Simbang Gabi

Simbang Gabi: December 16-24

Simbang Gabi is a Filipino Christmas celebration that takes place from December 16 to December 24, concluding with Misa de Gallo at the Midnight Mass.  Simbang Gabi is a Novena, or a nine-day festival, similar to the Mexican Las Posadas and other Navidad celebrations in the Spanish speaking world.

Dating back hundreds of years to the  beginning of Spanish rule over the Philippines, Simbang Gabi emerged as a distinctly Filipino celebration of Christmas.  One of the features that developed in response to the agricultural practices of Filipino farmers is that the services are carried out in the very early morning, sometimes as early as 3:00 AM.

source: Simbang Gabi / BC Catholic

Many Canadians trace their roots to the Philippines, including many students here at Lord Tweedsmuir.  Ask some of your fellow students about Simbang Gabi!  You can also find out more here:


source: bccatholic.ca

Check out your School Library’s current display of books: “Holidays and Holy Days.”

Book Banning: Not Just History but Current Events


It can be tempting to think of the banning of books as something that happened in the past, only by extremely conservative types, or in authoritarian regimes. Sadly, book banning is alive and well here and now. Sure, it is not shocking that anti-democratic governments in places like China, Russia, Iran, Hungary or Venezuela strictly control the flow of information and literature. Yet in our society, where we make claims on being champions of democracy and freedom, book banning is on the rise.

Kara Yorio writes in School Library Journal: “It has been a busy Banned Books Week, as the stepped-up challenges to books and their authors continue,  with books by kid lit creators Jerry Craft and Kelly Yang added to the list of titles some parents claim are objectionable.” Read the rest of this article.

Meanwhile “Ruby Bridges Goes to School” has been targeted by book banners as well. Author Ruby Bridges recounts the true story of her experiences as a 6 year old girl who became the first black student to attend a formerly whites only public school. An organized group of parents wanted their local school board to ban this book, “for supposedly “explicit and implicit anti-American, anti-white” bias (source).” Read more in this Miami Herald article.

Here are four of the most challenged books from the last year, all available in our school library:

  • George by Alex Gino. Challenged, banned, and restricted for LGBTQIA+ content, conflicting with a religious viewpoint, and not reflecting “the values of our community.”
  • Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds. Banned and challenged because of the author’s public statements and because of claims that the book contains “selective storytelling incidents” and does not encompass racism against all people.
  • All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely. Banned and challenged for profanity, drug use, and alcoholism and because it was thought to promote antipolice views, contain divisive topics, and be “too much of a sensitive matter right now.”
  • Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. Banned, challenged, and restricted because it was thought to contain a political viewpoint, it was claimed to be biased against male students, and it included rape and profanity.

Read the rest of the “The Top 10 Challenged Books of 2020” from the American Library Association.

Libraries Rock Bigtime

Celebrate Libraries in October


October is a big month for libraries.

October is International School Library Month.

October is Canadian Library Month.

October 15 is Canadian Library Workers’ Day

October 22 is the BCTLA Conference

October 25 is BC School Library Day and Canada School Library Day

October 25 is Drop Everything and Read

Check back here for more info, and visit us in person, as we party all month in the School Library.






Simbang Gabi (December 16-24)

source: bccatholic.ca

Simbang Gabi is a Filipino Christmas celebration.  Similar to the Mexican Las Posadas and other Navidad celebrations in the Spanish speaking world, Simbang Gabi is a Novena, or a nine-day festival. Dating back hundreds of years to the  beginning of Spanish rule over the Philippines, Simbang Gabi emerged as a distinctly Filipino celebration of Christmas.  One of the features that developed in response to the agricultural practices of Filipino farmers is that the services are carried out in the very early morning, sometimes as early as 3:00 AM.

Simbang Gabi begins on  December 16 and concludes with the Misa de Gallo on December 24.

Many Canadians trace their roots to the Philippines, including many students here at Lord Tweedsmuir.  Ask some of your fellow students about Simbang Gabi!  You can also find out more here:


Check out your School Library’s current display of books: “Holidays and Holy Days.”

International Human Rights Day

From the United Nations:

Human Rights Day is observed every year on 10 December — the day the United Nations General Assembly adopted, in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR): a milestone document proclaiming the inalienable rights which everyone is inherently entitled to as a human being regardless of race, colour, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

The theme for Human Rights Day 2020 is “Recover Better: Stand Up for Human Rights.”  From the UN:

This year’s Human Rights Day theme relates to the COVID-19 pandemic and focuses on the need to build back better by ensuring Human Rights are central to recovery efforts. We will reach our common global goals only if we are able to create equal opportunities for all, address the failures exposed and exploited by COVID-19, and apply human rights standards to tackle entrenched, systematic, and intergenerational inequalities, exclusion and discrimination.

UN.org

Find out more:

Check out these books in your School Library:

Why should schools care about recreational reading?

Should teachers set aside time during the school day for kids to read for pleasure?

Yes.

Should schools do more to encourage kids to become recreational readers?

Yes.

Will there be enough of a payoff for our education system even if it means less time spent on other things?

Yes.

The answer to all these questions is most certainly yes.

Reading for pleasure, recreational reading, free voluntary reading, personal reading– whatever  you want to call it–  is built upon the intrinsic goal of reading because it directly benefits the reader: Reading for the sake of reading.  Yet there are myriad indirect benefits that come from recreational reading, many of which lead to profoundly positive educational outcomes.

Source: Freepik

A teacher should care that a student reads for pleasure, because reading brings pleasure to the student!  However, more than that, a teacher can also point to so many other benefits that come from recreational reading that will pay off in terms of academic achievement, social learning and character education.

If teachers (or parents, or administrators) are worried that the kids are missing out on valuable educational lessons, please remember this: Students who read more for pleasure will do better in school.  Recreational reading has many, many indirect educational benefits to students. Students who do more recreational reading will see improvements in vocabulary, writing skills, grammar, spelling, comprehension, critical thinking, concentration and so many other skills that are essential to one’s overall education.

Moreover, students who read more for pleasure will grow in social and emotional learning, as students can share in the experiences of different people, growing in empathy and understanding for people all backgrounds, ages, genders, orientations, beliefs and cultures.

As if those weren’t enough reasons for reading, here are some more. Reading books can help mitigate against the harmful effects of too much time spent on phones and in front of other screens. One simple and yet important example of this is that studies show that people who read from books or magazines before bed will sleep better than those who are looking at screens before trying to fall asleep.

There are so many reasons to read.

Schools need to do more to encourage kids to read for reading’s sake.  In doing so, the school will reap the rewards of having kids who do better in school.


October is International School Library Month
and Canadian Library Month.

Simbang Gabi (December 16-24)

source: bccatholic.ca

Simbang Gabi is a Filipino Christmas celebration.  Similar to the Mexican Las Posadas and other Navidad celebrations in the Spanish speaking world, Simbang Gabi is a Novena, or a nine-day festival. Dating back hundreds of years to the  beginning of Spanish rule over the Philippines, Simbang Gabi emerged as a distinctly Filipino celebration of Christmas.  One of the features that developed in response to the agricultural practices of Filipino farmers is that the services are carried out in the very early morning, sometimes as early as 3:00 AM.

Simbang Gabi begins on  December 16 and concludes with the Misa de Gallo on December 24.

Many Canadians trace their roots to the Philippines, including many students here at Lord Tweedsmuir.  Ask some of your fellow students about Simbang Gabi!  You can also find out more here:


Check out your School Library’s current display of books: “Holidays and Holy Days.”