The Forest of Reading is Canada's largest recreational reading program, made up of programs geared towards readers in kindergarten through to Grade twelve. Established twenty-two years ago, the intent is to encourage reading for pleasure in school-aged children across the country and to increase awareness of Canadian books and authors.
Every year, the Forest of Reading programs culminate in an event called the Festival of Trees. The winners of each program, as chosen by young readers, are announced at the Festival of Trees events, and many authors and illustrators are in attendance, delivering hands on workshops and mingling with their young fans.
In 2012, the Festival, always held in Toronto, began touring and this year Sault Ste Marie was chosen as a Festival of Trees satellite location. On May 27th, the Festival of Trees was held at the Essar Centre.
Allison Corbett, from Grand View Public School (pictured left), brought students from her Grade 3 class to a Board Meeting to share with trustees the books they have read or are reading for the program. The students (one of whom is pictured below left with Trustee Evans-Price) shared information about the books and talked about whether they plan to vote for the book or not and why.
The Forest of Reading consists of eight reading programs or categories. ADSB students were focused on and voted within three of those categories which were:
1. Blue Spruce Award (the best picture books for children in kindergarten–grade 2, ages 4–7)
2. Silver Birch Awards (the best fiction and non-fiction books for children in grades 3–6, ages 8–12)
3. Silver Birch Express Award (the best fiction and non-fiction books for children in grades 3–4, ages 8–10. Also great for ESL students, reluctant readers and special needs students in grades 3-6)
Sault Ste. Marie’s Festival of Trees ran on May 27th with hundreds of students taking part in a wide range of activities which included meeting Canadian authors.