We held a great meeting of the Silver Birch READERS!!! today in the Learning Commons almost everyone was able to attend. We even had a special visit from our Principal, Mrs. Fisher, who is an avid Forest of Reading fan. She told us about her impressions of the Silver Birch book "The Giant Slayer". It is a book set in the 1950's in Canada at a time when hundreds of children were struck ill with a virus called Polio. Some children died, and many were taken to hospitals where they were put into huge tanks called "The Iron Lung" and it helped them breathe. Thankfully, today there now exists a vaccination that all childen get when they are young and they are protected from getting this disease. The other book she mentioned was "Coyote Solstice" a very short but powerful message about consumerism. When we often want to buy something and ask ourselves... do we really need it? Especially during the holidays, can we buy something as precious as "Goodwill"?
Last week, two of our readers, Tess and Peyton, took the time to write a very kind letter to the author they were reading: Norbert Rosing. He wrote the Silver Birch Express nominated title, "Polar Bears". We weren't able to find his email or mailing address, so we contacted his publishers at Firefly Publications. Much to our delight, they forwarded their two letters to Norbert, and within 24 hours, we received a reply... all the way from GERMANY!! Here is the flow of communication between our students and author Norbert Rosing:
An editor at Firefly Books writes us:
Hello Mrs. Dassios,
This was a fast reply from Norbert!
Note that he lives in Germany; English is not his first language.
------ Forwarded Message
From: Norbert Rosing
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2011 04:29:25 -0500
Dear Mrs. Dassios,
Well, I cannot tell you how much enjoyed yesterday evening to receive the letters from your students. Isn`t that what life is all about? Thank you so much for forwarding the letters to me. I will honor these letters and keep them.
All the best
To Peyton and Tess,
Yes - they do! Polar bears do Rock! Especially your heart. When I saw my first polar bear, he came straight at me while I was sitting in a car on a remote dirt road. With head up he came right up to the vehicle, looked at me, sniffed at the window (at that time I thought it was exciting - today I think it was pretty stupid of me to let the bear come so close). Anyway, it was one of my key experiences to decide, I want to become a polar bear and Arctic photographer. This is now many seasons ago, I have seen hundreds of polar bear. But the fascination is still there. You never now what they will do in the next moment. Sometimes they look very dangerous, sometimes you just want to go over there and hug them. Once I tried to hug a small polar bear cub while the mother was put to sleep by scientists. I soon as I touched the little guy he bit me in the arm and I felt how powerful the nice little fluffy guys are already. O.k., I learned my lesson right there. Don`t fool around with polar bears! Since that time, I keep my distance. Paying all animals respect. Don`t do anything to them you don`t want to experience yourself and feel on your own body. This attitude worked very good for me in all parts of the world.
To both of you - I was very touched by your letters and for me it means much more then payment for a picture. Maybe you will have a chance to go to Churchill Manitoba one day. I would love to meet you there.
Visit the webite of PBI also. (Polar Bears International) www.polarbearsinternational.org
All the best to you
This week THREE (YES 3) poster prize winners (since Mrs. D completely forgot to do the draw! :D sorry!) WINNERS: Klarissa,