On Dec. 30, the Governor General of Canada announced 60 new appointments to the Order of Canada, Canada’s highest civilian honor. Established in 1967, the Order of Canada is the centrepiece of Canada’s honours system and recognizes a lifetime of outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation. I was thrilled to hear that Canadian author and literacy advocate, David Bouchard was named as “Member of the Order of Canada for his contributions as an author of children’s books and an advocate who has championed the cause of reading and writing, and who has shared his pride as a member of the Métis community through his stories.”
A former teacher and principal, Bouchard is British Columbia’s best-selling author and single most sought-after public speaker. He has written over 25 best-selling children’s books which have won several prestigious awards, among them: the Governor General’s Award for The Song Within My Heart, the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award for Voices from the Wild, the Red Cedar Award for The Great Race and the Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Award for Illustration for The Dragon New Year. His books have also been short-listed many times for Canada’s most illustrious awards.
Each year David Bouchard travels extensively, championing the cause of literacy to students, parents and educators. During these events, Bouchard shares his perspective: “We do not need new curriculum or harder working teachers in order to get our students to read. We need parents, teachers and administrators who read. The key lies in modeling.” He outlines respective roles and responsibilities that will ensure that all children are given the gift of reading. He inspires and leaves his listeners with a concrete plan and the rejuvenation needed to face literacy issues head on.
“The greatest gift we can give our children is the gift of reading. There is no magic in giving it. There is no toy or program that will do the job for us. It takes time, commitment and most of all, fire. We cannot hope to light a fire in the hearts of others without a fire burning in our own. Light and stoke yours, then spread the flame fast and furious. Let literacy be your legacy.” says David.
On Jan. 21st David will be the keynote speaker for Literiffic Day at my son’s school, an event which I am looking forward to attending!