Rachel Dunstan Muller shared a story of the coal mines beneath the streets of Nanaimo (Submitted photo)

Ladysmith Intermediate showcases local authors to students for Literacy Week

Principal Dionte Jelks said the idea was to encourage Ladysmith students to follow their dreams

For Literacy Week this year, Ladysmith Intermediate School is trying to show students just how fun reading can be by bringing in local authors to read their work to students.

Rachel Dunstan Mueller, an oral story teller based in Ladysmith, and award winning children’s book author Shelley Leedahl gave readings on Tuesday and Wednesday at Ladysmith Intermediate.

RELATED: Ladysmith storyteller chosen for TD Canadian Children’s Book Week

“It was excellent. I’ve lived in this town for six-years and this is the first time I’ve presented to the Intermediate school,” Leedahl said.

Mueller and Leedahl are friends and were excited to share an opportunity to present their work to Ladysmith students.

RELATED: Ladysmith author wins American award for her new children’s book: The Moon Watched it All

“We’re so thrilled to present in our own communities. We both have positive messages with our work, so it was a great opportunity to share that,” Leedahl said.

Principal Dionte Jelks said the idea was to encourage Ladysmith students to become whatever they want in life.

“I want to expand it. I want to try and bring in a local artist every day for next year,” Jelks said. “We have five days to celebrate literacy week, I want to have five local artists to come in and share their stories, and their expertise.”

“This community has a wealth of talent, and I want the students to see they can be anything they want to be. They don’t have to live in a big city. They can live here in Ladysmith and they can be an author, or they can be whatever they want to be,” he added.

The school has also hosted themed days to go along with Literacy week, including whacky clothes day, pyjama day, and sports day to make literacy fun. Students have been asked to log their time spent reading over the week – the class with the most minutes will receive a special prize at the end of the week.

“Some students like to read magazines, or read online. We’re trying to incorporate different ideas to make it fun,” Jelks said. “As I told them Monday, a book can take you anywhere in the world.”

Ladysmith Intermediate’s Literacy Week celebrations have received a lot of feedback from students, parents and staff so far. Jelks said the success is due in large part to everyone who helped out with Literacy Week, including school librarian, Tiffany Black.

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