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DFC library receives Kobo’s

Friday January 24, 2014
Photos by Rick Garrick/Wawatay News

Free The Children’s Aqua presented a workshop for 25 students.
Dennis Franklin Cromarty First Nations High School students now have access to 50 Kobo Touch eReaders.

Photos by Rick Garrick/Wawatay News

Dennis Franklin Cromarty First Nations High School students now have access to 50 Kobo Touch eReaders thanks to a donation through Frontier College, Kobo and Free The Children.

“It’s really going to benefit our students because it is pre-loaded with Aboriginal authors and it will allow them to access an even wider range of books than we already have in our library,” said Katie Saj, English teacher at DFC. “And I think it will really appeal to a lot of students to be able to read from an eReader, which might be a new experience for them and maybe more appealing than picking up a book. So it might grab a lot of reluctant readers and bring them into the library.”

Saj said school textbooks could also be uploaded to the Kobo Touch eReaders to help students with their studies.

“Teachers could upload their textbooks or upload .pdf documents from their textbooks onto the eReaders and then use them in the classroom,” Saj said. “They could have students reading from the Kobo eReader and have images also up on their Smart Board that correspond to what’s on the eReader. So it creates a really engaging experience in the classroom.”

About 20 ebooks by Aboriginal authors, such as Lightning Rider by Jacqueline Guest, Catching Spring by Sylvia Olsen and Him Standing by Richard Wagamese, were included along with about 100 other ebooks in the donation package, which was announced on Jan. 9 at DFC.

“Students will have access to (the Kobo Touch eReaders) once they are all catalogued,” said William Campbell, Aboriginal projects coordinator for Frontier College. “They are all pre-loaded with about 120 ebooks. They are just a new electronic device, that with the new technology that is out there is replacing a lot of books.”

Campbell helped initiate the renewal of DFC’s library, which included the referral of a librarian and the donation of 109 brand-new books, after noticing the library was not being used this past fall. Frontier College has been managing a homework club at DFC on Tuesdays and Thursdays for a few years.

“(Students) are now going to have access to a library here at DFC from Monday to Friday up until about 6 p.m. each day,” Campbell said. “They are going to have a place to go where they can do their studies, read a book, use their imagination and immerse themselves into a book.”

The Kobo Touch donation was part of a year-long partnership by Kobo and Free The Children to support literacy among Aboriginal youth in Canada, which includes Kobo’s donation of 3,500 Kobo Touch eReaders and $100,000 to cultivate a love and passion for reading and Free The Children’s 25-stop speaking tour to educate youth about literacy in Aboriginal communities.

“Books not only enrich us individually by helping us to explore our own ideals and beliefs, but they also help us to express and celebrate our culture,” said Michael Serbinis, CEO of Kobo. “At Kobo, we are committed to getting more people to read more often because - as book lovers ourselves - we know the impact reading can have in helping people, families, and communities develop. Our partnership with Free The Children is designed to empower youth across Canada to become active in their own learning, develop their imaginations, and explore the world through the written word.”

The speaking tour is aimed at helping educate and engage Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students on the importance of education and literacy skills, and its importance in building strong, empowered communities.

“Literacy is fundamental in any young person’s education,” said Marc Kielburger, co-founder of Free The Children. “We are so thankful for Kobo’s commitment and generous donation to help us shed light on the importance of education and literacy, while bringing to life Aboriginal stories and culture to youth across Canada, enriching the lives of young people and helping to preserve a piece of Canada’s history.”

Two Free The Children speakers presented a three-hour literacy workshop for 25 DFC students after the donation ceremony on Jan. 9.

“It focuses on leadership skills so these youth can use their leadership skills to help express their voices and lead their communities to a better future while reclaiming their identity as Aboriginal people,” said Aqua, an Aboriginal speaker and facilitator with Free The Children. “We focus on their identities and self expression.”

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