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Past is Present Community Book Project

Celebrating Niagara’s History – The ECCDC was delighted to partner with Literacy Link Niagara on the highly successful Past is Present Community Book Project – an initiative that brought children’s literature and a toolkit of curriculum planning ideas and training to Niagara’s licensed child care programs and a family literacy kit to families across Niagara, all tied to the War of 1812 Bicentennial celebrations. Based on the One Book, One Community concept, LLN and the ECCDC coordinated this region-wide project, made possible by a one year grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

The Invasion of Canada, by Ron Dale, was the book selected for adults by community committee because of its relevance to Niagara and, for preschool children, Past is Present: A Look at Then and Now was authored by Nancy Rotella. The books were promoted together to emphasize the importance of family literacy. LLN led the coordination of the adult’s project including a family literacy toolkit available for download on the LLN website. The toolkit included an online scavenger hunt that had families working together to find out more about historical sites in the Niagara Region with the chance to win commemorative  War of 1812 collector coins. Adult book clubs were offered both online and in community agencies. The ECCDC led the coordination of the children’s project and, with support from early learning and child care community representatives, designed a toolkit for use in Niagara’s licensed child care programs. This toolkit included curriculum planning suggestions for extending the book themes within early years settings.

On March 23, 2013 a wrap-up celebration was held at the MacBain Community Centre in Niagara Falls where many activities were free for families, including a storytelling circle, a virtual scavenger hunt, a make-and-take project, face painting, a family literacy workshop, and more. The authors of the two books were also on hand to answer questions and book signing.

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