Saturday, 12 October 2013

Triple Threat Program Scores For Literacy

It is said that good things happen in threes. Horse racing has its "Triple Crown" - a champion who can win the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes. Baseball's triple crown is a player who tops the league in homeruns, batting average and RBI. In fact, a triple threat is a person or program that has special skills in three areas. This week our district had its own version of a "triple threat" when our literacy coaches brought author Sigmund Brouwer and Stanley Cup champion Bryan Trottier to schools to entertain students and promote reading and literacy for students.

Sigmund Brouwer is a renowned author with well over 3 million books in print. His eclectic collection of work includes the Accidental Detective Series, Dr Drabble Genius Inventor, Robot Wars,  and the Lightning on Ice series. For more information (and some free samples) of Sigmund's works check out his website - http://www.myrockandrollbooks.com/.  Brouwer is a fun guy, but he's serious about getting kids to read. In addition to books on his own, he has also enlisted the support of well known sports figures like NHL Hall of Famer Bryan Trottier to spread the word. Perhaps best known for his days as a New York Islander, Trottier's seven Stanley Cup wins and NHL pedigree give him instant credibility with hockey fans. His engaging personality wins over the rest.  Trottier brings the message that good reading skills are the foundation for students to build and reach their own dream as they strive to hoist their own personal Stanley Cups, and build their own personal legacies. Combined with Brouwer the two men team up for a powerfully engaging presentation that combines music, humor, hockey and energy to build a positive buzz about reading.

Brouwer and Trottier would not have made it to our district but for the dedicated efforts of our district literacy team. The idea for the tour sprang out of a chance encounter between district literacy coach Shawna Hartman and Trottier when he was in Fort St John making an appearance at a local Oilmans Association Hockey tournament. Not one to let a good idea slip away, Shawna mobilized local sponsors, colleagues and school district executive staff in support of a literacy tour. The result was this week's event where Brouwer and Trottier visited more than half a dozen schools with students from kindergarten through grade 12, both in town and rural settings, covering hundreds of kilometers and reaching over a thousand students. Like any event of this magnitude there were some bumps to be worked out, but the district literacy team were tireless in their efforts, and pulled the event off so well, that when they talk plans for a return visit, we're all certain it will happen.

A great author, a hockey legend and a dedicated literacy coach - a finer example of a true triple threat would be hard to find. Thanks to their efforts, literacy, and our students, scored big time this week. Districts looking to book their own Rock and Roll Literacy tours  can check out the link and go for their own three star performance.

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