Love for the beauty of a well-crafted story is one of the greatest gifts the education system can provide for young people, and a collection of librarians from five schools is once again celebrating this gift with their book club students and a great Canadian author.
Ingrid Scott and Annette Vermeer are librarians at Hamilton District Christian High in Ancaster, and for the past three years they’ve collaborated with peers to foster the love of reading through the Christian High School Book Club.
Tomorrow the Ancaster members, who stay connected between Durham Christian High School, London District Christian Secondary School, Smithville District Christian High School, and Woodland Christian High School, through the group’s blog, will host for the group’s 2011 send-off, billed as The Final Word.
Guest speaker Sharon McKay, award-winning author of War Brothers and Thunder Over Kandahar, will share her experiences and be joined by her friend Famia Haidary, who will speak to students about life in Afghanistan.
McKay’s two books, about child soldiers entrapped in the chaos of war in Uganda, and the War in Afghanistan respectively, were among the ten that the lead librarians chose for club members at the beginning of the year.
Scott says the books were particularly striking for the club’s students.
“Her books have really helped develop an awareness of world issues and humanity itself and the things that others go through in the world,” she says.
“We have it very easy here and the book club students have come to appreciate different cultures and the atrocities that others often face in their day to day lives.”
She says some of the students were shocked to learn that enslavement in war is a reality for children in some parts of the world.
The blog is a way for the members to share what they’ve learned about the books and discuss the impact they felt. This “interactive communication” helps develop creative thinking and open discussion, says Scott.
Tuesday’s event and the chance to interact with such special guest speakers will be the culmination of all that the students have learned this year.