Professor Owl’s Book Corner ~ Covid-19 Special Edition 3~ April 19 2020

Yes!!!  ~ It is still necessary to continue

“Personal Distancing.”

             Not just for you but your family, loved ones and friends, by following proper  distancing you, are also stopping the spreading of Covid 19

It has been several weeks since due to the virus Covid19 people in most countries have been requested by their Governments to practice ” Personal Distancing” when  out in the streets of cities and towns.  Every one was told to stay home, wash your hands frequently no visiting family, playing sports,  going out with friends, in fact in most countries business have closed their doors and workers have been laid off or are working from home.   Hospitals, Senior Homes, Stores and other businesses that are are essential businesses like buses, transport drivers also doctors, nurses, caregivers, police and firemen, some who deal with people in stores,  are wearing masks; in every else MUST stay at home and if you have to shop get it over quickly and get back home as soon as you can. In most countries, schools are closed, and most young people miss their friends and family that do not live close by.

Parks and playground are closed so as not to spread the virus and if you do walk on the streets to keep personal distancing in mind keep  6ft or 2 meters away from other people all this will help us get back to normal quicker, and as the Mayor of my city recently said it is OK  not to be Ok.

There are phone lines where children and adults can call for assurance, ask questions and just tell them how and why you are worried.

All this makes it very hard on families especially parents, who may have some have financial problems if their hours have been cut, some are very anxious about their children getting the Covid-19 or their parents in a nursing home or family who live a distance away.

Teenagers and young adults are just not made for isolation which makes COVID-19 especially hard on you. First,you must try to see the big picture and how it can affect your family. Everywhere parents are worried about getting their son or daughter into a safe place.

Social isolation is hard for humans of all ages. But because you are teenagers or young adult you are more attuned to social status than the rest of us, it is even more profoundly distressing for you.

You are generally so attuned to social status you may get touchy about whether, or not your parents are treating you like a child, when they insist that you stay home in sheltered place.

By acting like competent young adults rather than little kid you can contribute to your household in meaningful ways. By helping with meal preparation and household cleaning. Keeping conflict low amid tight quarters is a meaningful contribution.

Planning fun activities for the family to do together might be the most essential contribution of all!

By managing yourself, schoolwork, and other responsibilities without being nagged or cajoled does not mean that you won’t be engaged with them. It does mean however, that they will probably give you space to operate freely within the limits agreed to as a family.

Acknowledge that all of this is so hard. Many students coming home from school are experiencing significant losses right now. Your feelings of grief, anxiety, stress, and isolation are hard to cope with. One of the great lessons of adulthood is that they can do hard things  ~ So can you!

You can also tap into your high attunement to the social world by emphasizing how your lives do have a purpose, meaning, and impact on other people.

Ask yourself ~

How are your actions directly affecting the course of this crisis?

What do you genuinely care most about in this crisis?

Above all, please see that this situation is not about what you want or expect from life. It’s about what life is expecting from you right now. Your parents and everyone expect you to rise to the occasion; to be a part of the solution, not a part of the problem.

With that in mind, please enjoy  the topics and ideas we give you this week, I know that many of you are celebrating religious holiday that come up within it  the next week or two.

Try some of the ideas on your own, or ask your parents or sibling to enjoy them too and try to forget what is happening outside you front door.

PON blank red dividerVIRTUAL TOURS

Take a virtual trip ~ to some fun places.

How to go on an adventure without leaving your home.

https://egymonuments.gov.eg/

Jellycam at Monterey Bay Aquarium

National Aquarium

https://www.forbes.com/sites/miriamporter/2020/03/30/five-kid-friendly-virtual-museum-exhibits-in-toronto/#1fd27090577a

PON blank red divider FUN STUFF

What To Do When You’re BORED At Home! 

  • Read a book.
  • Play a board game.
  • Hunt a Killer.
  • Make a pie.
  • Prepare dinner for the family.
  • Bake bread.
  • Make a bucket list of 100 things to do in their lifetime.

More items…

Online Activities for Teenagers

If you want to be online, but are tired of the old familiar websites and apps, these ideas might fit the bill.

Upload a video to YouTube – Create a video with an app such as iMovie, then upload your masterpiece to YouTube. Grab a video of your pet doing something cute, make a short film, do a gaming tutorial or make a stop motion movie.

Musical.ly– If you haven’t downloaded this popular app yet, you’re missing out. Easily create lip-synced music videos with Musical.ly and share them with your social media circles.

pon-blank-red-divider-homeschool

Homeschool with IXL – Stay Engaged & Keep Learning – ixl.com‎

Adca.ixl.com/learn-at-home

Schools closed, worrying about getting behind check out this site 

Interactive and personalized online program.

Unlimited fun practice. Learn math,

English, science, & more. Trusted by 200,000+ parents.

pon-blank-red-divider-book-corner

Professor Owl’s Favourite Books

From the Professor Owls Book Corner Reviews

https://yohttps://youtu.be/GRoWGVbvAdcutu.be/GRoWGVbvAdc

Zero Repeat Forever

Gabrielle Prendergast

Welcome to the website of Young Adult and Middle Grade author, Gabrielle Prendergast! Here you can learn about Gabrielle’s books, read her blog posts (warning, she’s a ranter), and just generally get to know more about her. You can like Gabrielle’s Facebook Page! You can follow Gabrielle on Twitter! You can add Gabrielle’s books on…

Zero Repeat Forever an exceptional alien invasion story. It takes place after much of the world has already surrendered to the Nahx. A diverse group of teens and young adults set to serve as camp counselors have managed to evade alien detection, but now find themselves running low on food and patience. Eager for information, rescue, and fellow humans, they strike out to discover what still exists outside their corner of the forest.

The 5th Wave meets Beauty and the Beast in this fast-paced and heart-stopping novel about an invasion of murderous creatures and one girl fighting for her life at the end of the world.

e has no voice or name, only a rank, Eighth. He doesn’t know the details of the mission, only the directives that hum in his mind.

Dart the humans. Leave them where they fall.

His job is to protect his Offside. Let her do the shooting.

Until human kills her boyfriend

Sixteen-year-old Raven is at summer camp when the terrifying armored Nahx invade. Isolated in the wilderness, Raven and her fellow campers can only stay put. Await rescue. Raven does not like feeling helpless, but what choice does she have?

Then a Nahx kills her boyfriend.

Thrown together in a violent, unfamiliar world, Eighth and Raven should feel only hate and fear. But when Raven is injured, and Eighth deserts his unit, their survival comes to depend on trusting each other.

This was a fast-paced story which kept my interest to the end. I loved the characters in this novel. The interactions between Eighth and Rave are priceless and bring to light the fine line between love and hate.

Even though the book ends with a cliffhanger, I was totally pleased with this story and delighted by all the unanswered questions that were brought to light in the final pages. So many important things were resolved, the unexplored issues brought up at the end were just enough to expand an already interesting story into a myriad of new possibilities that made me reconsider everything I had read. Great stuff!

Zero Repeat Forever is a professionally  written alien invasion story filled with violence and suspense. It is also filled with an uncommon amount of empathy, love, and hope. A wonderful combination that results in a memorable read and an enthusiastic recommendation for older teens and adults.

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

 

Gabrielle Prendergast

Welcome to the website of Young Adult and Middle Grade author, Gabrielle Prendergast! Here you can learn about Gabrielle’s books, read her blog posts (warning, she’s a ranter), and just generally get to know more about her. You can like Gabrielle’s Facebook Page! You can follow Gabrielle on Twitter! You can add Gabrielle’s books on…

30 Free Printable Mother’s Day Coloring Pages

https://www.scribblefun.com/mothersdaycoloringpages
    1. Mother Bird Coloring Page: Mothers in every species have a natural sense of duty towards their …
    2. Gifts For Mom: Gifting is another custom in the celebration of this day everywhere. This gift is …
    3. Mother’s Day Celebration Coloring Page: Different countries celebrate Mother’s Day on different …
    4. Joseph’s First Mother’s Day: Joseph’s mother is usually busy with her work every weekend. But for …

“Stay safe and remember that Personal Distancing ~ and things will get better soon!”

Professor Owl’s Book Corner ~ Covid-19 Special Edition 2 ~ April 10 2020

It has been several weeks since due to the virus Covid19 people in most countries have been requested by their Governments to practice ” Personal Distancing” when  out in the streets of cities and towns.  Every one was told to stay home, wash your hands frequently no visiting family, playing sports,  going out with friends, in fact in most countries business have closed their doors and workers have been laid off or are working from home.   Hospitals, Senior Homes, Stores and other businesses that are are essential businesses like buses, transport drivers also doctors, nurses, caregivers, police and firemen, some who deal with people in stores,  are wearing masks; in every else MUST stay at home and if you have to shop get it over quickly and get back home as soon as you can. In most countries, schools are closed, and most young people miss their friends and family that do not live close by.

Parks and playground are closed so as not to spread the virus and if you do walk on the streets to keep personal distancing in mind keep  6ft or 2 meters away from other people all this will help us get back to normal quicker, and as the Mayor of my city recently said it is OK  not to be Ok, there are phone lines where children and adults can call for assurance, ask questions and just tell them how and why you are worried.

All this makes it very hard on families especially parents, who may have some have financial problems if their hours have been cut, some are very anxious about their children getting the Covid-19 or their parents in a nursing home or family who live a distance away.

Teenagers and young adults are just not made for isolation which makes COVID-19 especially hard on you. First,you must try to see the big picture and how it can affect your family. Everywhere parents are worried about getting their son or daughter into a safe place.

Social isolation is hard for humans of all ages. But because you are teenagers or young adult you are more attuned to social status than the rest of us, it is even more profoundly distressing for you.

You are generally so attuned to social status you may get touchy about whether, or not your parents are treating you like a child, when they insist that you stay home in sheltered place.

By acting like competent young adults rather than little kid you can contribute to your household in meaningful ways. By helping with meal preparation and household cleaning. Keeping conflict low amid tight quarters is a meaningful contribution.

Planning fun activities for the family to do together might be the most essential contribution of all!

By managing yourself, schoolwork, and other responsibilities without being nagged or cajoled does not mean that you won’t be engaged with them. It does mean however, that they will probably give you space to operate freely within the limits agreed to as a family.

Acknowledge that all of this is so hard. Many students coming home from school are experiencing significant losses right now. Your feelings of grief, anxiety, stress, and isolation are hard to cope with. One of the great lessons of adulthood is that they can do hard things  ~ So can you!

You can also tap into your high attunement to the social world by emphasizing how your lives do have a purpose, meaning, and impact on other people.

Ask yourself ~

How are your actions directly affecting the course of this crisis?

What do you genuinely care most about in this crisis?

Above all, please see that this situation is not about what you want or expect from life. It’s about what life is expecting from you right now. Your parents and everyone expect you to rise to the occasion; to be a part of the solution, not a part of the problem.

With that in mind, please enjoy  the topics and ideas we give you this week, I know that many of you are celebrating religious holiday that come up within it  the next week or two.

Try some of the ideas on your own, or ask your parents or sibling to enjoy them too and try to forget what is happening outside you front door.

PON blank red dividerVIRTUAL TOURS

Take a virtual trip ~ to some fun places.

How to go on an adventure without leaving your home.

Jellycam at Monterey Bay Aquarium

National Aquarium

https://www.forbes.com/sites/miriamporter/2020/03/30/five-kid-friendly-virtual-museum-exhibits-in-toronto/#1fd27090577a

PON blank red divider FUN STUFF

What To Do When You’re BORED At Home! 

  • Read a book.
  • Play a board game.
  • Hunt a Killer.
  • Make a pie.
  • Prepare dinner for the family.
  • Bake bread.
  • Make a bucket list of 100 things to do in their lifetime.

More items…

Online Activities for Teenagers

If you want to be online, but are tired of the old familiar websites and apps, these ideas might fit the bill.

Upload a video to YouTube – Create a video with an app such as iMovie, then upload your masterpiece to YouTube. Grab a video of your pet doing something cute, make a short film, do a gaming tutorial or make a stop motion movie.

Musical.ly– If you haven’t downloaded this popular app yet, you’re missing out. Easily create lip-synced music videos with Musical.ly and share them with your social media circles.

pon-blank-red-divider-homeschool

Homeschool with IXL – Stay Engaged & Keep Learning – ixl.com‎

Adca.ixl.com/learn-at-home

Schools closed, worrying about getting behind check out this site 

Interactive and personalized online program.

Unlimited fun practice. Learn math,

English, science, & more. Trusted by 200,000+ parents.

 

pon-blank-red-divider-book-corner

 

Professor Owl’s Favourite Books

From the Professor Owls Book Corner Reviews

 https://yohttps://youtu.be/GRoWGVbvAdcutu.be/GRoWGVbvAdc

 Detention Land

Detention LandF

By Susan Orion

Throughout the book, Susan Orion’s writing is clear, detailed and humorous.  The author certainly got into the mind of a thirteen-year-old teen.  Rogers was a very relatable and believable character.  His thoughts and actions were reflective of the way children actually behave and think. Roger is thrown into detention constantly for his mischievous antics. I just had to solve the mystery of the disembodied voice speaking to Roger through the wall.  I found the book fun and enjoyable and could not put it down until I had finished it.

I would highly recommend this book for all ages not just the teens it was intended for.

Available from: www.amazon.com,www.amazon.ca, www.kobo.com.

Detention Land

by Susan Orion | Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
Free with Kindle Unlimited membership
Or CDN$ 6.20 to buy

 

We hope you enjoy this issue, will be back next week with some more great ideas on keeping busy while you are at home.

“Stay safe and remember that Personal Distancing ~ and things will get better soon!”

Professor Owls Book Corner ~ April 2020

Welcome to the April 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.

It seems that since our March newsletter so much has changed in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. We’re all living with fear and uncertainty and our hearts go out to all of you, especially if you have been personally affected by this horrible illness.

Professor Owl’s Book Corner is aware of the fact also that many of you are confined to your own homes and unable to visit and play with your friends. no hockey no basketball, in fact, most of you, are bored and just do not know what to do, we hope to give you some ideas.

featured-article

Covid 19 ~ Social Distancing

In this months newsletter, we will continue to bring you some great things to try and who knows perhaps you may also find a new skill.

Have a Netflix party online without having something like this to look forward to can pick a movie a day or two beforehand so you can get excited about it. Make it over the top with a treat buffet, a big introduction to the movie, and a discussion about the plot, themes, and characters afterwards. Or plan an online party with friends!

Free Online Courses

There are lots of places for free online classes. If you want something specific, learn how to code or music/painting basics or take a quick google to find something your teens are specifically interested in!

Virtual Museum Tours

Most museums are closed to help contain the virus, but you can still check them out from the comfort of your home! Check out the Louvre, The British Museum, or The Smithsonian. The Google Arts and Culture site is full of amazing artworks, artists, and history to discover.

Learn Cooking Basics

Ask a parent to teach you some basic cooking skills. Start with some easy baking essentials like cookies or cupcakes. For something practical, learn how to properly boil pasta, make a basic homemade sauce, and some meatballs. Already past that? There are always more complex and interesting things to learn in the kitchen. Check this link for some inspiration.

Yard Work

It is the season. As the snow melts, it’s time to bring out the shovels to spread it out, clean up any garbage that got buried, rake up the leaves and spruce up the lawn. Spring is a great time to learn just how much work goes into proper lawn maintenance.

Start Indoor Seeds for a Summer Garden

It’s a great time to start thinking about getting those herbs and vegetables started indoors. Teach them all about the best time of year to plant what, proper care for each individual plant, and how to handle seeds to ensure a full, luscious garden this summer. This will help you to look forward to warmer, brighter, and easier times.

Board Game Night

Back to basics: no videos, no controllers, just good old fashioned board games. Try one that might take a few tries to get the hang of, and make a tally board in your house to keep track of who’s got the most wins. Dust off the old Monopoly set, pull out Risk or order something new off Amazon. Try Codenames, Pandemic (if you can handle it), or Telestrations for some higher-level thought games that won’t get boring.

Learn a New Instrument

Have a dusty old guitar you said you’d learn to play but never did? Still, have that sax from your parents’ high school days? Maybe there’s some DJ software on your computer? If not, you can still shop online for instruments! This is a great time to set aside just a half-hour of practice a day and watch as the skill sets grow and expand your minds.

Start a Gratitude Journal

Something that has been said again and again is that a practice of gratitude, especially in trying times, can lead to a happier and calmer day-to-day life. Start every day, or end every day, by writing 3 things you’re grateful for, and then write about how you’re feeling. Learning how to deal with emotions through writing can make things much clearer and easier to manage.

 

Wise Picks

Three of Seven Books Introducing Characters

With Dyslexia or ADHD

MyNameIsBrian-f

“My Name Is Brain Brian,”

by Jeanne Betancourt.

The book tells a story about a boy named Brian who has dyslexia but does not know it. The other children at Brian’s school make fun of him because he makes many mistakes when reading aloud and while writing on the board. He thinks of himself as being dumb. His parents believe that he is just lazy. It turns out that caring teacher recognizes that he is neither. The teacher recognizes the symptoms of dyslexia and sets out to get Brian the help he needs. Brian is embarrassed that he needs the extra help in school. After Brian’s teacher begins to explain dyslexia more to him, he begins to understand that he needs the extra help not because he is dumb, but because his brain learns differently. The story offers hope; Brian is really smart he just learns differently. I strongly recommend this as a book to be shared by parents and their children

“Clementine,”

Clematinef

by Sara Pennypacker.

Clementine is lovingly quirky. For example, she states that the most beautiful names are on the labels on things in the bathroom; thus, naming her cats Fluoride, Mascara, and Laxative! There are many examples of such cleverness throughout the story. Examples include describing her Mom, who is angry, as “saying things I have never heard a TV mother say”; claiming that all the good food is round; or, stating her grown-up plans to smoke cigars, own a gorilla, and to not get married. Clearly her Dad and Mom are partly responsible for this quirkiness. Her Mom is an artist and her Dad, who is the manager of the apartment complex where they live, demonstrates his own ingenuity and imagination around the Great Pigeon Wars – in which Clementine plays a key role in bringing the peace.

Threaded throughout the story is the theme of friendship – – that is, how to deal with friendship issues, how to be a good friend, and how to accept our friends for who they are. While there are plenty of examples of funny moments in the book, this really is a story about friendship. Clementine demonstrated typical 8-year-old feelings and thoughts around friendship issues: wanting to help a friend, feelings of jealousy, being angry with a friend, and finally making amends with a friend. I thought the author did a great job of developing a hugely likeable main character in Clementine (I dare you not to fall in love with her) and providing an entertaining story about the ups and downs of friendship.

“Playing Tyler,”

Playing Tyler

by T.L. Costa

When is a game not a game?

Tyler MacCandless can’t focus, even when he takes his medication. He can’t focus on school, on his future, on a book, on much of anything other than taking care of his older brother, Brandon, who’s in rehab for heroin abuse… again.

Tyler’s dad is dead and his mom has mentally checked out. The only person he can really count on is his Civilian Air Patrol Mentor, Rick. The one thing in life it seems he doesn’t suck at is playing video games and, well, thats probably not going to get him into college.

Just when it seems like his future is on a collision course with a life sentence at McDonald’s, Rick asks him to test a video game. If his score’s high enough, it could earn him a place in flight school and win him the future he was certain that he could never have. And when he falls in love with the game’s designer, the legendary gamer Ani, Tyler thinks his life might finally be turning around.

That is, until Brandon goes MIA from rehab and Tyler and Ani discover that the game is more than it seems. Now Tyler will have to figure out what’s really going on in time to save his brother… and prevent his own future from going down in flames.

book-of-the-month

Judas Kiss:

Murphy’s Law, Book Two

Judas Kiss

by K.A. Fox (Author)

Delaney Murphy is learning what it really means to be the daughter of the Devil and that not everyone appreciates her father’s kinder, gentler side. When tragedy strikes and upsets the fragile balancing act of her life, Delaney will have to choose between the world she’s sworn to protect and the father who has changed the whole of Hell just for her.
As betrayals around her mount, she begins to question herself and those closest to her.

Cut off from her magic, Laney’s tie to humanity is fraying. She’s slipping closer and closer to giving in to the overwhelming darkness growing inside her.

Ultimately, she’ll have to confront her demons or risk losing herself entirely.

This was a great story to read. This is book number two in this series written by a new author for me to read.

Wish I had read book one however, I still really enjoyed the story, the characters and the plot, really kept me reading until it was finished. It was really well written, and I cannot wait to see what this author will write about next. I highly recommend this story to everyone who loves reading about magic and fantasy.

I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley and am voluntarily leaving a review

All books shown in this newsletter are available from www.amazon.ca, www.amazon.com, www.kobo.com and other fine book stores.

About the Author

KAFoxF

I’m a speculative fiction author with so many more stories to share. Thank you to every reader who has supported and encouraged these writing dreams – you’re the reason they came true. Keep sharing your thoughts and most of all, keep reading. Love to each of you. I promise you more worlds, more characters and more magic to get lost in very soon. https://www.imkafox.com/

writers-corner

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!


It seems that since our March newsletter so much has changed in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. We’re all living with fear and uncertainty and our hearts go out to all of you, especially if you have been personally affected by this horrible illness.
Often when I face something scary 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 choose to accept it…

Make COVID-19 a villain in a story, give him/her/it a form, big and scary or inconspicuously prowling the streets among us. Use your imagination! What I do ask is that you end the story with the villain being defeated! I do want you to describe the superhero in this story, how did they come to be, how, when, where and what was the weapon used to stop COVID in its place…


Writing Prompt~A picture is worth a thousand words…

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.” ~ George R.R. Martin

What is the last book you read? Write about what happens when you switch places with the protagonist (the main character). How would you navigate the story you just read? Would you follow the same path? What would you do differently? How would the story end with you as the main character?

Book and tea

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


It’s APRIL and CAMP NANOWRIMO STARTS 🙂

Attention all aspiring authors:

Camp-2020-Writer-Web-Badge

Have you heard of NaNoWriMo.org? Every November thousands participate in an online writing event to complete 50,000 words in just 30 days. Now they’ve made it even better, CampNaNoWriMo.org is a virtual writer’s 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’d like, including new novel drafts, revisions, poetry, scripts, and short stories. So sign up today! See you at camp!

Community Boards

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

http://www.varietyvillage.ca/covid-19-updates/

www.varietyvillage.ca/events-volunteering/events

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!

www.varietyvillage.c

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.

www.varietyvillage.ca/events-volunteering

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

https://varietyontario.ca/local-events

Access Expo – Variety Ontario

www.varietyvillage.ca/events/access-expo

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

www.varietyvillage.ca/events/access-expo

Active Living Conference – Variety Ontario

www.varietyvillage.ca/events/active-living-conference

~~~~~~

mod-logo_thumb

Events for April 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, View MODC’s latest COVID-19 updates

Cliquez ici pour voir nos dernières mises à jour au sujet du COVID-

MODC-DodgeBall2020_Vancouver_WebBanner_w500

Dodging for Dimes Vancouver

Sunday, March 1, 2020

12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Creekside Community Centre, 1 Athletes Way, Vancouver, BC
Get your corporate team or a team of friends together for this fast and fun charity tournament on Sunday, March 1, 2020 at Creekside Community Centre, 1 Athletes Way, Vancouver, and help raise money for people with physical disabilities through March of Dimes Canada.
Each player is asked to raise a minimum of $75 in pledges and there is a team registration fee of $100.

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
bbarzanjee@marchofdimes.ca

Covid 19 ~ Silver Lining ~ Greta Thunberg,#WATWB

banner-520-x120-white WATB wide

The #WATWB was created as a mission to negate the overwhelming negativity that has been present in our social media streams. For every negative news story in the world, there are plenty of positive, uplifting stories that show hope, compassion and the resiliency of everyday people who face insurmountable challenges. Our hope is to share heartwarming stories that lift the human spirit.
The last Friday of every month bloggers will share their stories led by six co-hosts, this month’s co-host will be /code>

https://nofacilities.com/ – for Dan Antion https://professorowlsbookcorner.wordpress.com/ – for Sylvia McGrath – https://www.damyantiwrites.com/ – for Damyanti Biswas – https://shilpaagarg.com/ – for Shilpa Garg – https://bwitzenhausen.wordpress.com/ – for Belinda Witzehausen

By now, you are probably sick of all the bad news COVID19 has brought world wide. Cases are rising daily, new countries going into lockdown, travel plans just not happening. So far this year is not looking very bright, is it?

However, there is no need for us to feel like the end of the world is here. Over decades our parents and grandparents have survived as we will too.

There has been  a lot of harm to many people in so many ways as the result of COVID-19. It’s a sad and serious situation.

It has, however,  also brought people together. Political parties, city officials have all worked together to help ease the financial burdens for the families in need, changing laws to help being house bound a fear of losing one job a little more bearable.

We must not forget the wonderful nurses and doctors who have worked so hard in the hospitals and of course the first responders, and it is not over yet.  I would like to extend “A special thank you to all!”

Finding the silver lining in the dark cloud can be very difficult, but one upside to the situation could be found in our skies themselves. Greenhouse gas emissions have decreased significantly and could hit their lowest in decades.   Keeping this in mind, I would like to bring your attention to a special young lady who at a young age, is trying to make a difference worldwide and I am sure she just might make a difference.

Greta Thunberg, 16, Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize …

https://people.com/human-interest/greta-thunberg-nobel-peace-prize-nomination

2019· A 16-year-old environmental activist from Sweden has been nominated for a 2019 Nobel Peace Prize, thanks to her efforts to halt climate change A 16-year-old environmental activist from Sweden …

 

Professor Owl’s Book Corner ~ Special Edition #Covid-19, March 2020

We are now reaching the end of this year’s March Break and many of you would have been going away but, because of the Convid19 Virus, most of the places you might have visited were closed down and planes were grounded.  Around the world, most people stayed home and when this week is over, most of the schools’ worldwide are still closed, for another few weeks at least.

Most children and adults worldwide have also been told to stay home and not to mix with their friends in social events, but must stay close to home as most owners of companies have closed down their businesses until the virus has stopped spreading. That means all people along with their families have been asked to participate in “social distancing” to stop the growth of this virus. This means that you and your parents cannot visit with your friends and neighbours and must stay close to home.

Professor Owl’s Book Corner would like to help you find productive and fun ways to spend your time, along with some virtual travel and fun activities, here we give you all some great ideas on how to spend your time.   Although many of you may think that is great, “NO SCHOOL!”  but for some, it can be a worrying time – how are they going to keep up with their schooling, studying for exams, etc. especially if you were set to graduate.  We are also giving some learning resources to help you keep on track.

Professor Owl’s Book Corner values learning and reading and we will try to update this information on a weekly basis until you go back to school. Take this time to learn a new craft, try to improve the school subjects you may have problems with or read all the books you want to read.

Ready, Steady Go!

Get your computer or iPad, find yourself a comfy place and “Off we go.”

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Professor Owls Favourite ~ Reads

Tunnel of Bones (City of Ghosts #2) 

Tunnel of Bones Victoria Schwab

by Victoria Schwab (Author)

Tunnel of Bones is the second book about ghost hunter/helper Cassidy Blake and her ghost friend Jacob, and although this series is intended for middle-grade readers, it’s excellent for all ages. This book has it all: History, Ghosts, Mystery and Detective work all as always just excellent storytelling and character growth, as well as a good understanding of the story the author wants to tell.

Trouble is haunting Cassidy Blake ~ even more than usual. She (plus her ghost best friend, Jacob, of course) is in Paris, where Cass’s parents are filming their TV show about the world’s most haunted cities. Sure, it’s fun eating croissants and seeing the Eiffel Tower, but there’s true ghostly danger lurking beneath Paris, in the creepy underground Catacombs. When Cass accidentally awakens a frighteningly strong spirit, she must rely on her still-growing skills as a ghosthunter — and turn to friends both old and new to help her unravel a mystery. But time is running out, and the spirit is only growing stronger.

I feel Victoria Schwab is a writing genius. Her stories, characters, settings and worlds, I can never get enough. I look forward to seeing what city Cassidy’s adventures take her to next, and the force she’s unleashes that could haunt the city forever.

This book is available from www.amazon.ca, www.amazon.com, www.kobo.com and other fine bookstores.

If you do not have an eReader, you can download both or either Kobo, Kindle Desktop App. (See below)

Kobo Desktop Free Download for Windows 10, 7, 8/8.1 (64 ...     

https://qpdownload.com/kobo-desktop

The Kobo Desktop Application lets you read, build a digital library and shop for eBooks on your eReaders, iPads, computers or laptops.

All you have to do is download the desktop application and install it on your computer – they support both Windows and Macintosh operating systems.

They also have some free books to download.   See below:-

Amazon Kindle – Apps on Google Play

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.amazon.kindle

Download free eBook’s for Kindle from these 12 sites

https://ebookfriendly.com/download-free-kindle-books

The best way to get free books is to go to “Bestsellers in Kindle Store” and pick up “Top 100 Free”. You will be able to see the most popular free titles in their Store. The list is being updated a couple of times a day, so it picks the hottest free titles that are currently available.

Google Play Books – Looking for free books?

https://play.google.com/google-play/books

This interesting article from Thrillest.com talks about using the Libby app to access Thousands of Ebooks, Magazines, Comic Books & Audiobooks for Free.

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COVID-19 – Coalition for Responsible Home Education

https://responsiblehomeschooling.org/covid

Homeschooling Through COVID19 The Coalition for Responsible Home Education is offering resources to help families navigate your education through this pandemic. On this page, you’ll find links to our recommendations for utilizing the time in the interim between school closures and resources for getting started if homeschooling through the end of the year (or longer) might be …

 COVID-19 & Homeschooling – Confessions of a Homeschooler

 https://www.confessionsofahomeschooler.com/blog/2020/03/covid-19-homeschooling.html

The spread of COVID19 is an uncertain time for everyone. Showing some grace towards each other will go a long way towards making you feel comfortable and secure. Switching to online or homeschool because of school closures can also be a weird transition, so sticking to a routine and allowing yourself a little time for recreation can go a long way in helping you get caught up on what you have missed or want to check out what you have already learned.

Homeschool Canada – Learning Resources for Canadian …

https://homeschoolcanada.ca

Shop our extensive catalog of homeschooling resources at Homeschool Canada. Great selection, great prices, hassle-free shipping. Start Shopping. For Schools & Educators. Resources & Curriculum picks for Schools and Educators. Browse our library of school resources, available in bulk quantities.

 Free Homeschool: No-Cost Homeschool Resources

https://www.thoughtco.com/free-homeschool-resources-4151635

2020-03-13 · Learn how to homeschool for free (or almost free) and how to make the most of inexpensive and free homeschool resources. … Easy Peasy All-in-One Homeschool is a free online resource created by homeschooling parents for homeschooling parents. It contains a full homeschool curriculum from a Christian worldview for grades K-12.

 Over 50 Valuable ESL & ELL Student Resources

https://www.accreditedschoolsonline.org/resources/esl-ell-resources-for-teachers...

How Parents Help Their ESL Children Learn English. Your Dictionary offers a range of tips for helping children at home. Memidex. An easy-to-use, free online dictionary and thesaurus for quickly looking up English words. Parent Teacher Association Resources in Spanish. The PTA provides Spanish translations of all their resources and parent guides.

Free Online Courses and Education – Study.com

https://study.com/article_directory/Free_Online_Courses_and_Education.html

See our list of the top free online resources for reading and adult literacy. … are available to find the school and courses that are right for you. … Courses and Classes. With help from this …

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  Images of Colouring Pages For And Young Adults

  Adult Coloring Pages · Download and Print for Free …

https://www.justcolor.net

COLOURING PAGES FOR ADULTS. Discover our 1,500+ Free Adult Coloring pages to download in PDF or to print: various themes, artists, difficulty levels and styles.

  Free colouring pages for adults and teenagers

www.coloringpagesforadult.com

Colouring pages for adultsteenagers and kids. The first and only site that collects thousands of quality, hard to find artistic designs, for those who have a passion for drawing and art in general. A constantly updated collection of colouring pages and artistic styles.

  Free Adult Coloring Pages: Detailed Printable Coloring …

https://www.art-is-fun.com/free-adult-coloring-pages

The colouring pages below are bonus pages that don’t appear in my Abstract Patterns Coloring Pages eBook, but are similar in style and detail: Free Mandala Coloring Pages These adult colouring pages are free samples from my Mandala Coloring Pages eBook, which you can download instantly for $8 and print on a variety of interesting paper types.

  Colouring Pages for Adults | Super Coloring

www.supercoloring.com/collections/coloring-pages-for-adults

Coloring Pages for Adults Coloring pages are no longer just for children. Indeed, colouring books are selling well in the adult market. Here, one might ask why grown-up men and women are so keen to colour mandalas, zen tangles, animals, famous paintings, sugar skulls, patterns, doodles, and other intricate coloring images.

Inca Empire Coloring Pages Lesson Plans & Worksheets

https://www.lessonplanet.com

PON blank red dividerVIRTUAL TOURS

World Famous Art Galleries and Museum.

World Famous Museums

World Famous Art Galleries

PON blank red divider FUN STUFF

Activities for Teens and -young-adults

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We hope you will find something that you like in this special edition ~ Please write to Professor Owl, let us know what you think, like best and give us any ideas on things you would like to see.

Watch for next weeks issue next Thursday, March 25th, and every week until June 2020.

Professor Owls Book Corner March 2020

Welcome to the March 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.

featured-article

Understanding Learning Challenges

By Sylvia W. McGrath

A learning difficulty is a condition that can cause an individual to experience problems in a traditional classroom learning setting. It can interfere with literacy skills development and math it might also affect memory and the capability to concentrate and organizational skills. When a child or adult has a learning difficulty they may need extra time to complete assignments at school and can often benefit from another approach for instruction and classroom accommodations, such as material delivered in special fonts or the ability to use a computer to take notes.

No two individuals with a learning difficulty are exactly alike and many conditions, such as dyslexia, attention deficit disorder, attention deficit hyperactive disorder, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia, exist on a wide spectrum. There is also dyspraxia, a motor-skills difficulty that can affect a learner’s ability to write by hand and may impact on planning skills. It’s not uncommon for learning difficulties and motor-skills difficulties can occur together. For example, dyslexia and dyspraxia, or ADD/ADHD and dyspraxia can occur at the same time.

Learning difficulties are sometimes referred to as learning disabilities. A person with a learning difficulty may view him or herself as a failure. The word disability implies a person is less able than his or her peers. It can also suggest they are in an ongoing position of being handicapped and causes them to lose confidence.

You may also encounter the terms of learning differences or specific learning differences. The differences between these labels can seem subtle but may have implications on how an individual with a learning difficulty now sees themselves in a different light.

The word learning difference takes the opposite approach in underscoring that a person simply learns in a different way from others. They are not disabled, it’s just that their brains work differently. The term learning difficulty falls somewhere in-between, describing the added challenges an individual might face in a typical school environment, but also suggesting that these challenges are difficulties that can be overcome.

1. Dyslexia:

Dyslexia is one of the most common learning difficulties ~ also known as learning disabilities, in the US. There are different types of dyslexia but the most common type is phonological dyslexia which affects the way people break words down into their component parts.

This has resulted in decoding reading and can also cause spelling and writing difficulties. As reading and writing are central to most school curriculum’s, children with undiagnosed dyslexia can quickly fall behind their peers as they experience problems with note-taking, reading, homework, writing assignments and assessments.
Dyslexia is not associated with lower intelligence, but language difficulties can cause children to believe they are less intelligent than their peers and result in low-confidence and a poor self-image.

  • Some common signs of dyslexia include problems reading out loud.
  •  Inconsistent spelling, a student may be able to spell a word one day and not the next.
  • Losing one’s place on a page.
  • A poor grasp of phonics,
  • Letter reversals.
  • Halted writing due to trouble with spelling.
  • Vocabulary that’s more limited in range

2. Attention difficulties

Attention deficit disorder (ADD) and attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) at one time were grouped under the umbrella term of ADD. However, in recent years it is ADHD that has become the general label for attention difficulties, both with and without hyperactivity.

  • ADHD with hyperactivity is often characterized by difficulties maintaining focus over extended periods.
  • Children with ADHD can have poor impulse control, they can be fidgety, and produce messy written work. They are often easier to pick out in a classroom than a student who has ADD without hyperactivity, as in the case of the latter a learner may not call any attention to themselves.
  • A learner with ADD may appear to be paying attention and thus the learning difficulty can go unnoticed until it results in incomplete assignments and poor performance on tests. In certain instances, a child may even be told they are just not trying hard enough.
  • Reading comprehension, staying on task, following directions, completing extended projects, and organization can all be problematic.

3. Dysgraphia

  • Children who struggle with dysgraphia have a hard time with writing and may produce text that is unreadable.
  • Writing can be difficult, taking a long time to complete and causing frustration and stress.
  • The spatial orientation and planning aspects of writing can be particularly challenging for people with dysgraphia. This includes planning the white spaces between letters and words, writing in a straight line and lines of text that are vertically spaced.
  • Staying in the margins, using punctuation and choosing between capital and lowercase letters may also be hard.
  • Letter formation itself might be difficult and typing on the computer is often a suggested accommodation at school.
  • Children with dysgraphia are often eager to avoid handwriting, particularly in front of their peers.
  • They may feel embarrassed when writing on the board, produce less text than is necessary for written assignments and can generally perform poorly on assessments that require written answers.

4. Dyscalculia

As opposed to dyslexia and dysgraphia which are both language-based learning difficulties, dyscalculia has to do with processing numbers.

  • Children with dyscalculia can have trouble performing simple arithmetic.
  • They may not know how to approach a math problem sometimes
  • At times the spatial part of balancing equations is tricky, as well as grouping numbers and performing the right order of operations.
  • Even counting can be a struggle and it is often recommended that individuals with dyscalculia be allowed to use a calculator to support their learning.
  • When dyslexia and dyscalculia are present together, reading word problems is made more difficult, and number reversals may be frequent.
  • This can introduce errors into the work and cause a student to get the wrong answer.
  • Dysgraphia and dyscalculia together mean a child often finds showing math worked in long-form particularly difficult to complete.
  • Writing math symbols may be near impossible, as can certain spatial or graph-oriented aspects of math.
  • Lastly, in dyspraxia and dyscalculia, getting steps in the right order can be a problem.

5. Dyspraxia

  • While not always grouped under the learning difficulties/ learning disabilities header, dyspraxia is a motor skill difficulty that can also impact on academic success.
  • That’s because it affects the planning and coordination of muscles, including those of the hand.
  • As gripping the pen or pencil in written language production is painful, writing may contain more spelling errors and less text as a result.
  • In cases of verbal dyspraxia/ apraxia of speech, the muscles of the face, mouth, and throat are affected, limiting spoken language production.
  • People with dyspraxia may also walk with a funny gait, have trouble using a paintbrush in art class, experience difficulties playing a musical instrument, and performing coordinated movements in sports.
  • They can be clumsy and might also struggle with organization and tasks that involve planning.
  • In addition, some students may present with processing issues.
  • Slow processing can mean a child requires more time to complete school assignments and additional exposures are needed to bring information into working memory.
  • Expressive and receptive language disorder and apraxia of speech are also language-based difficulties that cause issues with comprehension and spoken language production.

When a learning difficulty is suspected, it’s typically recommended that an individual be screened. This is done using a short and sometimes online assessment tool that can indicate whether more testing is recommended. If dyslexia, dysgraphia, ADHD or dyscalculia are suspected, comprehensive testing can be performed by an educational psychologist, or in some cases a speech and language therapist.

The reason for this is no two people with a learning difficulty struggle with the same set or severity of symptoms and thus it’s important to understand where strengths and problem areas lie in order to provide the best strategy training and accommodations

Accommodations and technology:

It’s often recommended that individuals who struggle with specific learning and motor skills difficulties be allowed to use a computer to complete schoolwork. One reason for this is typing takes care of many of the presentation aspects of writing, from letter formation to spacing and neatness.
For individuals who struggle with language-based difficulties, learning to touch-type also helps to encode a word as a series of muscle movements in the fingers, which supports spelling skills. Additionally, writing on a device opens up access to auto-complete, predictive text, and spell-checkers. It is also easier and less painful for students with dysgraphia and dyspraxia to type rather than write by hand try Touch-type Read and Spell
However, learning to type may not be as easy for students with learning difficulties as it is for their peers. Typing programs that emphasize speed over accuracy put pressure on students to perform in timed lessons. They also may not offer accessible displays, which can lead to more frustration and lower confidence.
TTRS Touch-type Read and Spell were developed to help individuals with learning difficulties master typing so they can access technology and avoid handwriting at work or at school. At the same time, it was designed to help strengthen literacy skills. The program takes a dyslexia-friendly Orton-Gillingham based approach which is multi-sensory.

LEARN MORE:
Students hear the words, see them on screen and type them out, which helps to reinforce learning in memory. Lessons are broken down into bite-sized modules so they can be repeated as many times as is necessary and every student can learn at his or her own pace. Additionally, the words presented follow a program of English phonics, so students enhance decoding, sight-reading and spelling skills as they progress.
TTRS ~ Touch-type Read and Spell are accuracy-based, which means students must correct mistakes in order to move on. It’s a learning program that builds confidence gradually as learners repeat modules and improve their skills.
Learning typing not only makes it easier for individuals with learning difficulties to access other tools and online programs, but it builds confidence and self-esteem too!
If you liked this post, have a read through these articles on developing spelling skills, encouraging students with learning difficulties and what motivates students to learn. Keep following Professor Owl for more articles like this and suggested ways to improvements your reading and writing skills. Write to Professorowl@outlook.com to answer your questions and get more information.

Wise Picks

Three of Seven Books Introducing Characters

With Dyslexia or ADHD

The Lightning Thief

The Lightning Thief-F

By Rick Riordan

That was so great about me? A dyslexic, hyperactive boy with a D+ report card, kicked out of school for the sixth time in six years.” That’s what 12-year old Percy used to think. But that was before he discovered his true identity ~ as a demigod, throws a modern-day twist into ancient Greek mythology. And this popular, action-packed adventure story helps kids rethink their own abilities. Plus, there’s a movie version that could help spark the interest of reluctant readers.

Typically recommended for kids: Ages 9+

Fish in a Tree

Fishtreef

by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

In Fish in a Tree, a sixth grader Ally Nickerson is clever at hiding her reading and writing issues. How? She acts out in class and creates distractions, so people won’t figure out what’s really going on. But with the help of her teacher, Mr. Daniels, Ally discovers that she has dyslexia. She gets the support she needs, and her self-confidence skyrockets. This New York Times best-seller sends kids an uplifting message as Ally begins to recognize her own strengths.

 Recommended kids: Ages 10+

“My Name Is Brain Brian”

MyNameIsBrian-f

by Jeanne Betancourt

Brian thinks he’s dumb. It doesn’t help that kids laugh when he reads aloud and writes on the board at school. But Brian’s sixth-grade teacher notices him reversing the letters of his name. That makes her suspect he has dyslexia—and she’s right. With more help from his school, Brian finally comes to realize that he’s a smart kid who learns differently. My Name Is Brain Brian reinforces the idea that kids can learn to work around their issues and achieve their goals.

Recommended for kids: Ages 8–12

In books, the most compelling characters often remind us of ourselves. These great reads may resonate with kids with dyslexia or ADHD. That’s because the heroes in these books share those challenges—and the triumphs that come with them.

In these books, the most interesting characters often remind us of ourselves. These great reads may resonate with kids with dyslexia or ADHD. That’s because the heroes in these books share those challenges—and the triumphs that come with them.

Check next months newsletter for another four books in this group. we will also try to bring you more of these great books and video’s

book-of-the-month

This months book is not a new book release, it was published a few years ago.  I really enjoyed reading this book so much, that I just had to share with our readers in the Book Corner .

City of Ghosts

City of Ghostsf

by Victoria Schwab (Author)

From #1 NYT bestselling author Victoria Schwab comes a sweeping, spooky, evocative adventure, perfect for fans of “Stranger Things” and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.

Ever since Cass almost drowned (okay, she did drown, but she doesn’t like to think about it), she can pull back the Veil that separates the living from the dead . . . and enter the world of spirits. Her best friend is even a ghost.

So things are already rather strange. But they’re about to get much stranger.

When Cass’s parents start hosting a TV show about the world’s most haunted places, the family heads off to Edinburgh, Scotland. Here, graveyards, castles, and secret passageways teem with restless phantoms. When Cass meets a girl, who shares her “gift,” she realizes how much she still needs to learn about the Veil — and herself.  She will have to learn fast. The city of ghosts is more dangerous than she ever imagined.

This book was a really great read, I enjoyed it more as I know Edinburgh very well, I lived outside of the city when I was in my teens and I could actually visualize the streets and buildings as described in the book.

Even though this is a middle grade book it would appeal to all ages.  I will give this book five stars, the writing is very good, the characters and plot were well thought out.  It was such a good read, I was unable to put the book down until I had finished reading to the very last page.

I understand that there may be more books in this series, if so I will be on the way to a good binge read, looking forward to reading them and the other books written by Victoria Schwab.

This books and others by this author can be purchase from www.amazon.com, www.amazon.ca, www.Kobo.com  and other fine book stores and of course your Local Libraries.

  About the Author

Victoria schwab 2

Victoria “V.E.” Schwab is the #1 NYT, USA, and Indie bestselling author of more than a dozen books, including Vicious, the Shades of Magic series, and This Savage Song. Her work has received critical acclaim, been featured by EW and The New York Times, been translated into more than a dozen languages, and been optioned for TV and Film. The Independent calls her the “natural successor to Diana Wynne Jones” and touts her “enviable, almost Gaimanesque ability to switch between styles, genres, and tones.”

She is represented by Holly Root at Root Literary and Jon Cassir at CAA.

All appearance and publicity inquiries should be directed to her PR rep, Kristin Dwyer, at: kdwyer@leoprny.com

writers-corner

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! 


“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” ~ Anne Frank

Stone Angel

Write about what you can do at this very moment to make a positive difference in someone’s life.  Will you donate time, objects or money to a charity? Will you do something to help out a friend, neighbour or complete stranger? Reflect and write! 🙂


 Writing Prompt~A picture is worth a thousand words…

Tulip

“That is one good thing about this world…there are always sure to be more springs.” ~L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Avonlea

Spring is in the air! Using your five senses write about what sights, sounds etc. you enjoy most about the spring season?

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


A Young Writer’s Guide to Creating Characters

Fountain Pen

Uninteresting or two-dimensional characters are the make or break issue for me when reading a novel.  If I can’t relate to the characters, can I care enough to read the remainder of their story?  As a writer, you will also have to like your character and want to get to know them.  Face it you will be investing a great deal of your time with them over the length of writing the story. Try to infuse your characters with a little bit of yourself, your interests, hopes, dreams, fears…, an old saying is “write what you know” which can be expressed through your characters. Here are some other simple steps to make your characters come to life.

Motivate your character to move through your plot, you must give your character a goal or mission and one that is important enough to drive them through the story.  What is it they want? What do they need? What do they fear, or hope will happen to them? Make sure to also give them obstacles to overcome.

Make them real, humans are inherently flawed beings; we aren’t perfect each of us has both positive and negative traits. Create “real” characters, fill them with insecurities, make them get angry, give them quirks and opinions, let them cry.  The trick is to remember to balance both the good and the bad.

Give them consequences if they don’t reach their goal. What will happen if they don’t meet their goal or mission? Will someone else suffer? Will they suffer? How will they feel?  Make sure they care about what happens if they can’t fulfil their mission add a sense of urgency.

Make each character unique both in personality, voice and physical description. By creating details about their style of dress, gait (the way they walk), physical mannerisms, emotions as well as their story backgrounds.  Too many similar characters will be confusing for both you, as the writer and the reader.

Your characters shouldn’t know everything about what is happening.  As is true with real life, not everyone has all the answers, keep your characters guessing as well as the reader. The reader will have to find out alongside the characters.

Avoid falling into lazy stereotypes when writing a character, which most of the time are completely inaccurate and even worse incredibly offensive.

Show don’t tell applies to your characters as well don’t say they were angry or sad, show it through their actions and interactions with others.

Community Boards

variety-village2

www.varietyvillage.ca/events-volunteering/events

  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!

    No events schedule for March, 2020.    

www.varietyvillage.c

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.

www.varietyvillage.ca/events-volunteering

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

https://varietyontario.ca/local-events

 Access Expo – Variety Ontario

www.varietyvillage.ca/events/access-expo

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

www.varietyvillage.ca/events/access-expo

Active Living Conference – Variety Ontario

www.varietyvillage.ca/events/active-living-conference

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mod-logo_thumb

Events for March 2020

MODC-DodgeBall2020_Vancouver_WebBanner_w500

Dodging for Dimes Vancouver

Sunday, March 1, 2020

12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Creekside Community Centre, 1 Athletes Way, Vancouver, BC​

Get your corporate team or a team of friends together for this fast and fun charity tournament on Sunday, March 1, 2020 at Creekside Community Centre, 1 Athletes Way, Vancouver, and help raise money for people with physical disabilities through March of Dimes Canada.

Each player is asked to raise a minimum of $75 in pledges and there is a team registration fee of $100.

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 affliate of March of Dimes Canada
Visit www.marchofdimes.ca/DodgeballVancouver for more details. 

​​​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
​bbarzanjee@marchofdimes.ca​​

Beating The Odds#WATWB

banner-520-x120-white WATB wide

The #WATWB was created as a mission to negate the overwhelming negativity that has been present in our social media streams. For every negative news story in the world, there are plenty of positive, uplifting stories that show hope, compassion and the resiliency of everyday people who face insurmountable challenges. Our hope is to share heartwarming stories that lift the human spirit.
The last Friday of every month bloggers will share their stories led by six co-hosts, this month’s co-host will be /code>

Sylvia McGrath, Peter Nena Shilpa Garg, Eric Lahti and myself, Belinda McGrath Witzenhausen.

Professor Owls Book Corner always loves to tell you about young people who have "Beaten All The Odds" and are now following their dreams. To day we show you below some great stories of some young people that did just that.

Special Olympics World Games 2019 Inspirational #WATWB

The #WATWB was created as a mission to negate the overwhelming negativity that has been present in our social media streams. For every negative news story in the world, there are plenty of positive, uplifting stories that show hope, compassion and the resiliency of everyday people who face insurmountable challenges. Our hope is to share heartwarming stories that lift the human spirit.
The last Friday of every month bloggers will share their stories led by six co-hosts, this month’s co-host will be:

Damyanti Biswas – https://www.damyantiwrites.com/
Lizbeth Hartz – https://authorlizbethhartz.com/blog
Shilpa Garg – http://shilpaagarg.com/
Mary Giese https://maryjmelange.wordpress.com/
and Sylvia Stein – https://ssteinwriting.wordpress.co

The 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games were a special olympics multi-sport event for athletes with intellectual disabilities in the tradition of the Special Olympics movement. It was held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates from March 14–21, 2019. ESPN offered international coverage of the games.
The 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games was the first Special Olympics games to take place in the Middle Eastand the largest sports and humanitarian event recorded, featuring 200 nations, more than previously.

Now we are in 2020 and our thoughts turn to this years  Special Winter Olympics in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada.

Professor Owl’s Book Corner ~ Book of the week ~ January 29th., 2020

When We Were Vikings

by Andrew David MacDonald

When we were Vikingsf

A heart-swelling debut for fans of The Silver Linings Playbook and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

Sometimes life isn’t as simple as heroes and villains.

For Zelda, a twenty-one-year-old Viking enthusiast who lives with her older brother, Gert, life is best lived with some basic rules:

1. A smile means “thank you for doing something small that I liked.”
2. Fist bumps and dabs = respect.
3. Strange people are not appreciated in her home.
4. Tomatoes must go in the middle of the sandwich and not get the bread wet.
5. Sometimes the most important things don’t fit on lists.

But when Zelda, a grown woman who suffers from Fetal Alcohol Syndrome finds out that Gert has resorted to some questionable—and dangerous—methods to make enough money to keep them afloat, Zelda decides to launch her own quest. Her mission: to be legendary. It isn’t long before Zelda finds herself in a battle that tests the reach of her heroism, her love for her brother, and the depth of her Viking strength.

When We Were Vikings is an uplifting debut about an unlikely heroine whose journey will leave you wanting to embark on a quest of your own, because after all…

We are all legends of our own making.
I have read quiet a few books this past year, this one was certainly one of the best, an eye-opening and heart warming story of a young woman with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome who starts a journey on a quest to gain her independence and protect what is left of her family. This book really held my attention right to the end. it was a wonderful story, well written with great yet different characters. As a debut story written by Andrew David MacDonald, I am sure this won’t be his last great book. He is an author I will certainly follow in the future.
I would like to thank NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this great book and a wonderful read.

About the Author

Andrew David MacDonald grew up in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. He won a Western Magazine Award for Fiction, was shortlisted for the Canadian National Magazine Award for Fiction, and his work has been anthologized in four volumes of The Journey Prize Stories, collecting the year’s best Canadian stories from emerging writers. He has an MFA from the Program for Poets and Writers at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

Available from www.amazon.com, www.amazon.ca, www.kobo.com and other fine book stores.

 

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Professor Owl’s Book Corner ~ February 2020 Edition

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY

TO ALL OF OUR READERS

IMG_2489 HAPPY VALENTINES DAY

Welcome to the February 2020  Edition 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 focused on YA/New Adult reading and literacy. We will be featuring tips from a certified literacy tutor to help make your reading experience the best it can be.

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

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

Health Promotion Dates ~ February 2020.

  •    Psychology Month
  •    Recreation Therapy Month
  •    World Cancer  (February 4th. *)
  •    International Child Hood (February 15th.)
  •    Pink Shirt Day (February 27th.*)
  •    Rare Disease Month.

          ” Days marked with * take place on the same day every year.”

      

Pink Shirt Day

Pink Shirt for bullyjng-f

What is Pink Shirt Day?:

Pink Shirt Day is celebrated on the last Wednesday in February ~ When people wear mainly a  pink shirt to symbolize a stand against bullying, an idea that originated in Nova Scotia in Canada.

United Nations declared the official day as May 4th.  However,  some countries prefer to prefer to celebrate it in February which is recognized by many different countries.

Wise Picks

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Canada celebrates Family Literacy Day – Canada.ca 

~ February 27th.,2020

https://www.canada.ca/…/01/canada-celebrates-family-literacy-day.html

“Every year, thousands of Canadians participate in Family Literacy Day activities across the country. Family Literacy Day is a great way to rally Canadian communities and help raise awareness for the benefits of adults and children reading and learning together, said Margaret Eaton, President, ABC CANADA Literacy Foundation. “Only 15 minutes of family reading a day helps a parent and a child …

Word Lists Vowelsf 2

book-of-the-month

The Woodlands (The Woodlands Series Book 1)

by Lauren Nicolle Taylor (Author)

The Woodland

The book of the month for February is not a new book, it has been out for a few years. I found it on an version of the desktop reader on my old laptop and found that I had not read it yet.

It was one of the most enjoyable books I have read in a while, and I found it so captivating that it was hard to put down until I had reached the last page. I was pleased also to see that this book is part of a series which I am happy to say I will be reading in the near future, and will be sharing my reviews in later newsletters.

It is set in the last livable spot on Earth, yet it is the only home Rosa and Joseph have ever known and now they needed to escape, or Rosa will be stuck forever in a terrible government program.  “In a future of a society bereaved of reason” this book is a page-turner with over 750 five-star ratings on Goodreads. The Woodlands Series is perfect for fans of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, The Divergent Series by Veronica Roth, and The Jewel Series by Amy Ewing.

Rosa never thought she’d make it to sixteen…

When being unique puts you in danger and speaking your mind can be punishable by death, you might find yourself fighting to survive. Sixteen-year-old Rosa lives in one of the eight enclosed cities of The Woodlands. Where the lone survivors of a devastating race war have settled in the Russian wilderness because it’s the only scrap of land left habitable on the planet. In these circular cities, everyone must abide by the law or face harsh punishment. Rosa’s inability to conform and obey the rules brands her a leper and no one wants to be within two feet of her until she meets Joseph. He’s blonde, fair-skinned, green-eyed, and the laid-back complete opposite of Rosa. She’s never met anyone quite like him, and she knows that spells danger.

But differences weren’t always a bad thing. People used to think being unique was one of the most treasured traits to have. Now, the Superiors, who ruthlessly control the concrete cities with an iron fist, are obsessed with creating a ‘raceless’ race. They are convinced this is the only way to avoid another war. Any anomalies must be destroyed.

The Superiors are unstoppable and can do anything they want. After all, they are considered superheroes by the general public. But not everyone sees them this way. When they continue to abuse their power by collecting young girls for use in their secret, high-tech breeding program, they have no idea that one of those girls has somehow managed to make friends even she didn’t know she had. And one man will stop

About the Author

Lauaren Nicolle Taylorf

Lauren Nicolle Taylor is the bestselling author of THE WOODLANDS SERIES and the award-winning YA novel NORA & KETTLE (Gold medal Winner for Multicultural fiction, Independent Publishers Book Awards 2017). NORA & KETTLE received a starred review from Booklist magazine. She has a Health Science degree and an honors degree in Obstetrics and Gynecology.  She is, A full-time writer, hapa and artist, Lauren lives in the tucked away, Adelaide hills with her husband and three children. She mostly posts updates on Instagram @laurennicolletaylor:
Books are available from www.amazon.ca, www.amazon.com, www.kobo.com, and other fine book stores and your local Libraries

writers-corner

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!

“Let’s just say that if these scientists had been using their brilliance for good instead of evil, cars would run off water vapor and leave fresh compost behind them; no one would be hungry; no one would be ill; all buildings would be earthquake-, bomb-, and flood-proof; and the world’s entire economy would have collapsed and been replaced by one based on the value of chocolate. ” ~ James Patterson

As writers, we get to create characters and build little worlds for them to live in.  Sometimes we are kind and other times we create a cruel, often unpredictable world to help add a dimension to our story.  What if you could create your OWN world to live in? Would you create a perfect paradise or a world created with a balance of both good and bad? Describe it in detail. What would you do differently in your world? What would the currency be; money, time, kind deeds or like Mr. Patterson, my personal favorite chocolate?  Get creative, reflect, write and most of all, have fun!

Write, be creative and most of all HAVE FUN! 

 Writing Prompt~A picture is worth a thousand words…

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I love taking walks in the woods and often I find things that seem a little out of place. Write about what happens when you stumble across a magical stone in the woods.

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

 


A Young Writer’s Guide to Worldbuilding 

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One thing I enjoy about writing fantasy or urban fantasy is you get to take your writing to a new level by breaking rules, creating your own rules and essentially adding new and unique settings that only enhance your protagonists’ journey. Worldbuilding is a valuable tool to have in any fantasy writer’s toolbox and it’s perhaps one of the things I love about the genre.

J.R.R. Tolkien and J.K. Rowling are perhaps two perfect examples of the importance of detailed and intriguing settings for our characters.  What comes to mind when you hear the term “Worldbuilding”? Worldbuilding, as an author, gives you another opportunity to take your stories to the next level. When creating a world for your story you have the power to shape the world any way you want it. What will your world look like? In what way is your world different is it from the one we live in now? What bizarre and magical creatures will inhabit it? What will its civilization be like? What do they value? Do they breathe oxygen or another substance?  What is the native language? Are they peaceful or built for battle? What is the currency? There is so much to consider before assembling your new world…but the caveat is whatever characteristics you choose for your world have to be believable, engaging and help the reader paint a mental image that they can easily immerse themselves in.  If done well the world you build will often become a character in itself.

Here are a few tips to get you started…

Create a brief list of what your world will need. Here are a few things to consider…

    • Where will the key action in your story happen? A castle, an underground city, another dimension?
    • What is outside your main setting? What does your world consist of? Are there other cities, countries, continents or even planets where your story might visit?
    • Who inhabits your world?  What about those that live there, were they all born there or have they migrated from another world?  Are there clashes between cultures or classes? What communities would one find? Are there creative arts in the cultures, I.e. music, art, books, etc. ?
    • What are the physical features of your world? Does your world have vegetation or is it made of rock? Does your world support all life forms or are certain characters required to consider atmospheric conditions?
    • What will you call your world?  Is the name believable? Does the “Machaerophorus Clan” sound more intimidating and mysterious than the “Purple People Eaters”?

Create a believable yet vibrant and contrasting world… 

Every country and city I’ve visited, don’t always have a uniform dynamic.  There are rich areas, poor areas, high crime areas, and family-friendly areas. Try to figure out what different contrasts you might want to create in your world. How could these contrasts best benefit your story? Make sure your world serves its purpose in your story. Think long and hard whether you need pages to describe what a building looks like if it’s not a main feature in your story.  Could conflict in an area bring by a conflict with your characters?

Create a world that evokes an atmosphere to enhance your story… Does the setting suit the scene by accentuating a mood?  Does a young child walking down a flower-lined walkway on a sunny afternoon provoke the same reaction as a young child walking through a dark forest on a stormy night?  Amp up your reader’s experience by creating details that create an atmosphere that will enhance your scenes giving them another layer.

Keep all of your reader’s senses engaged…  Don’t just give your reader the visual details, what does your world smell like? Does it smell like the sea or a field of lavender? What does the air feel like? Is it dry and dusty or is the fog thicker than pea soup? Do they hear deep roars from the forest or the wind rustling the leaves? What creates a taste for your character, does the smell of food cooking make their mouth water? Make sure to give your reader the full experience engaging all of their senses and bringing your setting to life.

Worldbuilding takes time, but in my opinion, it can help make or break your story.  Look for inspiration in other books, such as those from J.R.R Tolkien, J.K Rowling, Seanan McGuire, and Leigh Bardugo. Don’t just look to books, think of movies such as Star Wars, Avatar or even video games like World of Warcraft, The Legend of Zelda or Halo. Take a look at the worlds that have been created to get ideas, inspiration, and tips on how to build your own worlds.  There are so many sites that feature fantasy art You can create your own boards on Pinterest made up of images of buildings and creatures you want in your story. I also love to create my own maps so I can keep track of my characters moving around town.  I use a site called Inkarnate that allows you to create maps for free or more evolved ones through their paid site.

My best advice would be to have fun with the process, but whatever you do remember that although worldbuilding can be addictive you still need to have a strong story that is enhanced by the setting and not replaced by it.

wise-picks

Variety Village2

http://www.varietyvillage.ca/events-volunteering/events

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!

No events schedule for February 2020.

One event for the end of January 2020. ~ *Annual General Meeting. Annual General Meeting Please join us on January 29th for Variety Village and Variety – the Children’s Charity of Ontario’s Annual General Meeting.
Variety Village in Toronto – www.varietyvillage.ca

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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.
Restrictions & Closures ·

http://www.varietyvillage.ca/events-volunteering
We’ll periodically send you news and updates regarding special events, facility closures & alerts, and other important info.
Events · Restrictions & Closures · Variety Village in Toronto
Local Events | Variety – the Children’s Charity of Ontario
https://varietyontario.ca/local-events

*Annual General Meeting. Annual General Meeting Please join us on January 29th for Variety Village and Variety – the Children’s Charity of Ontario’s Annual General Meeting.
Variety Village in Toronto
http://www.varietyvillage.ca

Access Expo – Variety Ontario
http://www.varietyvillage.ca/events/access-expo
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.

Variety Village

Home | Variety Ontario

https://varietyontario.ca

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

Access Expo – Variety Ontario

www.varietyvillage.ca/events/access-expo

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.

Active Living Conference – Variety Ontario

www.varietyvillage.ca/events/active-living-conference

Join us at Variety for the 24rd annual Active Living Conference. (Date for this event will be given at a later date. This exciting one-day event is popular with college and university students, educators, coaches, community organizations and families interested in increasing their awareness of inclusive and healthy active living opportunities, for people of all ages and abilities.

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March of Dimes Events for the month of February 2020

Rock for Dimes

Rock for Dimes is a corporate battle of the bands held to benefit March of Dimes Canada’s programs and services for children and adults with disabilities. Amateur musicians compete in this friendly fundraiser for the title of their city’s best corporate band and showcase their talents in front of a roster of Canadian music industry professionals.

https://youtu.be/fv0WFuJYxwo

Since its inception, Rock for Dimes has raised over $1,800,000 to support our Conductive Education®, Stroke Recovery Canada® and Campers Helping Campers Outdoor Recreation programs, and has become March of Dimes’ flagship national fundraiser held in communities coast to coast.
Come out and support Rock for Dimes! Join the fun for a great cause. It’s an exciting way to rock out for charity in your community.
Rock for Dimes is currently held in 13 cities across Canada, including Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Sarnia, Windsor, London, Sherkston Shores, Toronto, Kingston, Montreal and Halifax.
Visit www.RockForDimes.ca  to find out more information and to see when it is coming to your community! – and for sponsorship opportunities.