THEIR story. This book is again not a book about the technicalities of writing, those can be found in a hundred other books but this gives you tips and advice about getting through the difficulties that occur when you sit down to write.

The Right to Write – An Invitation and Initiation into the Writing Life by Julia Cameron

The Right to Write gives you the tools to make the most of your creative drive. This book is composed of over 40 brief personal essays and exercises also known as “invitations” that are an endless source of inspiration. Cameron teaches you valuable tools to tackle problems such as procrastination, insecurity, lack of writing space and a lack of time. Cameron’s advice is valuable to anyone who has felt overwhelmed by the act of writing and helps you to break it down into pieces that are more manageable.

From conversations with other writers many of these happen to be their favourites too.  These are the ones I revisit anytime I am in need of a dose of inspiration.

In life, there are criers, triers and liars. To me, it’s all about trying. Achievement in life is all about trying. Strive for that and you might be surprised what you can achieve.” ~William E Lewis Jr

Community Boards

See you soon! Due to Covid 19 Variety Village will be closed until further notice ~ Check back for updates.


Click to access Variety-Program-Guide-Spring-Summer-2020-reduced.pdf

Variety Village is a family-friendly fitness, sports and life skills facility in Toronto.

There are programs for all ages and skill levels, join today!

Variety Village is pleased to host exciting special events throughout the year. Our goal is to connect with our community and raise funds to support Variety Village by creating mutually beneficial events that support healthy, active lifestyles in an inclusive environment.

We’ll periodically send you news and updates regarding special events, facility closures & alerts, and other important information

Events · Restrictions & Closures · Variety Village in Toronto

Local Events | Variety – the Children’s Charity of Ontario

Access Expo – Variety Ontario

Discover ability-enhancing products and services, play adaptive sports and attend informative workshops. Register for free today! This inaugural year will showcase programs and services promoting: accessibility, inclusion, healthcare, sport, fitness, and healthy living at a premier accessible facility – Variety Village in Scarborough, Ontario.

Home | Variety Ontario

How we help. Variety programming empowers children with disabilities to be seen, participate, and feel included. We bring accessible facilities to life with sports, fitness, activities, summer camps, skills training, and coaching for competitive and Paralympic athletes.

Active Living Conference – Variety Ontario

Access Expo – Variety Ontario

Active Living Conference – Variety Ontario



Events for May 2020

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – What you need to know

We are closely monitoring developments related to COVID-19 (coronavirus) and are taking action to ensure health and safety throughout our operations. Our response plan is informed by the latest information from the Public Health Agency of Canada. Whether you receive services from MODC, or are a partner or supporter, os dernières mises à jour au sujet du COVID-

For updates on The March of Dimes Events ~ Please visit the link below.

No training, no practice, just loads of fun but with big impact for 129,000 Canadians living with physical disabilities.

Benefitting Stroke Recovery Association of British Columbia
an affiliate of March of Dimes Canada

For more information contact:
Berat Barzanjee
Fund Development Assistant
March of Dimes Canada
10 Overlea Blvd.
Toronto, ON M4H 1A4
Phone:(416) 425-3463 ext. 7305