World Food Day

source: UN FAO

From the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization:

Today almost 842 million people worldwide are chronically undernourished. Unsustainable models of development are degrading the natural environment, threatening ecosystems and biodiversity that will be needed for our future food supply…

What would a sustainable food system look like? Is it possible to get from here to there? What would need to change to move us in that direction? World Food Day 2013 is an opportunity to explore these and other questions, and help bring about the future we want.

For more on World Food Day, check out these links:

International Day of the Girl Child

source: unicef

The United Nations has declared October 11 to be the International Day of the Girl Child. The day was first celebrated last year, as an opportunity to recognize the rights of girls, to raise awareness about the challenges that they face around the world, and to celebrate our daughters, sisters, friends and students. Sadly, girls around the world daily face discrimination, violence and the violation of their human rights.

The theme for 2013 is “Innovation for Education.” One of the most obvious inequities and injustices for girls is in education, as many girls around the world are deprived of their right to an education.

The fulfilment of girls’ right to education is first and foremost an obligation and moral imperative. There is also overwhelming evidence that girls’ education, especially at the secondary level, is a powerful transformative force for societies and girls themselves: it is the one consistent positive determinant of practically every desired development outcome, from reductions in mortality and fertility, to poverty reduction and equitable growth, to social norm change and democratization. (source:

We can be thankful that Canada is amongst the leaders of the world in protecting the rights of girls.Yet even here there is more work to be done, and certainly we must continue to fight for the rights of girls around the world.

source: unicef

For more on this vital issue, go to

Leif & Lifelong Learning

If you are a “lifelong learner” you should be learning new things all the time. I just learned that there is a holiday in the US called Leif Erikson Day. I am not sure why I didn’t know this already, but I learned it today thanks to Mental Floss (a great site, check it out.)

source: Mental Floss

Christopher Columbus gets most of the glory as the European who “discovered” America, but it was Leif Erikson and the Vikings who were here hundreds of years earlier. In fact there may have been other Vikings in America before Erikson, or perhaps even other Europeans (St. Brendan the Irishman?) but Leif gets the credit. Learn more about Leif Erikson  and the day named for him here.

World Teachers Day

Happy World Teachers’ Day!  In 1994, the United Nations (UNESCO) established October 5th as World Teachers’ Day, a day to recognize and celebrate the vital role that teachers play in the lives of all people, especially children and youth.

“There is no stronger foundation for lasting peace and sustainable development than a quality education provided by well trained, valued, supported and motivated teachers.” (UNESCO)

Teaching in Uganda
source: Unesco Photobank

October is OUR month!

Canadian Library Month 2013

ISLMonthLargeOctober is International School Library Month and Canadian Library Month.  October 28 is National School Library Day and the day for the DEAR Challenge: Drop Everything and Read.

Check out the following for more info:


Canadian Library Month

source: cla.caOctober is Internatioal School Library Month. It is also Canadian Library Month. Celebrate the vital role that libraries play in Canadian life.  Canadian Library Month is a celebration of libraries of all kinds, including public libraries and school libraries. Visit the Canadian Library Association for more information.


International Day of Peace


Celebrate it. Dream of it. Work for it. Enjoy it. Promote it. Demand it. Model it. Protest for it.

In 1981 the United Nations established the International Day of Peace. In 2002  the UN declared September 21 to be the permanent day “Peace Day.”

For more information, check out the official site. And come down to your school library to check out some of our resources on peace, including champions of peace, peace education and more.

Rosh Hashanah

Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year feast and celebration.  The Jewish Calendar is a lunar calendar, therefor the dates of Rosh Hashanah and other Jewish holidays will vary according to the Gregorian Calendar (the standard calendar used in most of the world for politics, business and daily life.)  In 2013 Rosh Hashanah begins at Sundown on September 4. In 2014 is will begin on September 25.