Kitchener-Waterloo Bilingual School Visit

I’m at Kitchener-Waterloo Bilingual School for my last three sessions, all the arrangements made by Chris Klatecki. Thank you very much, Chris. I’m the first writer to visit the school. The evening before, Chris had set up an interview with the Kitchener Record.

Students were selling my books at the door, courtesy of Wordsworth Books (a local independent bookstore).

The day had been declared Pink Shirt Day, an anti-bullying day, many of the students and teachers dressed in pink. I was happy to tell them that Pink Shirt Day originated in Nova Scotia.

Thirty grade seven students, girls and boys, had prepared big pink posters with their personal anti-bullying message; they lined up in the corridor, holding the posters, dressed in pink sweaters, pink chiffon, pink feather boas – I was so touched, I was in tears. I wish I could put a photo of this on the blog. But in the photos I took, you can see the students’ faces and that’s a no-no.

Some of the messages on the posters:

Step up so people don’t get stepped on.

You have the power.

Take a chance. Make a change.

I will not be a Bystander.

Be the difference.

It isn’t big to make someone feel small.

I will be a hero.

We’re all special.

I couldn’t agree more. We all are special.

Two morning sessions, a wonderful potluck lunch in the staff room with the teachers, and a final session with grades seven and eight – who’d read all of Home Truths. A couple of keen writers. Some very acute questions. And the posters…what a way to end my tour!

Thank you to all the students, teachers, librarians and volunteer drivers who helped make this such a memorable and wonderful week.

I take the Greyhound to Toronto, have a celebratory dinner at the Royal York, and then the next day I’m off to Mississauga to spend the weekend with friends. Lunch in Yorkville, dinner in the Distillery District, an art show, visits to nurseries (garden, that is), cheering on one friend at a 10k run in Oakville, visit to Springridge Farm, drop in to a very classy horseshow, dinner with my friends’ son at Waterloo – an all-you-can-eat suishi bar, I think he did away with their profits for the night. Great way to unwind!

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Jill MacLean's latest book The Hidden Agenda of Sigrid Sugden , published by Fitzhenry & Whiteside and is available in bookstores and on-line!

This book is the completion of the Newfoundland trilogy which started with The Nine Lives of Travis Keating, followed by The Present Tense of Prinny Murphy.

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Nix Minus One is geared for readers in Grade 7-8 and up.
Published February 15, 2013


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