December 25, 2000
This week, we are launching 7 stories written by students from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. These students are enrolled at SIAST-Kelsey Campus, at the Literacy Centre. As a special event you can read their stories as well as hear them.
The family unit is the key to the success of any family literacy program. It is through the family that the seeds of literacy grow. The role of the parent as a model cannot be under-estimated. It is through modeling that the child establishes lifetime patterns. When parents read to their children, reading becomes a positive. Not only are the parents showing the child that reading can be an enjoyable thing, but the experience allows the parent to develop his or her own skills. The promotion and encouragement of family literacy is one of the mandates of the SIAST Kelsey Campus Literacy Program. In our efforts to achieve and validate this the students from the literacy class have created children's storybooks. The students receive a copy of the book that is theirs to take home. The books are to be shared with their own family and extended family units in the spirit of family literacy. These are some selected stories from the two children's book Unicorns and Dragon Tales.
My name is Zoe Bunnie. I am a mother of eight. Literacy has given me an opportunity to reach my goals. The Literacy Program has helped me to understand that I don't have to limit myself. I can face my fear of learning. My goal is to become an E.M.T.(emergency medical technician). I am determined to succeed.
Play an audio version of this story
In the forest of Purpletrees, it was a nice fall day. The leaves on the trees were beginning to fall. Everywhere you looked, things were covered with colors. Red, purple, orange and yellow leaves were everywhere.
In this forest lived a dragon named Denis, and a family of muskrats whose names were sonny, Raven and Chance.
On this fine day the muskrats went out to play with their favourite toys. Sonny was the oldest and his toy was a red ball. He would throw it up in the air and try to catch it. Raven was the second oldest and his toy was a blue truck. He would play with it on the leafy ground and make funny “vrooming” noises. Chance was the youngest and his favourite toy was a red wagon. He would go up the hill and come down with it. “Weeeee!”
Denis, the dragon, was a detective. His job was solving mysteries. Denis was just on his way back home from solving a mystery and he was very happy, because he solved it within minutes.
While everyone was busy playing and doing things, deep in the forest there was a new arrival. He looked like a scarecrow. He had messy hair, dirty clothes and hay that kept falling off of him. He was busy fixing his new home. You could tell by looking at him that he was lonely.
Back in the forest the muskrats heard their mother yell, “Come for lunch.” The three muskrats got up and left their toys behind.
The stranger had heard the muskrats having fun; he was lonely and grouchy. He didn’t want anyone to be happy.
A strong wind began to blow. The stranger turned away. When he turned back, he could see the house that he built had blown away. He grew angry. He began to run after his house and gather all the hay and build his home all over again.
The hay had blown into the forest and it landed right on the muskrats’ toys. While the stranger was picking up the hay he didn’t realize that he had picked up the muskrats’ toys.
As the returned to his place, the muskrats came back out to play. They noticed that their toys were missing. Sonny, Raven and Chance started to whine. Oh, what a fuss they made.
The dragon heard this whimpering noise and followed it. As he got closer he saw the three muskrats crying, “What is wrong?” he asked.
The muskrats turned to him. “Someone took our toys and we want them back!” they sobbed.
Denis, the dragon, disappeared in a flash then he came back as fast as lightening. “I will help you guys find your toys, but first I have to look for clues.”
Denis started looking for the clues and he quickly found three of them. The first one was the hay on the leafy ground. The second clue was a fresh path and the last one was the path that lead to the toys.
The four followed the long path. They saw the strange looking man. He was busy fixing his place. “Achoo!” Raven sneezed. This startled the stranger.
Raven’s sneeze was so strong that it blew down the house. Again the strange looking man yelled, “My house! Every time I build my house the wind blows it away or somebody sneezes.” The man was so upset that he started to cry.
Denis the dragon said very quietly, “Do you know where the muskrats’ toys are?”
Yeah, they’re over there. I accidently took them when I was picking up my hay.”
The muskrats ran to their toys and started playing with them “Thank you, sir, for giving back our toys,” said Chance.
Denis was happy that he had helped find the muskrats’ toys, but he also wanted to help his new friend. “What is your name?” asked Denis.
“My name is Elmer. I am from the city and I wanted a peaceful place to live. When I saw how quiet this forest was, I wanted to be right here. I really don’t know how to build a house. I tried it with sticks, grass and mud. That didn’t work. Now for the last time I thought I could try with hay.” Then he started to cry louder.
The dragon and the muskrats started to think about where Elmer could live.
“I have a perfect place for him,” said a strange voice.
They all looked quickly to see who was talking. To everyone’s surprise it was the mother muskrat. “Shianne Bear has a cave that she doesn’t use any more, so why don’t you live there?”
The muskrats were happy and Denis, the dragon, was too. So all was well in Purpletrees. Everybody got along and they all started to get ready for the winter.