Moose Jaw Will Become “Reading Town” In May

Image: Onderwijsgek
Image: Onderwijsgek

For one week, books will be everywhere in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.

That’s because from May 3 to 10, the city will become “Reading Town.”

It’s a project being run by the National Reading Campaign and the Saskatchewan Festival of Words organizers.

During the special reading week, the 35,000 people who live in Saskatchewan will have reading woven “into every aspect of their lives through a series of amazing events,” according to the Reading Town website.

For instance, the town’s popular Crescent Park will be given a book makeover with the addition of “reading glens” filled with benches, blankets and of course books and magazines. People are encouraged to drop by the park and grab a book.

When someone orders a pizza that week, they’ll get a poem along with their pepperoni pie.

All of the babies born at the Moose Jaw Union Hospital during the city’s reading week will be given a gift bag packed with books donated by Canadian publishers.

There will be a “caught reading” contest on Twitter. People can take a photo of someone “caught reading” and post it on Twitter for a chance to win prizes.

On the town’s Main Street, a short story by Margaret Atwood will be posted page by page in shop windows so people walking along can read “Death by Landscape.”

Even the Moose Jaw Town Crier will be getting in on the act. During reading week, instead of crying out the latest news, he’ll be reciting poetry.

Moose Jaw was selected for the project because it has a “thriving literary, music and arts scene,” according to the Reading Town website. It also has a “rare, dynamic main street and an active online community news forum.”

The National Reading Campaign’s mission is “to make reading a national priority for Canada,” and “grow a society in which each of us has an equal opportunity to become and remain a lifelong reader,” according to its website.

Related links
For a full list of all the events planned for Moose Jaw’s reading week, visit the Reading Town website.

By Jonathan Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
The National Reading Campaign created “Reading Town” in order to show that reading is very important to Canada and Canadians. What are some other ways that cities, schools and communities can get people reading?

Reading Prompt: Extending Understanding
What is your favourite book, story or poem? Why is this selection your favourite? Why is it so special to you?

Imagine a way to incorporate your favourite book, story or poem into Moose Jaw’s reading week? What special activity could you design using this piece of literature?

Extend understanding of texts by connecting the ideas in them to their own knowledge, experience, and insights, to other familiar texts, and to the world around them (OME, Reading: 1.6).

Extend understanding of texts, including increasingly complex or difficult texts, by connecting the ideas in them to their own knowledge, experience, and insights, to other familiar texts, and to the world around them (OME, Reading: 1.6).

Grammar Feature: Naming and Branding
Branding is when a specific product, service or event is named. The name is supposed to capture people’s interest and attention.

Moose Jaw will be branded as “Reading Town” for one week. What do you think of this name? Can you think of any alternatives?