Families across North Bay and surrounding areas were invited to participate in a community literacy project, North Bay Reads Together, by joining in the weekly reading of a shared novel. This year’s selection was aimed towards 9-12 year olds, but all who are interested were welcome to participate, including older and younger siblings, parents, grandparents, and everybody in the North Bay reading community.
Beginning Saturday, February 26, the North Bay Nugget included a special feature on page B-2, where for seven (7) weeks, the novel Three on Three by Eric Walters was reprinted for everyone to read, a chapter or so in each Saturday paper. Readers were able to collect each week’s chapters to put together their own scrapbook of Three on Three. Then, on April 9 2011, all the kids who had read the book in weekly chapters, and their families, were invited to a celebration at the North Bay Public Library to meet Eric Walters.
This literacy project was developed by the Centre for Literacy at the Schulich School of Education, Nipissing University, in partnership the North Bay Nugget, Orca Publishers, and Eric Walters. David Booth, the Elizabeth Thorn Research Chair for the Centre for Literacy, noted, “I am hoping that everyone will find time to participate in this special one of a kind activity - we want to support a community of readers in the North Bay area.” The other committee members included Tara-Lynn Scheffel, Kristen Ferguson and Terry Campbell. The Centre for Literacy also hoped to encourage participation in with teachers from the Near North school board and the Nipissing-Parry Sound Catholic District School Board.
Over the past years, similar programs in other cities have been successful in promoting an appreciation of reading, bringing families together, and most importantly, building a sense of community by reading together.