Author Archives: Cynthia Ford

Learning Disabilities Society Summer Program

Some of you in the Lower Mainland may be interested in letting your SRC readers and their families know about summer programs at The Learning Disabilities Society!



















LDS works with a roster of over 30 qualified instructors, who are all SRSD (Self Regulation Strategy Development) trained and certified, a model based on 50 years of research in cognitive science and educational psychology. Many instructors are certified BC teachers, some with specializations in Orton Gillingham. For more information on SRSD, please click here:


  • Summer Program: July 2 to August 15
  • Fall Program: September 9 to June 20

LDS works one-on-one with each child and their family to develop a plan for diagnosis and remediation. Children complete our programs with a keen understanding of their learning strengths and challenges and the tools and strategies to help themselves through high school and beyond.

  • 1:1 Individualized Instruction, which assists students in achieving expected competencies in core academic skills such as literacy and numeracy.
  • SRSD Model, which includes a structured set of student strategies that develops student ownership and confidence and allows them to take responsibility for their own learning.
  • Progress Monitoring, which is used to assess students’ academic performance, to quantify a student’s rate of improvement or responsiveness to instruction, and to evaluate the effectiveness of instruction.

To register for our summer or fall program, please visit:


Diversability (Disability) Booklists

One of our BC SRC Content Creators, Linda Youmans from Okanagan Regional Library, generously agreed to share some amazing booklists for kids with diversabilities. Linda created these booklists as part of the Diversability* Project.

Here’s more from Linda:

This is a project that I was asked to work on after I became the Community Liaison for the Learning Disability Association of B.C. and a Council member on the Community Living B.C. Council.  You see, my son has autism and my daughter has training as  CEA.  I created the Service Provider list based on what categories that I would use as a parent.  I got help from all our communities, the KCR and other sources.  The booklists were done because I always get book suggestions from parents and thought I would add lots of new books to the collection.  They have been sent across the province to all 60 service providers, 8 school districts, are on the CLBC , LDABC and now on the Division of Family Practice doctor’s and patients’ website – FETCH and PATHWAYS.  In addition, Interior Health has received funding to make their own booklets and are distributing them to all of their clinics. Other organizations using them include WorkBC  and MCYSN (Ministry for Children and Youth with Special Needs). I am happy to say they are also available on our website either through www.orl.bc under Kids and Teens, then Parents and Educators, or in the box with “Featured Services”. In addition, we are giving out ½ page handouts to branches with the links on them.

As a parent of a child with autism, it has been so hard, so I know their struggles.  My son and I are now doing presentations at Okanagan College on his autism and my booklists, and I am in charge of self-advocate presentations for CLBC and will be planning those as well. This project took 2 years to do but it is well worthwhile. So, so, so many people have been helped — it just warms my heart!!!

Here is the Teen List:

Here is the Children’s List:

Here is the Service Provider list:

These lists will also be available on the BC SRC Booklists page:  and under About Us > Inclusion and Accessibility > Diversability Project Booklists:


*Diversabilities Definition

“The word “disabilities” is associated with the past and people’s negative experiences with institutions. I am looking to change the word to “diversabilities” because these institutions are now closed and I want to focus instead on the abilities of people now and in the future. People with diversabilities do not want to be a burden to society, but instead want to be contributors and participants in society.” Shelley DeCoste, self-advocate and CLBC Employee who successfully had the word “disabilities” changed to “diversabilities” in British Columbia.

Thank you to Jennifer Lee and welcome to Alicia Dobbs!

We are delighted to welcome Alicia Dobbs (New Westminster Public Library) as the new BC SRC Co-Chair! Alicia joins Co-Chair Laura Zaytsoff (Castlegar & District Public Library) in planning the 2020 cycle of the BC Summer Reading Club.
Alicia works in the Children’s and Teen Department at the NWPL, and has been involved in planning and delivering Summer Reading Club since 2013. While her role lets her take on a wide variety of programming, from reading to babies to taking teens shopping, SRC is always the highlight of her year.
Many thanks to our outgoing Co-Chair, Jennifer Lee (Vancouver Public Library) for all her work! Jenn took a Walk on the Wild Side with us in 2017, got into a little Motion Commotion in 2018, and, this year, helped us Imagine the Possibilities! We are so grateful to Jenn for her great sense of design, her clarity and perspective, and her enthusiasm for the program. Thank you, Jenn! 

Increasing Inclusion and Accessibility

The BC SRC welcomes the participation of all children and their families and we continue to seek ways to provide an accessible and fully inclusive program:

  • Core Print Materials are produced with a minimum of text in order to support the participation of children of any language and any reading ability.
  • video in ASL (American Sign Language) with English subtitles, on both staff and kids’ websites, welcomes children with hearing impairment to the BC SRC.
  • Annotated book lists are produced each year, indicating titles available in audio formats (commercially, and through NNELS and CELA), making it convenient for anyone with a perceptual or print impairment to find theme-related titles to listen to.
  • Each year the Program Manual is reviewed by Dr. Tess Prendergast (Inclusive Early Literacy) to ensure programs and activities include adaptations for different needs. With the assistance of Dr. Prendergast, general guidelines for Summer Programming Staff, on how to increase inclusion, are provided as part of the Program Manual (Please see below for more details)
  • in 2019, in consultation with Dr. Carole Ford (Co-Director for Davis Learning Strategies, The Whole Dyslexic Society), dyslexia-friendly adaptions were made to print materials and supplemental Resources. (Please see below for more details)
  • A “Caregiver Page” provides general information on the program, as well as explanations on how to join the program. Currently, it is available in French and English, with plans to translate into multiple languages in 2019. NOTE: This page also provides a dropdown menu with links to BC libraries, making it easy for families to find a library in their community!
  • Customizable “Parent Letters” are available on the staff site for libraries to download and send to their local schools. These letters include language that explicitly supports children reading in whatever language they feel most comfortable. As well, the letters specifically express support for cultures that emphasize oral storytelling.
  • Support materials are available for parents and librarians, including The Value of Summer Reading, (available in nearly 40 languages). The staff site also includes a Google translate plug-in so visitors can readily translate any page.

A special thanks to our Consultant, Dr. Tess Prendergast  (Inclusive Early Literacy) who reviewed the 2019 Manual and offered ideas and suggestions to increase the accessibility and inclusion of the programs and activities. In addition, Dr. Prendergast, provided us with some excellent general guidelines: 

  • Be aware that your audience will always include children of varying abilities. 
  • Recognize that it is the responsibility of each facilitator to make adjustments and accommodations to best suit the needs of their participants.
  • Ensure all program promotions make it clear that these programs are welcoming and inclusive, and that program content should be adaptable. 
  • Feel comfortable to mix ’n match activities based on the needs and abilities of the children participating. 
  • Let Summer Students and/or Volunteers know it’s OK to adapt a program/activity. 
  • Make sure your room set-up allows space for kids using wheelchairs and walkers
  • When possible, include (good!) books that feature children of different abilities and backgrounds. 
  • Normalize accommodations and/or participation of a child’s caregiver with phrases such as “You can do this activity by yourself or with a partner”.
  • If an activity includes the use of plants (or a substance that may cause an allergic reaction), you may wish to include this info ahead of time to give people advance notice


Many thanks to Dr. Carole Ford (retired Davis Dyslexia Correction Facilitator, current Co-Director for Davis Learning Strategies, The Whole Dyslexic Society  who offered suggestions on how to make SRC materials more dyslexia-friendly, including: 

  • placing the icons on the Reading Record on the left-hand side to reinforce left > right progression
  • increasing the size of font on the “I’ve joined the SRC, now what” letter to 12-14 ppt
  • producing “I’ve joined the SRC, now what” letter in dyslexia-friendly weighted font (intended to address: contrast /blindness, letter confusion or rotation, and crowding)
  • simplifying the text on the Certificate of Completion
  • maintaining minimal text on the Reading Records

For more information on dyslexia, please visit Davis Dyslexia Association International;  Davis Dyslexia and Autism Facilitators’ Association of Canada and The Whole Dyslexic Society.



Encore Bonjour BC SRC!

Thanks to the Ministry of Education, Libraries Branch, children and their families will be able to join in and “Imaginez les possibilités!” (i.e. “Imagine the Possibilities!”) We are once again delighted to tell you that the BC SRC Core Print materials will be available in English and French:

  • poster (one side English; one side French) 
  • reading Record (English cover on one side; French cover on the other)
  • bookmarks (both languages on bookmarks)

As well, we will have a thematic French booklist and French downloadable letters for parents, schools, media, etc. that will be available from the website You’ll want to be sure to advise the French Immersion families and teachers in your community! 

The Download on the Downloads

Lots of wonderful treasures for your own promotion await you in the Resources section! ( > Resources). Here you’ll find images, icons, this year’s logo and font (“Freehand 575”!), icons, report card stuffers in French and English…with new items appearing daily! 

We’ve renamed this section from “Downloads”  to “Resources” to more accurately reflect its use and intention. We’ve also reorganized it to make things easier to find!

There are four sections: 

  1. PROMOTION & OUTREACH: GRAPHICS (includes logos, theme title, images, etc)
  2. PROMOTION & OUTREACH: DOCUMENTS (includes parent and school letters, report card stuffers, PSAs, etc.)
  3. PROGRAM MANUAL (includes programs and booklists)
  4. SUPPLEMENTARY DOCUMENTATION (includes, supplemental, read-to-me and print-on-demand reading records, certificates of completion, colouring sheets, DIY t-shirt images, etc.)

Take a look around and let me know if there is something else you’d like to see there!


The Manual & Our Content Creation Team

Our amazing Co-Chairs, Jennifer Lee (VPL) and Laura Zaytsoff (Castlegar & District), along with our fantastic team of Content Creators: Mehjabeen Ali and SPL, Gina Gaudet and VPL, Wiena Groenewold and FVRL, Linda Youmans and ORL, Tina Lee and BPL, Julie Carter and VIRL, have worked hard to put together 7 weeks worth of Imagine the Possibilities! fun. 
You’ll find the programs, activities, and booklists here or visit > Resources>Manual. We are so incredibly fortunate to have these skilled and generous people on our team! 
To meet this fantastic team, be sure to check out the Spring issue of YAACING! (I’ll add the link as soon as the issue is ready!) 🙂

Imagine the Possibilities! Description of 2019 Materials 

Filled with colour, whimsy, depth, and gentle humour, this year’s wonder-filled artwork is by Jami Gigot. Jami is the author/illustrator of  Mae and the Moon, Seb and the Sun (Ripple Grove Press) and the forthcoming “Imagination Vacation” (2019). She also works as a digital texture painter. Productions include Antman & The Wasp, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Chronicles of Narnia. To learn more about Jami and her work, or to book her for a library visit, please visit
The Poster
Together, three friends: a Lemur, a Monkey and a Bird immerses themselves in their imagination, in possibilities! The pages of books — whether metaphorically, or in this case, literally (!) — provide the perfect means to explore what lies below the surface,
Delightful discoveries await the keen eye: a Swimming Pig, a Moustache-Wearing Crab, A Jelly Fish and a Peanut Butter Fish, Mer-Folk, Sea Horse-Unicorns to name a few. In this world of Imagine the Possibilities! anything is possible! 
The Reading Record and Stickers
The cover of the 2019 Reading Record echoes the poster, inviting children and their families to join in the fun, in English or in French!

Inside the reading record, weekly panels contain a different scene filled with imaginative possibilities: an impromptu jam session, some moustache-application fun, lunch with a Peanut Butter Fish, Jelly Fish, and Loaf of Bread Fish, catching a ride with a Rainbow Squid,  a profound encounter in the depths, and a storytime lit by what else…
 an Anglerfish!

On the back of each of the seven weekly panels there is room for kids to log their daily reading by recording titles, pages, or minutes read, or simply by colouring the delightful icons. 

At the bottom of each of the seven weekly panels is room for a sticker. The stickers feature a close-up of seven of Jami’s delightful creations. The 8th sticker has the 2019 SRC Logo for kids to use wherever they wish.

Activity Card: Fish Collage 
This year’s bonus is a Fish Collage Activity Card! This post-card sized project has on one side a blank space with the words “Imagine the Possibilities!” (In English and French, of course). On the other side are three very different, very delightful fish-collage-possibilities for inspiration! As always, Activity Cards may be used in any way that best suits your community — handed out to each child who participates, given out as prizes for programs or community events, or used as part of a self-directed program activity. 
T-shirts and Tattoos and Medals
This year’s t-shirt colour is a light blue (those of you who wear them outside will appreciate the lighter colour!). They come in Adult, “Ladies’, and Youth styles. All t-shirts are 100% cotton. 
Tattoos come in a “bundle” of 250, with 125 of each design included.
The ribbon colour for this year’s medal is purple. 

BCLA and CUPE BC Announce Support for BC SRC

We are pleased and proud to announce BC Library Association’s new partnership with CUPE BC!

CUPE BC is generously contributing $50,000 to ensure that BC Summer Reading Club continues to award medals to children across the Province who participate in this successful, inclusive and much loved program. Please see BCLA’s News Release for details.

Thank you CUPE BC!

Call for Proposals for CATS Conference!

Children and Teen Services (CATS) Conference
Monday, October 7, 2019
Kelowna, BC

The Okanagan Regional Library System (ORL), Nelson Public Library  (NPL), and British Columbia Library Association (BCLA) are pleased to announce a professional development opportunity for children’s and teen library staff from across the province at this FREE one-day event.

Call for Presenters now Open! 2019 CATS Call for Presenters