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We got the words out! Between November 2011 and June 2012 Westvale's talented students from kindergarten to Grade 6 experienced and created literary masterpieces using pencils, paper, scissors, the internet, group collaboration and more!

Westvale hosted different daytime and evening events showcasing children author presentations, family writing nights, different technologies, and a game of story tag, engaging, teaching and inspiring literacy. A big thank you to all the students, parents, guest speakers, and authors who participated and supported this event.

Parent Writing Showcase Westvale Reporters Read about each event as seen through the eyes of our own Westvale reporters from Room 12. Each event was captured using collaborative writing and good details. Journalist Tom Nunn met with the Press Room to share reporting tips and stories with the students.

Who knew we had so many accomplished writers in the neighbourhood. From books to biographies to newspaper articles, the parent writing showcase provided students at Westvale with a bit of history and writing inspiration.

Message from the Principal: The Getting the Words Out program has been a tremendous success at Westvale Public School. After arriving in January, I have had the opportunity to see how much our students enjoy reading and writing. Who could forget Kari Lynn Winters’ inspiring story telling and amusing approaches to writing fiction, or watching children and parents come to the school on a cold February night to work collaboratively at writing a family story with Anna Trinca. From the Never Ending Story to Harry Endrulat’s inspiring story about a Bear in World War One, there were so many ways that students could connect with writers. A special thanks goes to all staff and parents who worked so tirelessly at making all of this come together. — Mr. Alexander, Principal

Getting the Words Out program — Page 1

Sigmund Brouwer By Priscilla and Evi At the end of November, an author named Sigmund Brouwer came to our school to talk about writing – “rrrr”. “RRRR” is a way to remember how to write for the Right audience, at the Right time, in the Right place, to press the Right buttons. Sigmund Brouwer’s method of writing is called, “Rock and Roll Literacy”. He has written many books including Revenge, Rivals and many

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more. Sigmund Brouwer has French translations of many of his books. We learned a lot from Sigmund Brouwer when he came to our school! "Rock and Roll Literacy combines story and music in a one hour presentation that entertains and motivates students to read and write more. It encourages students to develop literacy skills as a way to reach for their dreams and especially appeals to boys and reluctant readers and writers” — Sigmund Brouwer

Kari-Lynn Winters

By Charlie, Laura Beth and Jess P. Kari-Lynn Winters showed us some ways to write funny stories: surprise the reader, bump up a number, exaggerate, reader knows more, play on words, tricky picture, irony, out of context information, awkward situations and gross stories. She helped us exaggerate with They have some BIG teeth And sometimes, they get stuck right on your chest and won’t budge! And once in a while, they even tear at your hair… ZIPPERS are sooooo horrifying! riddles like this:

at a super-fancy restaurant. He spat on and ate other people’s food, ran about the restaurant and put his feet on the table! What a guy! Then she read us one of her stories called Jeffrey and the Sloth. It was a funny story about a boy who didn’t know what to write and a lazy sloth who didn’t want Jeffrey to write. It was a great book. Sadly, the author visit was now coming to an end – though Kari-Lynn Winters had one more thing to say… Knock knock! Who’s there? Ima. Ima who? Ima author, are you?

We really got you going, huh? Kari-Lynn Winters also helped us write a story about someone with zero manners who was Getting the Words Out program — Page 2

“Literacy begins with play” — Kari-Lynn Winters

Family Writing Night By Charlie and Gabriel Scribble, scribble…Family Writing Night is a night to write for fun! Family Writing Night was held on February 27th. When we were there, it didn’t matter if we made mistakes, it just mattered that we got our thoughts on paper. We wrote all the five senses: smell, taste, touch, hearing and sight to help with our story. We also made comparisons – for example, crayfish being a Formula 1 car in a race. We brainstormed ideas for our story and chose the best one. When we wrote our stories, we used the five senses and comparisons. Writing the story was a lot of

Harry Endrulat By Evi, Iman and Armaan Harry Endrulat gave us good tips on how to become an author. Some of the tips he gave us were, you can write stories based on TV shows,

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fun, especially when we didn’t have to worry about anything except getting our thoughts on paper!

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non-fiction and imagination. Did you know that Harry Endrulat was inspired to be an author by making up stories for his kids? Most of the stories he wrote were Max and Ruby books (26 in total!). He also wrote a very popular Silver Birch book called A Bear in War. A Bear in War is a nonfiction book. Harry discovered the story for the book by reading the newspaper. The teddy bear in the story can be found in the War Museum in Ottawa. Harry Endrulat also visited our school at night and three lucky kids got to read A Bear in War aloud. Harry Endrulat is an outstanding author. “Everyone has a story worth telling. It's just a matter of finding the courage to put it down on paper.” — Harry Endrulat Getting the Words Out program — Page 3

Story Tag February 27—28 Over two days at school, Westvale students from every class participated in a Story Tag. Sigmund Brouwer wrote a “story starter”, and one class after another added on to the story. Students first listened to the story to the point it was written, and then in small groups discussed what should happen next. Each group shared their ideas and the class decided which group’s idea would be the next paragraph in the story. The story was typed onto a computer projected to a Drawing by Olivia

The Taco Spell

by the students at Westvale Public School

Drawing by Nolan

white board. Each class had 15 minutes once the story had been read to complete their section. Students were encouraged to illustrate part of the story, and two of the many wonderful drawings are included here. The Story Tag was a bit like relay race; someone from each class tagged the next class. It was a game of tag won by everyone! Read the story online at

The Story that Never Ends

Read it online at The Getting the Words Out program was provided through the generous in-kind support of time by parents and Westvale staff volunteers. Financial support was provided by the Westvale School Council, the Ontario Ministry of Education (Parents Reaching Out Grant), by the Writer's Union of Canada (Writer's-In-the-Schools Program), and Westvale Public School.

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Using home computers, the internet and an application called Titanpad, Wesvale students met online (with parental permission) to write ``The Story that Never Ends,” an unpredictable, wild, dragon tale. The story was initially started by author Kari-Lynn Winters and was continued by Westvale students on the internet. 38 students participated creating over 70 entries, totaling up to over 6,200 words!

We hope that this newsletter and your program bookmark serve as a reminder of the Getting the Words Out program to encourage you to “get lost in books and find yourself in writing.” Enjoy reading and continue to write together with others who inspire you. Parents continue to use your experiences and creativity to encourage your own children to read and write together with you. Many thanks to the program committee – a group of incredibly dedicated Westvale parents (Cindy Desbiens, Janis Roughley, Greg Sennema, and Jennifer Yessis) and staff (Bruce Alexander, Jennifer Bender, Cathy Freeman, Julia Kezys, Jennifer Poll, Mary Jane Rathwell, and Allison Scott). Their tireless efforts to bring the program vision to life will have an impact that cannot be fully measured. Thanks to Kathy Haddock for her initial inspiration for the idea.

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Program Newsletter - Getting the Words Out  

Program summary and results from the events and challenges.

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