About Belinda McGrath Witzenhausen

Belinda McGrath Witzenhausen ~ Writer, Creativity Coach, Artist, Book Reviewer, Amateur Photographer, Lover of Psychology/Neurology, Armchair Archaeologist, Paleography Nut, Coffee Addict, Book Worm, Tea Lover & Hubby's Grossly Under-Paid Bass Roadie ūüėä

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‚Äôs 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‚Äôs 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

via www.IgniteYourCreativity.net 


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 ‚ÄúSigns 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¬†‚Äúoutside the box‚ÄĚ.¬†¬†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


Continue reading


Autumn Leaf


Unfortunately, due to a family emergency Professor Owl’s Book Corner will be taking a brief hiatus. We hope to be back with our newsletter next month.¬†

Please check back then!


Wishing everyone a wonderful and safe Autumn!




Due to a death in the family Professor Owl will not be returning until January 2019. Thanking you in advance for your understanding.

Wishing everyone a healthy and happy holiday season.

Professor Owls Book Corner~October 2018


Welcome to the October 2018 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‚Äôs 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‚Äôs Book Corner be all that it can be.¬† We look forward to hearing from you and to bring you a new, more interesting newsletter.


With Halloween coming up at the end of this month, Professor Owl’s Book Corner would love to share with you some great costumes ideas for those who are confined to a wheelchair.

The Magic Wheelchair

Magic Wheelchair is a nonprofit organization that makes epic costumes for children in wheelchairs. Kids, with their parents’ permission, submit a 1-3-minute video telling us what they want to be for Halloween, a parade, or another big day and why.
Ryan and Lana Weimer, the founders of Magic Wheelchair, have five children, three of whom were born with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, which requires the use of wheelchairs for the entirety of their lives. Each Halloween, Ryan made the biggest, ‚Äúbaddest‚ÄĚ costumes he could for his sons, Keaton and Bryce.

For more information ~ https://www.magicwheelchair.org/contact/


“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 –¬† mail toprofessorowl@outlook.com



How to Teach Yourself How to Read ASAP – Part 11

With YouTube and Professor Owl

Quintos Academy: Self-Education for Real Life Success This Lesson builds on Part I and then Proceeds to the sounds of N: NA, NE, NI, NO, NU M: MA, ME, MI, MO, MU R: RA, RE, RI, RO, RU L: LA, LE, LI, LO


The Lantern’s Ember

by Colleen Houck

Welcome to a world where nightmarish creatures reign supreme.
Five hundred years ago, Jack made a deal with the devil. It’s difficult for him to remember much about his mortal days. So, he focuses on fulfilling his sentence as a Lantern–one of the watchmen who guard the portals to the Otherworld, a realm crawling with every nightmarish creature imaginable. Jack has spent centuries jumping from town to town, ensuring that nary a mortal–or not-so-mortal–soul slips past him. That is, until he meets beautiful Ember O’Dare.
Seventeen, stubborn, and a natural-born witch, Ember feels a strong pull to the Otherworld. Undeterred by Jack’s warnings, she crosses into the forbidden plane with the help of a mysterious and debonair vampire–and the chase through a dazzling, dangerous world is on. Jack must do everything in his power to get Ember back where she belongs before both the earthly and unearthly worlds descend into chaos.
Colleen Houck, the New York Times bestselling author of the Tigers Curse series and Reawakened series, breathes new life into classic folklore in this wild, twisting adventure propelled by the spirit of Halloween.
“[Houck] offers a fresh spin on The Legend of Sleepy Hollow**…with some genuine surprises in store.”–**Kirkus
If you’re in the mood for something that’s just dripping with that Halloween atmosphere, look no further, because The Lantern’s Ember absolutely DELIVERS. It’s got witches, werewolves, vampires, the Headless Horseman, pumpkins, spells, the Loch Ness Monster, and still MORE because that’s how Halloween it is. Plus, that cover? Absolutely gorgeous and completely perfect for the book. Those were easily my two favorite things about this book.

About the author

Colleen Houck

New York Times Bestselling author Colleen Houck is a lifelong reader whose literary interests include action, adventure, p New York Times Bestselling author Colleen Houck is a lifelong reader whose literary interests include action, adventure, paranormal, science fiction, and romance. When she’s not busy writing, she likes to spend time chatting on the phone with one of her six siblings, watching plays, and shopping online. Colleen has lived in Arizona, Idaho, Utah, California, and North Carolina and is now permanently settled in Salem, Oregon with her husband and a huge assortment of plush tigers.aranormal, science fiction, and romance. When she’s not busy writing, she likes to time chatting on the phone with one of her six siblings, watching plays, and shopping online. Colleen has lived in Arizona, Idaho, Utah, California, and North Carolina and is now permanently settled in Salem, Oregon with her husband and a huge assortment of plush tigers. Available from www.amazon.com, www.amazon.ca, www.kobo.com and other fine bookstores and Libraries.

We would love to hear about your favourite books and your views on the ones we recommend here… send them
To: professorowl@outlook.com


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!

“Buying a book is not about obtaining a possession, but about securing a portal.‚ÄĚ – Laura Miller

You’re at a garage sale when¬†you are drawn to an old journal¬†and¬†the price is too good to pass up. When you get home, you decide to go on the internet and do a little research on the author.¬† What you discover frightens yet intrigues you at the same time. ¬†The writer¬†of your masterpiece is known to have dabbled in the occult until they went missing over a decade ago. ¬†It is rumoured that by reading the journal you can open¬†a portal to another dimension.

Write about your adventure with this journal.  Are you brave enough to read it? What do you find inside? Does this portal exist and if it does, where does it lead?  Is it a dream come true or your worst nightmare?

Get creative, write and have fun! ūüôā

Writing Prompt…A picture is worth a thousand words‚Ķ

“One must always be careful of books,” said Tessa, “and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us.” ~ Cassandra Clare

Write about what happens when someone is so influenced by a fictional book that their life is turned inside out. Describe what book they read. How did they change internally? What changes did their friends and family witness?


It’s that time again!!!!



Are you a young writer 17 years of age or under who has always wanted to participate in NaNoWriMo? Well, you can!!! Did you know that NaNoWriMo has a Young Writers Programme just for you?

What is NaNoWriMo?

NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month happens every November! It’s a fun-filled, writing-fueled, seat-of-your-pants writing event where the challenge is to write an entire novel in just 30 days. Participants begin writing November 1 and must finish by midnight, November 30. The word-count goal for the adult program is 50,000 words, but the Young Writers Program (YWP) allows young writers to set reasonable individual word-count goals.

Every year approximately 100,000 young writers participate check out their website and sign up to participate…..http://ywp.nanowrimo.org/

Things to do to prepare for NaNoWriMo…

Find the Time!¬† Figure out what your word count will be and divide this by 30 to get your daily word count goal. Once you know how many words you need to write to finish on by the end of the month you’ll need to organize your time. This might be tricky for some but if you create a schedule it might be easier to commit to writing every day. Try to figure out when you are going to be able to work on NaNoWriMo. Do you have time after school? Could you get up a bit earlier in the morning? Do you have extracurricular activities that might get in the way, how can you work around these? Can you right on your lunch break at school? Create a calendar and try to find where you think you’ll have free time each day and try to commit to writing during that set time. DVR your favourite TV shows, perhaps save movie nights for when NaNoWriMo is over, remember it’s only 30 days.

Start working on a story idea!¬†Keep a notepad and spend time just brainstorming and jotting down story ideas.¬† What works for me is asking “What if?” “What if my favourite mythological character decides to¬†live among us mere mortals?”¬† Do they hide their abilities or powers? Do they fit in or are they ostracized¬†by society for being different? What if Ares gets a job as a clown? What if Hades becomes the lead singer in a boy band? These are a bit goofy but sometimes you’ve got to write down both the good and bad ideas, don’t censor yourself. Sometimes something will spark another idea that’s worth keeping!

Get to know your characters!¬† Spending a little time with your characters will make it easier for you to write about them. You’ll need to know more than how old they are or what they look like. Create a character bible on Pinterest. Go through images and create a board that shows you what your characters look like, who are they? Where do they live? How do they dress? What are there hobbies? Also, know that through most stories the characters grow and change. Does your character go from weak to strong, or from poor to rich?¬† You’ll need to know who they will become throughout the story. I’ve created a Storyboard divided into sections on Pinterest for my upcoming Urban Fantasy Trilogy Moon of Morrigan. My character board is here:¬†Moon of Morrigan Character Board

Take some time to organize your thoughts.¬†Whether you outline or not having a rough idea of where you are going will save you time when it comes to writing. The same goes for research, if you need specific information to help with your story, now is the time to make notes and prepare all the information you need beforehand. If you want to write an outline now would be the perfect time to do that. There are so many ways to outline from J.K. Rowling’s scribbled handwritten outline to using index cards to outline scenes but if you prefer using your computer you can also create spreadsheets or if you’re lucky enough use a software such as Scrivener.¬† If you scour Pinterest you will also find so many resources to help you find a way to outline that works for you.

I hope you join in the fun! Drop Professor Owl a note by commenting below if you have any tips to help with NaNoWriMo! Good luck and happy writing! ūüôā




Variety Village

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 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.

Various positions are available from working with children in programs to administrative work and special events.


“There are no planned events for the month of October, 2018”


To Plan an event  or find out information on future ones

Please contact Zoe Middleton at zmiddleton@varietyvillage.on.ca

Contact Information:

3701 Danforth Ave. Toronto, ON M1N 2G2

For more information on these Variety Village Events and  Programs, please contact/ www.varietyvillage.ca

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


Assistive Mobile Technology Initiative Tablet Giveaway

March of Dimes Canada is here for you!

Tell us your story and win a customized accessible tablet package that includes a tablet, case, stylus and specialized apps to improve your community access and participation.

March of Dimes Canada will help residents in Edmonton, Winnipeg, Nova Scotia and Montreal with physical disabilities to enhance their community access and participation through the Assistive Mobile Technology Initiative. We are looking for local residents with a disability which impacts their ability to communicate, be independent or to enjoy other aspects of a full life.

Share your story with us for a chance to win a customized tablet package. Smart tablet packages may include a tablet, case, stylus and specialized apps. The Tablet package has a maximum value of $1875.00 per winner.

The project will help successful applicants achieve one or more of the following:

‚ÄĘIncrease access to services

Explore or control the environment  contribute to their ability to take on new leisure pursuits
‚ÄĘContribute to improving their education
‚ÄĘAssist in their employment objectives
‚ÄĘAssist in communication, verbal and written

Applications must be received by the following dates:
Nova Scotia – October 9, 2018
Montreal – October 30, 2018

La Marche des dix sous du Canada est là pour vous!

Parlez-nous de vous et courez la chance de gagner une tablette personnalisée assortie d’accessoires (étui, stylet) et d’applis spécialisées) pour améliorer votre accès et votre participation à la communauté.

La Marche des dix sous du Canada aidera les r√©sidents et r√©sidentes √† Edmonton, √† Winnipeg, en Nouvelle-√Čcosse et √† Montr√©al qui ont des handicaps physiques √† am√©liorer leur acc√®s et participation communautaires par l‚Äôentremise de l‚ÄôInitiative de technologie d‚Äôassistance mobile. Nous recherchons des r√©sidents locaux et des r√©sidentes locales qui ont un handicap qui affecte leur capacit√© de communiquer, d‚Äô√™tre autonome ou de jouir d‚Äôautres aspects d‚Äôune vie pleine.

Partagez votre histoire avec nous pour courir une chance de gagner une trousse d’une tablette personnalisée. Les trousses d’une tablette intelligente peuvent inclure une tablette, un étui, un stylet et des applications spécialisées. La trousse de tablette a une valeur maximale de 1,875 $ par gagnant ou gagnante.

Le projet aidera les demandeurs dont la demande est acceptée à réaliser un ou plusieurs des objectifs suivants :

‚ÄĘAvoir un acc√®s accru √† des services

‚ÄĘExplorer ou contr√īler leur milieu de vie

‚ÄĘS‚Äôadonner √† de nouvelles activit√©s r√©cr√©atives

‚ÄĘPoursuivre des √©tudes

‚ÄĘAtteindre leurs objectifs d‚Äôemploi

‚ÄĘCommuniquer verbalement ou par √©crit

* Les demandes doivent être reçues avant les dates suivantes :
Nouvelle-√Čcosse – 9 Octobre 2018
Montréal Р30 Octobre 2018

Eligibility Criteria /Critères d’admissibilité :

To be eligible for the tablet package giveaway in your city, contestants must:

1.Be a permanent Canadian resident and the person must make his / her permanent and principal home in Edmonton (for Edmonton AMTI), in Winnipeg (for Winnipeg AMTI ), in Nova Scotia (for Nova Scotia AMTI) and in Montreal (for Montreal AMTI);
2.Be the age of majority for the province they reside in;
3.Be a person with a permanent disability that impacts his or her ability to fully engage in activities in daily living;
4.Explain how he or she will benefit from having a tablet in achieving a desired goal;
5.Be of financial need. In order to be eligible for funding, the combined gross income of applicant and spouse (where applicable) cannot exceed $45,000, after allowable deductions are considered;
6.Be working with an Occupational Therapist and/or Speech Language Pathologist who can provide a current assessment of the applicant’s needs and support them in installing required software applications; and
7.Be available for the presentation of the tablet at the annual Rock for Dimes fundraiser to be held in their city. Please visit http://www.rockfordimes.ca for dates and locations.

Pour être admissibles à l’offre cadeau d’une tablette, les demandeurs doivent répondre aux critères suivants :
1.√ätre un r√©sident canadien permanent et son domicile permanent et principal doit √™tre dans Edmonton (pour l‚ÄôITAM √† Edmonton), Winnipeg (pour l‚ÄôITAM √† Winnipeg), Nouvelle-√Čcosse (pour l‚ÄôITAM en Nouvelle-√Čcosse) et dans Montreal (pour l‚ÄôITAM √† Montreal); et
2. Avoir atteint l‚Äô√Ęge de la majorit√© pour la province dans laquelle il ou elle vit; et
3.Avoir une invalidité permanente qui empêche de participer pleinement aux activités de la vie quotidienne; et
4.Expliquer en quoi le fait d’avoir une tablette aidera le demandeur à atteindre un objectif particulier; et
5.Avoir besoin d’une aide financière. Pour être admissible à une aide financière, les revenus bruts combinés du demandeur et de son conjoint (s’il y a lieu) ne doivent pas dépasser 45 000 $ après les déductions autorisées; et

6.Travailler avec un ergothérapeute et/ou un orthophoniste qui peut fournir une évaluation actuelle des besoins du candidat et les soutenir en installant les applications requises; et
7.Être disponible pour la présentation de la tablette à la collecte de fonds annuelle Rock for Dimes qui aura lieu dans sa ville. Veuillez visiter http://www.rockfordimes.ca pour les dates et les lieux.

Guidelines / Des lignes directrices :

Click to download the following pdf forms

/ Cliquez pour télécharger les pdf des formulaires suivants :

Assistive Mobile Technology Initiative Guidelines (PDF)MODC Assistive Mobile Technology Initiative Guidelines 2018-2019
Lignes directrices sur l’Initiative de technologie d’assistance mobile de la MDSC de 2018-2019Lignes directrices sur l’Initiative de technologie d’assistance mobile de la MDSC de 2018-2019
MODC Aphasia-friendly Guidelines (PDF) MODC Assistive Mobile Technology Initiative Guidelines 2018-2019 (Aphasia-friendly)

Application Forms / Formulaires de demande :

Click to download the following pdf forms

/ Cliquez pour télécharger les pdf des formulaires suivants :


MODC Assistive Mobile Technology Initiative Application Form for Edmonton (PDF)Assistive Mobile Technology Initiative Application Form for Edmonton

Assistive Mobile Technology Initiative Edmonton Formulaire de demande (PDF)Formulaire de demande pour l’Initiative de technologie d’assistance mobile pour Edmonton
Assistive Mobile Technology Initiative Aphasia-friendly Application Form for Edmonton (PDF)Assistive Mobile Technology Initiative Application Form for Edmonton (Aphasia-friendly)

Applications must be received by August 29, 2018.

* Terms and conditions apply. Applications can be submitted by fax, email or post. We encourage applicants to apply using email or fax, as it can take up to 9 days to receive information by Canada Post.

Presentation to Recipients:
Winners will be notified by the week of September 4, 2018 and invited to attend March of Dimes Canada’s annual Rock for Dimes Edmonton fundraiser, for the presentation of the tablet package on September 15, 2018 at on the Rocks, 11740 Jasper Ave NW, Edmonton, Alberta.


MODC Assistive Mobile Technology Initiative Application Form for Winnipeg (PDF)Assistive Mobile Technology Initiative Application Form for Winnipeg

Assistive Mobile Technology Initiative Winnipeg Formulaire de demande (PDF) Formulaire de demande pour l’Initiative de technologie d’assistance mobile pour Winnipeg
Assistive Mobile Technology Initiative Aphasia-friendly Application Form for Winnipeg (PDF)Assistive Mobile Technology Initiative Aphasia-friendly Application Form for Winnipeg

Applications must be received by September 4, 2018.

* Terms and conditions apply. Applications can be submitted by fax, email or post. We encourage applicants to apply using email or fax, as it can take up to 9 days to receive information by Canada Post.

Presentation to Recipients:
Winners will be notified by the week of September 10, 2018 and invited to attend March of Dimes Canada’s annual Opening Doors for Accessibility Winnipeg fundraiser, for the presentation of the tablet package on September 20, 2018 at Canad Inns Destination Centre Polo Park, 1405 St Matthews Ave, Winnipeg.

Nova Scotia:

MODC Assistive Mobile Technology Initiative Application Form for Nova Scotia (PDF)Assistive Mobile Technology Initiative Application Form for Nova Scotia

Assistive Mobile Technology Initiative Nouvelle-√Čcosse Formulaire de demande (PDF) Formulaire de demande pour l‚ÄôInitiative de technologie d‚Äôassistance mobile pour la Nouvelle-√Čcosse
Assistive Mobile Technology Initiative Aphasia-friendly Application Form for Nova Scotia (PDF)Assistive Mobile Technology Initiative Aphasia-friendly Application Form for Nova Scotia

Applications must be received by October 9, 2018.

* Terms and conditions apply. Applications can be submitted by fax, email or post. We encourage applicants to apply using email or fax, as it can take up to 9 days to receive information by Canada Post.

Presentation to Recipients:
Winners will be notified by the week of October 15, 2018 and invited to attend March of Dimes Canada’s annual Rock for Dimes Halifax fundraiser, for the presentation of the tablet package on October 26, 2018 at Casino Nova Scotia, 1983 Upper Water St, Halifax, Nova Scotia.


MODC Assistive Mobile Technology Initiative Application Form for Montreal (PDF)Assistive Mobile Technology Initiative Application Form for Montreal

Assistive Mobile Technology Initiative Montreal Formulaire de demande Formulaire de demande pour l’Initiative de technologie d’assistance mobile pour Montreal
Assistive Mobile Technology Initiative Aphasia-friendly Application Form for Montreal (PDF)Assistive Mobile Technology Initiative Aphasia-friendly Application Form for Montreal

applications must be received by October 30, 2018.

* Terms and conditions apply. Applications can be submitted by fax, email or post. We encourage applicants to apply using email or fax, as it can take up to 9 days to receive information by Canada Post.

Presentation to Recipients:
Winners will be notified by the week of November 5, 2018 and invited to attend March of Dimes Canada’s annual Rock for Dimes Montreal fundraiser, for the presentation of the tablet package on November 16, 2018 at Corona Theatre, 2490 Notre-Dame St W, Montreal.

Submit all applications and direct any inquiries to:

Assistive Mobile Technology Initiative
March of Dimes Canada
291 King Street, 3rd Floor
London ON N6B 1R8

Tel (toll-free): 1-855-660-6632
Fax: 519-432-4923

* Please note that only complete Applications with all required documentation will be reviewed.

Si vous avez besoin des services en français, veuillez téléphoner au Programme à

Special Thank You to our Sponsoring Partner /

Un merci tout spécial au partenaire commanditaire :


Assistive Mobile Technology Initiative Past Winners

March of Dimes Canada was there for residents in Nova Scotia, Montreal, Vancouver and Calgary, presenting customized tablets with specialized software/apps to improve community access and participation!

March of Dimes Canada have already helped residents with physical disabilities in the Nova Scotia, Montreal,

March of Dimes Canada
10 Overlea Blvd.
Toronto, Ontario M4H1A4

For more information on the March of Dimes and their events please visit >www.marchofdimes.ca



 www.laubachliteracy.ca ~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.
www.homeworkcentral.com ~ Register with this site and you get information on Online tutoring, words and vocabulary, homework help and much more.
www.funbrain.com ~ Lots of fun and challenging activities for you and your family

NEW RELEASE #BookReview of The Plastic Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg (@CNHolmberg )#UrbanFantasy #NetGalley



The Plastic Magician

(The Paper Magician Series #4)

by Charlie N. Holmberg

Release date: May 15th, 2018


Plastic Magician by CN Holmberg Cover

I received a complimentary ARC copy of  The Plastic Magician (The Paper Magician #4 Spin-Off) by Charlie N. Holmberg from NetGalley and 47th North

New to the world of Charlie N. Holmberg I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by The Plastic Magician. This book although a spin-off of the popular YA Paper Magician Series (which I have yet to read) this book definitely works as a stand-alone.

The Plastic Magician¬†treats us¬†to¬†twenty-year-old¬†Polymaker¬†(Plastic Magician)¬†Alvie¬†Brechenmacher’s¬†adventures apprenticing abroad.¬† Down to earth, intelligent and highly enthusiastic,¬†Alvie¬†leaves her German-American family in the states to apprentice for¬†the¬†world-renowned¬†inventor and¬†Polymaker,¬†Magician¬†Praff¬†in London England.

Enroute she meets a rather rude gentleman who causes her to get off at the wrong train station and this is where her adventure begins. Along her journey, Alvie meets wonderful friends, a kind-hearted love interest and a mentor who respects and believes in her.  Magician Praff and Alvie work on a life-changing invention to not only help a friend but to present at a world-famous convention(contest) for Magicians.  Magician Praff has already won the elite contest and it helped establish him as one of the best Polymakers in the world.  When word gets out to rivals that they are presenting a groundbreaking device that will help many people,  their work and lives are put in peril.

Holmberg does a fantastic job crafting this¬†fantastical¬†cozy mystery. She¬†creates¬†a¬†unique, fun magic system and her characters are interesting,¬†quirky and downright loveable. Although the mystery is fairly predictable, I really didn’t mind because I liked the sweet story that unfolded along the way.¬† There is a bit of adventure, a bit of romance and a great story that keeps you interested in¬†Alvie’s¬†journey.¬†¬†

All in all a fantastic, fun read that I would highly recommend for young and old alike.

#Review of Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire #UrbanFantasy




Beneath the Sugar Sky (Wayward Children #3)

by Seanan McGuire

Release date: January 9th, 2018


I received a complimentary ARC copy of Beneath the Sugar Sky (Wayward Children #3) by Seanan McGuire from NetGalley and Tor in order to read and give an honest review.

Seanan McGuire is definitely one of my favorite fantasy authors. Her books have it all, perfect prose, masterful plots, exciting worlds and engaging characters and the same is true for her Wayward Children series. This dark and whimsical series like all of her work is so well written that it grabs hold of you and takes you twisting and turning into fascinating new worlds. McGuire addresses, race, sexuality, religion, illness, disabilities, mental health etc. and handles it with such nuance.  Her characters are multifaceted and each face personal challenges that so many can relate to.  

The series revolves around students housed at Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children.  The Home for Wayward Children is a safe haven for children who have traveled to different…

View original post 261 more words

March 2017 Newsletter


Welcome Back to the ‚ÄúNEW‚ÄĚ Professor Owl‚Äôs Book Corner 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 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.


You can find magic wherever you look. Sit back and relax all you need is a book!‚ÄĚ ‚Äď Dr. Seuss


Literacy skills are often taken for granted by those who have them, it is assumed that everyone has learned to read and write. Adults and young adults who have trouble with reading and writing often want to improve these skills but find it difficult to begin the process. It can be very difficult for some people to admit ‚ÄúI have never learned to read or write.‚ÄĚ
I have always been a self-proclaimed book geek and can never have too many
books. I just loved to read whenever I can. Several years ago, a young teen came to stay with my husband and I. He was a bright young man, who only was able to read at grade five level and really wanted to learn more,so he asked me to teach him. He was successful in improving his skills by the time he went home.

It was around this time, I first learned about the volunteer opportunities at our local Learning Centre. I took the Laubach Literacy course and spent several years tutoring there and to be honest, I found it to be the most rewarding volunteer work I have every done.

We will be showing you in our new series how to get these skills or improve the ones you do have by using Laubach Literacy Aids and at the same time have some fun doing it. If you know someone who would like to improve their skills, please show them these and perhaps help them if they need it.

Literacy pioneer and missionary Frank C Laubach discovered that literacy empowers and enriches people’s lives. His work began in the Philippines in 1930 and he continued teaching literacy to impoverished people in one hundred and three countries for over forty years.
If you have a computer or iPad we will list other websites below where you can play games to improve your skills, get help with your homework.

We will also give you information on literacy, learning challenges and recommend the new books being released, and at times some old classics.

When I contacted The Laubach office they really liked our ideas for Professor Owls Book Corner and gave us a lot of encouragement.


Lesson 1.

Some Tricky Consonants

The sound of x is made by putting the /k/ and /s/ sounds together ~ /ks/.
The sound of qu is made by putting the /k/ and /w/ sounds together ~ /kw/.
Sounds Like Correct Spelling Sounds Like Correct Spelling

bo ks box kw ack quack
fo ks fox kw ilt quilt
si ks six kw ick quick
mi ks mix kw iet quite

In each sentence below, circle the misspelled word that contain the /ks/ and /kw/ sounds. Write the words correctly on the lines that follow.

1. The teacher asked for kwite so she could kwickly give the directions.
2. That boks of books is kwite heavy.
3. The foks was so kwick we didn’t see it sneek by.
4. My mom always lets me miks the batter while she fikses the pans.

                 X Words                                                        QU Words

__________________________ __________________________
__________________________ __________________________
__________________________ __________________________
__________________________ __________________________

If you would like to complete these lessons and email them to Professor Owl’s Book Corner ~ send your answers to: professorowl@outlook.com. We will include a lesson every second Thursday along with a newly released book review and if you email in your answers. At the end of every month we will have a draw for everyone who emails there answers~ and one lucky person will win a book.


The Marked
(Knight’s Academy Book 1)

by Emerald Barnes (Author)


Myka Williams has never fit in with her peers, and although her adoptive parents are loving and supportive, she feels most at home alone in the woods.

When she’s offered a full scholarship to Knight’s Academy in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, she takes the opportunity for a fresh start. She soon learns that Knight‚Äôs Academy is more than just a school. Within the stone walls of the institution, humans and vampires are mixing, and their offspring are going unnoticed.

As Myka falls prey to the evil plan of the school, she makes a chilling discovery about her own heritage and realizes that she‚Äôs at the Academy for more than just an education. Myka must yield to her birthright at the risk of losing everyone she loves or succumb to the fate that Knight‚Äôs Academy has in store for her‚ÄĒa fate worse than death.


This was a great book, well written with interesting characters and story line. Once I started reading this story, I just could not put it down until it was finished. That left me wanting more so I am looking forward to the new books in this series, soon, I hope.

To learn more about this great book and meet Myka and Mylo the characters in this new book of the month new release.

Interview with Myka and Milo


Scratchling Trinity

by Boyd Brent (Author)

(To be released March 1, 2017)


No one knew the importance of the Scrachling-born, until now. When a desperate orphan called Eric Kettle scratches a desperate cry for help into a wall in 1840, little does he know that it’s about to be answered by luckless Max Hastings in 2016. Both Max and Eric are soon to discover that they‚Äôre Scratchling-born, and that along with Ellie Swanson, a no-nonsense Scratchling veteran, they are destined to form the Scratchling Trinity. With an evil headmaster, a flying boat, two vengeful giants and a clutch of ghostly helpers along the way, they are off on an incredible adventure! The Scratchling Trinity is the much-anticipated novel by Boyd Brent, author of The Lost Diary of Snow White trilogy.

Available from: http:// www.amazon.ca  and http://www.amazon.com   and other fine bookstores.
We would love to hear about your favorite books and your views on the ones we recommend here… send them
To: professorowl@outlook.com


Is it just us, or do your socks mysteriously disappear when you do the laundry? You know two go in the dryer but only one comes out? You search high and low but to no avail… doesn’t that ever make you wonder?

Your mission should you choose to accept it…

Write a story from the point of view of a lost object.  Are you actually a lost sock or did you plan a daring escape from the dryer?

‚úí Write, be creative and most of all HAVE FUN! ‚úí


Attention all aspiring¬† authors: Have you heard of NaNoWriMo.org? Every November thousands participate in an online writing event to complete 50,ooo words in just 30 days.¬†Now they’ve made it even better, CampNaNoWriMo.org is a virtual writer‚Äôs camp, designed to¬†inspire you¬†and keep you motivated while you work on your masterpiece. Camp NaNoWriMo.org 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‚Äôd like, including new novel drafts, revisions, poetry, scripts, and short stories. So sign up today!¬†¬†See you at camp!


Variety Village

 Variety Village2

SPRING PROGRAM REGISTRATION IS HERE! Persons with a Disability PHONE-IN March 1 @ 8:00am | General Registration IN-PERSON March 4 @ 7:30am

MARCH BREAK: March 13-17, 2017

March Break Camps are available during the week that elementary, middle and high schools are closed for the March break or spring break. These are primarily day camps and offer parents the opportunity for care other than daycare, that keep your kids engaged, active and having fun.

Download the 2017 March Break Camp Registration Form



Variety Village is pleased to offer several camps to children of all abilities* including March Break Camp, Holiday Camps and Kid Development Day Camps (camps that fall on days that are PA/PD days within the Toronto Board). Variety Village offers a broad range of integrated full-day camps for participants of all abilities*, ages 4 to 20+. Our Variety Village camp experience includes:

  • A 76,000-square-foot gym, two indoor pools and a 200 metre indoor track;
  • A combination of sports, swimming, games and training activities ‚Äď all under one roof;
  • A fun way to learn new skills, make new friends, and enhance self-esteem;
  • An inclusive and barrier-free environment with experienced camp counselors




Pizza Nova raised $107,101 during the That’s Amore Pizza for Kids day sale on Tuesday, May 10!

Thank you to everyone who supported the sale and our greatest thanks to Domenic Primucci and all the franchise owners and their staff who worked tirelessly all day to make this the best year ever!

If you would like any further information on any of the events shown above

PLEASE CONTACT:  Variety Village

Address: 3701 Danforth Ave, Toronto ON M1N 2G2

Phone: 416-699-7167


Open ~ Tue 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM


March of Dimes

 logo March of Dimes

OpportuniTEA with Kate Linder and Y&R Friends



High Tea with Kate Linder & Friends from The Young and the Restless

Sunday, April 2, 2017 The Westin Calgary 320 4th Avenue SW, Calgary

VIP Ticket Holders Meet & Greet  12:15 p.m.

High Tea  1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Autographs & Photos for all guests 3:15 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

March of Dimes Canada’s fourth¬†annual Calgary OpportuniTea¬†High Tea will take place at The Westin Calgary, 320 4th Avenue SW, Calgary,¬†on April 2, 2017. The event features actors from the top-rated North American soap opera The Young & The Restless, including Kate Linder (Esther Valentine) and Christian LeBlanc (Michael Balwin) who will be co-hosting the event, Bryton James (Devon Hamilton),¬†Elizabeth Hendrickson (Chloe Mitchell), and Tracey Bregman (Lauren Fenmore).


High Tea & Show tickets  $100

Patron preferred seating tickets  $125

VIP Circle of Friends tickets  $250

Our goal is to raise $40,000 at this event to support Alberta Peer Support Programs.

88% of all funds raised will benefit MODC’s

Conductive Education¬ģ and Peer Support Programs in Calgary.

  Co-Host Christian LeBlanc

(Michael Baldwin)

Bryton James

(Devon Hamilton)


Elizabeth Hendrickson

(Chloe Mitchell)


Tracey Bregman

(Lauren Fenmore)

Linda Olsen, Global Calgary News Anchor, will also co-host the event with Kate Linder. The tea will include a Question & Answer session with the cast, an amazing raffle, silent and live auction, autograph signing and photo opportunities! Guests will also go home with a gift bag full of goodies.

Visit OpportuniTea Calgary 2017 website, where you can purchase your tickets online and find out more information about the event.

Sponsorship Opportunities Still Available To sponsor this terrific event, please contact Linda Yielding at 416-425-3463 ext. 7290

1st Annual Celebrity Bowling for Dimes


6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

The Ballroom, 145 John Street, Toronto, Ontario


On Thursday March 23, 2017 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. March of Dimes Canada will be hosting our First Annual Celebrity Bowling for Dimes Tournament at the Ballroom, 145 John Street, downtown Toronto. Teams will consist of 4 bowlers and a special celebrity (1/2 lane), or 8 bowlers and 2 celebrities (full lane).


Come meet:

bowling1                        bowling2

  Co-Host  Steve   Anthony                        Sean Jones



All proceeds from registrations and pledges will benefit our L.I.F.E. (Learning Independence for Future Empowerment) program at March of Dimes Canada, that supports youth with physical disabilities transition into adulthood responsibilities.

For individual bowlers that raise over $1,000, they will be entered into a draw for a 60″ Sharp Television (retail value over $1,600)! We will also be holding a very select auction – what might a celebrity have to auction off you ask? You will have to come out to see!


Visit Bowling for Dimes at www.marchofdimes.ca/Bowling for more details and to register.

For more information and sponsorship opportunities contact:

Linda Yielding

Manager, Special Events and Fundraising

March of Dimes Canada

10 Overlea Blvd.

Toronto, ON M4H 1A4

Phone: 1-800-263-3463 ext.7290



Opening Doors for Accessibility



Don’t Miss Opening Doors for Accessibility

in Windsor on February 24th and in London, Ontario, on March 31st!

If you are an individual living with a disability, health professional, service provider, caregiver /partner or family member, you should attend this free community resource showcase.

Opening Doors for Accessibility Windsor


Date:  Friday, February 24, 2017
Time:  9:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.


 Riverside Banquet Hall  1286 Lauzon Road, Windsor, Ontario
Fee:  Free  (Donations to March of Dimes Canada are welcome)

Sessions include / Au programme:

March of Dimes Canada’s Assistive Devices Program

Home & Vehicle Modification Program

Windsor Accessibility in Action

We Are Able

Stroke Recovery Groups

Aphasia Program at the University of Windsor

Stroke Community Navigation

Employment Services

and much more!

** Event will include lunch and networking opportunities.

Opening Doors for Accessibility London


Date:  Friday, March 31, 2017
Time:  9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.


 Best Western Plus Lamplighter Inn & Conference Centre  591 Wellington Road, London, Ontario
Fee:  Free  (Donations to March of Dimes Canada are welcome)

Sessions include / Au programme :

Home Modifications

Aging in Place

Introduction to Adaptive Driving

Living Beyond a Disability

Connect Care Alarm System

Keynote by Paralympian, Dave Willsie

Presentation by Michelle Allen from Thames Valley Children’s Centre

Inspirational Speaker Kevin Bulmer

and much more!

** Event will include lunch and networking opportunities.


Please RSVP at 1-800-263-3463 or by email at events@marchofdimes.ca. / RSVP au 1-800-263-3463 ou par courriel à events@marchofdimes.ca.

** In the subject line, please be sure to identify the city where you wish to attend.

For more information on any of the above events, please contact www.marchofdimes.ca



 www.laubachliteracy.ca ~Lauback website, resourses for Tutors and Student.

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




Professor Owl’s Book Corner ~ Newsletter ~ May 2016


May Banner

Welcome to Professor Owl’s Book Corner

In every month’s issue we will share with you

the wonderful world of books!


April showers ~ Bring May flowers.

floral-header may flowers


May is Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month

By Sylvia McGrath



During May, Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month, the foundation makes a special effort to tell inspiring stories about Canadians with cystic fibrosis. They also highlight how important funding from Cystic Fibrosis Canada works each and every day to make a real difference in the lives of people with cystic fibrosis, and their families.

For more information: www.cysticfibrosis.ca

If you have been diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis you know, it is a serious disease, which causes returning chest infections and the failure to absorb nutrients from the intestines.

Cystic Fibrosis is usually present from birth and occurs when a child inherits two defective copies of the gene responsible for CF, one from each parent.

Approximately one in 25 Canadians is a CF carrier, carrying only one defective version of the gene responsible for cystic fibrosis. Carriers do not have, and can never get, cystic fibrosis. In most cases, they are not even aware they are carriers.

CF is a multi-organ disease, mainly affecting the lungs and digestive system. A build-up of thick mucus in the lungs causes severe breathing problems. It may be difficult to clear bacteria from the lungs, leading to cycles of infection and inflammation, which damage the delicate lung tissues.

Thick mucus also blocks the ducts of the pancreas, preventing enzymes from reaching the intestines to digest food. People with CF must consume a large amount of artificial enzymes (usually 20 pills a day) with every meal and snack, to help digest and absorb enough nutrition from food.

What are the signs and symptoms of cystic fibrosis?

The main symptoms are-

  • constant cough which brings up thick mucus
  • difficulty breathing
  • repeated or prolonged bouts of pneumonia
  • bowel disturbances, such as intestinal obstruction or frequent, oily stools
  • Failure to grow normally
  • Excessive appetite, with weight loss

How does cystic fibrosis affect daily life?

Cystic fibrosis affects each person with varying degrees of seriousness. Each person with CF follows a personalized treatment program. For many, life consists of a daily routine of physical and inhalation therapy to keep the lungs free of congestion. It also includes a high-calorie diet and regimen of pancreatic enzymes and vitamin supplements to ensure adequate nutrition. Regular visits to a CF clinic are essential.

Is there a cure for cystic fibrosis?

There is no known cure for cystic fibrosis. However, research inspires real hope.

Since Canadian researchers discovered the gene responsible for cystic fibrosis in 1989, international research has brought us closer to a cure. The current pace of CF research suggests that the outlook has improved greatly due to the early diagnosis and new methods of treatment. A few seriously affected children have had a lung or lung-heart transplant that has improved their quality of live etc.

Cystic fibrosis is a very complicated disease, but you will find plenty of information at your countries Cystic Fibrosis Foundation web sites. They are sure to be able to answer questions for you and your parents.

Canada: www.cysticfibrosis.ca  America: http://www.cff.org/


POBC Books

Classic Books


The Complete Works of CharlotteBronte and her Sisters




The most cherished novels from England’s talented sisters, all in one volume.¬†

The Bront√ę family was a literary phenomenon unequaled before or since. Both Charlotte’s¬†Jane Eyre and Emily’s¬†Wuthering Heights¬†have won lofty places in the pantheon and stirred the romantic sensibilities of generations of readers. For the first time ever, Penguin Classics unites these two enduring favorites with the lesser known but no less powerful work by their youngest sister, Anne. Drawn from Anne’s own experiences as a governess,¬†Agnes Grey¬†offers a compelling view of Victorian chauvinism and materialism. Its inclusion makes¬†The Bront√ę Sisters¬†a must-have volume for anyone fascinated by this singularly talented family.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

About the Author’s

Bronte SisterscrpF

Charlotte Bronte¬†lived from 1816 to 1855.¬†Jane Eyre¬†appeared in 1847 and was followed by¬†Shirley¬†(1848) and¬†Vilette¬†(1853). In 1854 Charlotte Bronte married her father’s curate, Arthur Bell Nicholls. She died during her pregnancy on March 31, 1855 in Haworth, Yorkshire. The Professor¬†was posthumously published in 1857.

Emily Bronte lived from 1818 to 1848. She wrote one strikingly innovative novel, Wuthering Heights, and was also a gifted and intense poet. She died of tuberculosis at the age of 30.

Anne Bront√ę, youngest of the Bronte sisters, was born in 1820. She worked as a governess between 1840 and 1845, after which she published¬†Agnes Grey¬†(1847) and¬†The Tenant of Wildfell Hall¬†(1848) under the pen-name Acton Bell. Anne Bront√ę died of tuberculosis in 1849.



NewBook Release for May 2016 

Future Imperfect

By Simon Rose (Author)

Future Imperfectf


Andrew Mitchell was one of the leading experts 0n highly advanced technology in Silicon Valley until he vanished following a car accident, which also injured his son, Alex.

When a mysterious app from the future later appears on Alex’s phone, he and his friend Stephanie embark on a terrifying journey involving secret technology, corporate espionage, kidnapping, and murder in a desperate bid to save the future from the sinister Veronica Castlewood.

Alex and his friend Stephanie love technology and are keen to learn more through Alex’s dad.  Then the mysterious app sends Alex and Stephanie on a wild goose chase and their world is thrown into chaos. Can Alex and Stephanie prevent millions of future deaths by solving this mystery

This book has everything children and this adult love to read about. I could not put the book down until I had finished it, as the story kept me engaged until the end.  Another great story written by Simon Rose, I look forward to reading his next book.

Available from http://www.amazon.ca and http://www.amazon.com




Writing Prompt

“Our perfect companions never have fewer than four feet.” ~¬†Colette

After a freak accident you discover you have the ability to shapeshift into any animal. Choose an animal, write a story about what happened and explain your choice. Do you choose to be a lynx, bulldog or hamster and why? Get creative and have fun.

POBC Picks

Epic! – Unlimited Books for Kids



Via GooglePlay

Epic! – Unlimited Books for Kids

Epic! is the #1 children‚Äôs ebook library, offering unlimited access to over 10,000 high-quality children‚Äôs books. Epic! has been called the ‚ÄúNetflix of kids’ books‚ÄĚ ‚Äď it’s unlimited library your kids can take anywhere!
There are 2 versions of Epic!, both accessible through the one app:


* Over 10,000 great titles with many more added weekly
* Audio-enabled ‚Äúread-to-me‚ÄĚ books
* Individual customized child profiles at no additional cost
* Personalized book recommendations for each child
* Online and offline reading (take Epic! in the car, on a plane, or camping)
* Subscription needed to access full Epic! library. Use your subscription across devices, on Android, iOS, or any Web browser


* Completely free to elementary school educators in the US and Canada
* Access to unlimited children’s literature, including Read-to-Me and non-fiction books
* Ability to create 36 student profiles
* Personalized recommendations based on students’ reading levels and interests


Epic!’s library includes fiction and non-fiction books from leading publishers such as HarperCollins, Macmillan, National Geographic and many more.

Well-known books and series include:
* Flat Stanley
* The Chronicles of Narnia
* Goosebumps
* Disney Frozen
* National Geographic Kids
…and many more

The Epic! library contains a wide variety of book types:
– Picture books
– Chapter books
– Audio-enabled ‚Äúread to me‚ÄĚ books
– Non-fiction titles
– Audiobooks
– Spanish and bilingual books
– You can cancel your subscription anytime, no hassles or fees
– You can find instructions on how to manage and cancel subscriptions here: http://bit.ly/EpicFAQMembership

Via GooglePlay (Android)

Professor Owl’s Book Corner ~ December 2015 Newsletter

Banner Dec

Welcome to the New Professor Owl’s Book Corner

In every month’s issue we will share with you

the wonderful world of books!


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

~~ Dr. Seuss, “I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!”


Snowflake final



Classic Books

Oskar and the Eight Blessings

by Tanya Simon (Author), Richard Simon (Author), Mark Siegel (Illustrator)

Oskar and the eight blessings


A refugee seeking sanctuary from the horrors of Kristallnacht, Oskar arrives by ship in New York City with only a photograph and an address for an aunt he has never met. It is both the seventh day of Hanukkah and Christmas Eve, 1938. As Oskar walks the length of Manhattan, from the Battery to his new home in the north of the city, he passes experiences the city’s many holiday sights, and encounters it various residents. Each offers Oskar a small act of kindness, welcoming him to the city and helping him on his way to a new life in the new world. This is a heartwarming, timeless picture book.

This book is wonderful. It truly has the makings to become a Holiday classic. The story is engaging, realistic, and has a dark but “feel good” vibe to it. The illustrations really bring the story to life in the format of the paneled pages- it was set up almost like a movie. At a time when the world is a mess, this book is a much needed glimmer of hope. This is a heartwarming story and perfect for both Christmas and Hanukkah.

‚ÄúA wonderful, heartwarming picture book for any library at any time of year.‚ÄĚ ‚ÄēSchool Library Journal, starred review


Available at your library and www.amazon.ca www.amazon.com


About the authors


Richard Simon and Tanya Simon are a husband-and-wife writing team. Richard is chair of the language department at an independent school and is co-author of a successful off-Broadway play. Tanya is co-author of the children’s novel Zora and Me, winner of a Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent. They live in Westchester, New York. Oskar and the Eight Blessings is their first picture book.
Mark Siegel has illustrated a number of picture books, including the Texas Bluebonnet winner Seadogs with Lisa Wheeler and the Siebert Honor book To Dance, with his wife, Siena Cherson Siegel. He wrote and illustrated the New York Times bestselling graphic novel Sailor Twain, Or the Mermaid in the Hudson. He lives in New York with his family.


New Book Release ~  November 2015


Assassin’s Creed: Underworld

Oliver Bowden (Author)

Assin Creed final


*Brand new tie in book to the new Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate*

A disgraced Assassin. A deep-cover agent. A quest for redemption.

1862, and with London in the grip of the Industrial Revolution, the world’s first underground railway is under construction. When a body is discovered at the dig, it sparks the beginning of the latest deadly chapter in the centuries-old battle between the Assassins and Templars.

Deep undercover is an Assassin with dark secrets and a mission to defeat the Templar stranglehold on the nation’s capital. Soon the Brotherhood will know him as Henry Green, mentor to Jacob and Evie Frye. For now, he is simply The Ghost.

Assassin’s Creed: Underworld is the eighth gripping novel from Oliver Bowden set in the immersive world of Assassin’s Creed.

About the Author

Oliver Bowden is the pen-name of an acclaimed novelist. He has written all the Assassin’s Creed titles.

Available from www.amazon.ca and www.amazon.com 




Writing Prompt

‚ÄúFeeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.‚ÄĚ~William Arthur Ward

The holiday season is about giving and receiving but material gifts aren’t everything. What is the greatest gift anyone has ever given you that wasn’t material.  Write them a Thank You letter, thanking them for their gift. Reflect and write about what their gift meant to you in your life.

POBC Picks

A Parcel of Courage Book

A Parcel of Courage Book App

Via GooglePlay


“A Parcel of Courage” is an interactive educational book app based on two proven teaching methods: Montessori method and Shichida method.”
Many interactive activities within the heart-warming story are paired to reinforce the storyline, so that your kiddo can better comprehend the content and improve: spatial awareness, working memory, eye hand coordination, sequencing and listening skills (for better handwriting and other fine motor tasks performance) as well as enhance his/her problem solving skills.

I Play mode provides kids with 4 more unique educational games geared towards a preschoolers developmental interests and let them:
– learn numbers and addition within 10
– become familiar with patterns and sequences
– understand two or more objects in relation to each other
– recognize 25 new colors
– enhance creative thinking skills
– improve memory and other cognitive abilities

‚ÄúA Parcel of Courage‚ÄĚ based on a true story of how a family of three siblings came together to help their grandmother overcome her fear of flying so that she could come out to visit them.

Your kiddo will explore 15 beautifully illustrated interactive pages in the ‚ÄúI Listen‚ÄĚ or ‚ÄúI Read‚ÄĚ modes and play inside these pages to help our family meet their much loved Grandma and discover a magical surprise at the end.

There are 7 tasks to complete within the story to unlock something that will help kids make their wishes come true!

Some of the challenges children will face within the story are:

‚ÄĘ Discover maps and beginning spatial orientation skills
‚ÄĘ Construct a marble run using working memory of a briefly presented model
‚ÄĘ Sequence baking courage chocolate cookies
‚ÄĘ Learning how to address and send a post to granny (and use hand-eye coordination)
‚ÄĘ Visually scan to help grandpa clean up the backyard
‚ÄĘ Spatially orient objects to pack a suitcase
‚ÄĘ Use auditory discrimination skills to help the postman

Independently explore and learn numbers and addition, sequencing, improve spatial reasoning skills, and develop visual memory skills. Earn points to add to your artifacts collection. Every game’s level rewards kids with mysterious outfits which transform into a magical airship.

A game where the child takes the role of a waiter and plays with Grandma, who requests a number of servings from a dish and gets kids to strengthen their numeracy skills and learn simple math concepts.

*Post Office*
A Montessori sequencing activity that gets children to attach stamps to posts with funny animals into a particular patterns. Kids can mark stamps like real postmen and send mails to friends and family.

This game gets children to fit the funniest and most delicious gifts in Grandma’s travel suitcase. It is a Tetris like puzzler that serves as a tool to develop skills of spatial reasoning.

Aimed to enhance the work of the right brain hemisphere, this game is based on the method of Japanese Professor Makoto Shichida. It caters to the individual needs of kids to nourish their inner genius with fun and develop memory, imagination, creative thinking and other cognitive abilities. The color wheel is designed to help naturally form color perception and aesthetic preferences. There are many colors that are new to children, and will help expand both their vision and vocabulary.

– Created for kids aged 3-7 years old.
– No banners, no ads, COPPA compliant
– No in-App purchases
– The app has a parents protected area

Other Features:
– Beautifully rendered graphics and original soundtrack.
– Personalization and options for saving the game results up to four family members.
– Opportunities to reminisce about grandparents and other loved ones whether they live across the globe, or down the street.

Enjoy a whole new family screen-time with this very playful interactive kids book “A Parcel of Courage”!

Join us on http://www.Facbook.com/moonagroup
Follow us on http://www.Twitter.com/moonagroup

Professor Owl’s Book Corner Newsletter ~ September, 2015

Banner Template

Welcome to Professor Owl’s Book Corner

In every month’s issue we will share with you

the wonderful world of books!


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

~~ Dr. Seuss, “I Can Read With My Eyes¬†


After a long break Professor Owl is back and¬†it’s that time of year again, dust off those notebooks, sharpen those pencils¬†it’s back to school…In this issue, we will share with you some of Professor Owl‚Äôs tricks to getting back on track and back to school.


                                                                                                          By Sylvia McGrath


It is that time of year again, children will be going back to school.   Many of them are looking forward to going back, however, for some it is the dread of the homework and lack of playtime can be a very scary thought.  For others it is not school that bothers them but the thought of being beaten up, embarrassed or tormented by bullies.

What is a bully?  A bully is someone who finds power and self-worth by belittling or intimidating others. Sad thing is that often bullies have usually been the victim of another bully.  If you are being bullied the best thing you can do is tell someone.  It’s not tattling, you are not telling to get someone in trouble, you are telling to protect yourself.  Another thing to do is if possible is walk away or stay near an adult if you feel threatened.  Remember being the victim of a bully is not YOUR fault.

You may not be the one being bullied, but being unfortunate enough to watch it happening someone else.  Do not join in, by encouraging or giving the bully an audience, if possible try to get help or find an adult.  Whatever you do don’t try to fight the bully!

Many years ago I was a housemother in a short term children’s home working with children who were deprived, abandoned or ill-treated and put in our care by Children’s Service. Over the past few years I have been doing a lot of research on children with special needs. It really upset me when I realized from my research that a child with a disability is more likely to be physically or verbally bullied than his typically developing fellow students.

Bullying has become a serious problem affecting many children and teens, however it is not likely that most children, especially those with special needs, will walk up to their parents and tell them, ‚ÄúI‚Äôm being bullied.‚ÄĚ

Bullying can include name-calling, violence, or exclusion, and must be identified and addressed as soon as possible. The objective is to pinpoint the signs of bullying and take preventative measures against future incidents. This can make all the difference in the life and educational progress of a child with special needs. Here are some things we can do, as parents, to ward off bullying and protect our children:

Explain bullying:

  • Depending on what your child can understand, describe what bullying is, what kinds of behaviour are unacceptable and explain that bullying is wrong.
  • Some disabled children, who are used to being stared at, receive comments, and remarks, become used to subtle forms of harassment.
  • They may not be entirely certain that what is happening is bullying, especially if it feels normal

Support your child:

  • Support your child with knowledge!
  • Tell your child exactly what they should do when bullying happens.
  • Be very specific, even giving the exact words to say, like, ‚ÄúStop teasing me!‚ÄĚ or ‚ÄúLeave me alone.‚ÄĚ
  • Tell your child to say nothing and simply walk away. Tell them exactly who they should then go and talk to at school if it happens.
  • Let them know that they must tell you right away‚Ķ

Cleanliness & style:

  • Teach your child proper hygiene habits, and outfit them in stylish clothes.
  • Whether or not your child looks ‚Äúright,‚ÄĚ can make a huge difference with how they are treated by peers.
  • Your child is already different, so don‚Äôt let their clothes and grooming cause further distinction.

Stay in contact:

  • Stay in very close contact with your child‚Äôs special education teacher, social worker, school counselor, or anyone who is directly involved with your child‚Äôs school placement.
  • Frequently ‚Äúcheck in‚ÄĚ for reports on how your child is managing amongst their peers.
  • Ask your child how things are going, and look for signs of depression or negative feelings about school.
  • You could also enlist the help of another responsible student at the school (a relative, neighbour, or friend‚Äôs child) to keep an eye out on your son or daughter, and let you know if anything seems amiss.

Supportive friendships:

  • When friendships start to flourish, teach your son or daughter how to maintain them.
  • Have your child invite friends to come for ice cream, or watch a movie.
  • Your child may need assistance and suggestions on how to be a friend, but do not be too forceful.
  • Carefully observe whether their friendships are true and not deceitful attempts to take advantage in some way.

Obtain a peer tutor:

  • A peer tutor can be a role model, school assistant, and protector of your child.
  • Talk to the special education director in your school district, or the principal. Almost all schools have peer-tutoring programs, which could be extremely beneficial.

Set-up an IEP meeting:

  • Address any problems with bullying that you see.
  • Explain that the current situation is not working, and changes need to be made.
  • Be specific. Perhaps your child would do better in a self-contained classroom.
  • Maybe a peer tutor, classroom change, or schedule adjustment is needed.
  • Get the school ‚Äúteam‚ÄĚ working on the issue.
  • Students who bully should be reprimanded through the school. I would suggest you work with school officials to address the matter.
  • Do not contact the perpetrator‚Äôs parents yourself. Bullying could be a symptom of bad parenting, so you might not get the results you‚Äôd want, anyway.

Take action if needed:

If you disagree with any decisions regarding your child’s education, or how things are being handled, you have options.

The following is an Exceptional Resource for All Adults Who Care about Safety for Kids

The Kidpower Book for Caring Adults:

Personal Safety, Self-Protection, Advocacy, & Confidence for Young People

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†‚ĀĮKid Power book¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†



This easy-to-use comprehensive guide puts Kidpower‚Äôs 23+ years of experience at the fingertips of parents and all adults who care about protecting children and teens from bullying, abuse, abduction, and other violence ‚Äď and prepares them to empower young people with skills and knowledge in developing positive relationships, increasing their confidence, and taking charge of their emotional and physical safety.


Chapters Include:

What Adults Need to Know About ‚ÄúPeople Safety‚ÄĚ for Kids

  • Creating a Foundation of Emotional Safety for Young People
  • Five Key Self-Protection Strategies for Preventing Trouble
  • Safety Plans to Prepare for the Unexpected
  • Boundaries and Advocacy to Build Better Relationships
  • Self-defense to Stop Most Emergencies
  • Protecting Young People From Bullying
  • Protecting Children from Sexual Abuse
  • Protecting Kids from Abduction and Teaching Stranger Safety
  • The Safety of Kids is Everybody‚Äôs Business ‚Äď How to Intervene
  • One Million Safer Kids ‚Äď A Call to Action From Kidpower

stamp out bullying


The following is an Exceptional Resource for All Adults Who Care about Safety for Kids



Do You Need A Homework Helper?

Back to school can be a lot of fun seeing old friends and teachers.  One thing most children do not like about going back to school is the homework.

Listed below are some websites that can help you with every subject ‚Äď helping elementary and high school kids find what they need on the ‘net. They cannot do your homework for you, but offer great age-appropriate kid-friendly links to sites, by e-mail.





Nutritious Brown Bag Lunch Ideas

It’s back to school time and for many parents it means trying to come up with nutritious lunch ideas that their kids won’t trade.  In many schools, the old standard peanut butter & jelly sandwiches aren’t an option anymore due to deadly peanut allergies. Although time may be tight making sure your child eats right pays off in the long run.

Some general rules of thumbs:

  • The less processed high fat, high sugar foods in your child‚Äôs lunch the better.
  • Cutting foods into small bite-sized pieces makes it easier for your child to eat lunch in the limited time they have.
  • Make sure there are at least two or three vegetable and fruit servings and one portion of protein
  • Always include water, flavoured water or milk to make sure your child stays hydrated.¬† Avoid sugary drinks, which will cause you child to have an afternoon “sugar slump”
  • Tortilla wraps or pita bread are great alternatives to plain bread.
  • Rice crackers or Wasa Bread are good options to plain crackers
  • Provide low fat dairy products and meats when possible.
  • Making homemade ‚Äúbaked‚ÄĚ potato, sweet-potato chips or pita chips
  • Making popcorn and adding seasoning
  • Packing flavoured rice cakes or mini rice cakes
  • Baked Tortilla Chips and Salsa

Some ideas…

  • Homemade Bean, Rice and Cheese Burritos.¬† Add lettuce, tomato, and avocado to up the nutritional value.
  • Sandwiches made with whole wheat bread, pita bread or tortilla wrap, a protein such as tuna salad or sliced chicken breast, roasted turkey or ham with veggies such as cucumber, grated carrots, sliced apples or lettuce and tomatoes.
  • Making your own ‚Äúsnack packs‚ÄĚ with low fat cheese, cold cuts (cut with cookie cutters to make unique shapes) and whole grain or rice crackers.
  • Hummus or roasted red pepper dip with veggie sticks (carrots, celery, peppers, cucumbers) and homemade pita or bagel chips
  • Small fruit kabobs with, fruit chunks (dip apples into lemon juice to prevent browning) melon balls, berries with low fat yogurt.


POBC Books

Classic Books

Every month download to your I-pad, Reader or Computer “A Classic Book” ~ Completely FREE!


The Secret of the Old Clock

by Carolyn Keene May 1, 1930,

The Secret of the old clockF

I am an avid reader and have been since I was a very young child and loved nothing more than to lose myself in a good mystery. My love of Nancy Drew however, began forty-two years ago, when I purchased the books for my daughter also a book worm who admired Nancy and loved the idea of solving a mystery too.

Last year for Christmas, my daughter and her husband gave me a gift certificate to purchase some E-books and since I write reviews on some of the old classic books for Professor Owls Book Corner; we decided this coming year to share with our readers some of Nancy Drew’s great mysteries. I brought the first three in the series and this month we are reviewing the very first book.

This is the first book in the series and tells the story of Nancy’s search for the will of Josiah Crowley, a man who had seemingly intended to leave some much needed money to cousins and friend regrettably, greedy family members have laid claim to his fortune based on another will in their possession. Nancy believes Josiah wrote a newer will, and is determined to put things right. The story was as I remembered. The pacing is quick enough to compete with today’s fast-paced books, changes are smooth, and the ending completely satisfying. Young readers will likely find some of the overformal dialogue old, if not downright funny in places; however, in a world swamped with vampire, zombie, and other scary novel, a safe, old-fashioned whodunit might be a welcome break for readers of any ages.

Available also at your school and local library and at www.amazon.ca and www.amazon.com

About the author

Nancy Drew Mystery Stories

By Carolyn |Keene


The Nancy Drew Mystery Stories were first published in 1930 by Grosset and Dunlap.¬† The original 56 stories were written by various people under the pseudonym of Carolyn Keene: …¬† …¬† http://www.series-books.com/nancydrew/nancydrew.html

 #1-7,11-25, and 30 by Mildred Wirt Benson
#8, 9, and 10 by Walter Karig
#26 by George Waller, Jr.
#27 by Margaret Scherf    #28 by Wilhelmina Rankin
#29 by Alma Sasse
#31, 33-56, and revised #1-34 by Harriet Adams
#32 by Charles Strong
 The writers were hired by the Stratemeyer Syndicate and followed outlines that were provided by the Syndicate.  Mildred Wirt Benson and Harriet Adams are considered the two most important Nancy Drew authors, and both women had a profound effect on the Nancy Drew series.  However, Walter Karig is also considered important because the three volumes he wrote are favorites with many readers.


New Book Release for September 2015


By Simon Rose



This is the second book written by Simon Rose that we have been honoured to review. It certainly was another great book.

This book starts with fourteen year old Max visiting a cemetery with a friend and finds himself caught up in the adventure of a lifetime. He suddenly gets flashbacks and discovers the fate of another boy lies in his hands.

Max must travel back in time to right the wrongs of the past. You are taken on a journey that is completely unexpected, and ended up somewhere you never would have expected. I love to be surprised when I read and was not disappointed! Professor Owl’s Book Corner will certainly be looking for more of Simon Rose’s books to share with our readers.

This is a great book for teenagers and will appeal to both boys and girls. I generally find books that involve time travel become confusing and to farfetched. Flashback is the exception. Simon Rose manages to keep it simple enough that the reader doesn’t need to get caught up in the details. They simply get to enjoy a good story.

Available from: www.amazon.ca, www.amazon.com and www.indigo.ca




Writing Prompt

‚ÄúWhen you are kind to others, it not only changes you, it changes the world.‚ÄĚ ‚Äď Harold Kushner

Write about a kind act that changes the world for the better. How does it change things?  How does it affect both those involved and those outside of the situation?  This can be real or make believe but think about, write and have fun!

POBC Picks

Professor Owl Recommends:


Boys and girls for  great websites filled with great links for all ages check out:

For Craft Ideas: http://www.craftbits.com/kids-crafts

For Learning & Fun:

http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/ &


Apps for Android and iPad/iPhone

Storybook Rhymes Volume 1

Fisher-Price Storybook Icon

Description ~Via GooglePlay

Read and sing along to baby’s favorite nursery rhymes! This interactive app encourages early learning with dynamic characters, engaging music, sung songs, animations and two great classic stories: One, Two, Buckle My Shoe and Itsy Bitsy Spider.

‚ÄĘ Two classic nursery rhyme stories:
– One, Two, Buckle My Shoe
– Itsy Bitsy Spider

‚ÄĘ Two modes of play that grow with baby‚Äôs development:
– Sing to Me ‚Äď For the younger baby, the narrator sings the stories and any touch advances the content
– Read & Learn ‚Äď For the older baby, the narrator reads the stories and the interactive touch points reveal additional animated content

‚ÄĘ Tap the screen to interact with surprise animations
‚ÄĘ Hear engaging music and sung songs for your baby
‚ÄĘ Personalized book plate for your baby

Customizable Options:
‚ÄĘ Turn background music on/off
‚ÄĘ Turn narrator voice on/off
‚ÄĘ Auto Play – will automatically ‚Äúturn the page‚ÄĚ to advance content for baby

Made for Ages 5 and Under

We recommend parent and child joint media engagement. See our Media Viewing Tips at:
End User License Agreement: http://fpconnect.fisher-price.com/dssupdate/EULA/LaughLearn_GoogleEULA.html

Via GooglePlay (Android) Via GooglePlay (Android)

Byron Nelson Legacy: A poem from Author Rich Weatherly ( @RichWeatherly43 )

Byron Nelson Legacy

And a promising new rising star

I knew and admired Byron Nelson,
a golfing legend, innovator… champion
held records for most tournaments won, most consecutive wins
yet a humble gentleman…

Awarded Congressional Gold Metal after his death,
Called Lord Byron by the press and his peers.
At The Masters Tournament this year, a newcomer
from this area arrived on the scene and rewrote the record books.
Jordan Spieth recorded the most birdies in one tournament,
tied for the lowest 72-round score, lowest 53-hole score and lowest 36-hole score.
He was the 1st wire-to-wire leader since 1976.
Spieth placed 2nd at The Masters last year, studied his mistakes,
and quietly, with deliberation
hit one stunning shot after another leaving the rest of the field behind.
I was most impressed with how he did it
and his demeanor following the win.
Like Byron Nelson, he comes across
As a quiet, humble person whose respectful of his peers and his followers.

Could this be the start of a new legacy?
Only time will tell.


  About Rich Weatherly


Rich Weatherly’s professional career spanned several decades. Much of that career included technical writing and copy writing. He also worked in media production and corporate photography.

After retiring from the corporate world, Rich focused his attention on creative writing. He continues to work on a series of short stories, and a collection of works that will include poetry, photography and miscellaneous writings.

Rich Weatherly is a descendant of one of General Marion’s militia at the Battle of Cowpens during the Revolutionary War. His maternal Great-Grandmother’s father scouted western Dallas, County and was numbered among the first 50 families to settle western Dallas, Co., Texas.

Rich is working on an historical fiction novel, Boundless Honor which begins in the fall of 1835. The story features the Texas Revolution and the Trail of Tears.

You can visit Rich at:

Links: Website. Twitter. Facebook