We’ve all encountered a student or patron who is only willing to pick up a book if they’ve been assigned to read it; maybe they think reading is boring or a waste of time. There’s a good chance they just haven’t found that book yet—you know, the one they can’t seem to put down or stop talking about. The Forest of Reading Awards helps readers find books they love and lets them vote for their favorites. With ten different reading programs for kids and adults, and 100 books nominated every year, these awards get everyone excited to read! Currently, these awards are only for Canadian citizens, and while we send so many goods to our Northern neighbors, it may be time for us to import these awards to the United States. Read on to learn five fun facts about these unique awards.
1. The Forest of Reading is Canada’s largest recreational reading program.
Before the 1980’s, there were many recreational reading programs in Canada that supported reading for pleasure, however, a swift change towards supporting curriculum development disrupted the reading landscape. Disturbed by the lack of programs that empowered children to read for pleasure, the Ontario Library Association (OLA) made it their mission to excite children about reading again. By creating the Forest of Reading Awards, the OLA helped teach readers about Canadian authors, illustrators, and publishers—all while empowering kids to read what they loved!
2. This program is meant to encourage a love of reading across all age levels and to help improve children's literary scores!
The Forest Awards have it all—there are reading programs for preschoolers, adults, and everyone in between! Check out all the programs they have to offer:
Blue Spruce, kindergarten-grade 2
Silver Birch Express, grades 3-4
Silver Birch Fiction, grades 5-6
Yellow Cedar, grades 5-8
Red Maple, grades 7-8
White Pine, grades 9-12
Le prix Peuplier, picture books
Le prix Mélèze, graphic novels
Le prix Tamarac, short novels
Evergreen Award™, adult
3. All Canadian residents can sign up through their local public library, school library, or individually.
Once a reader is ready to get started, they can register online through www.forestofreading.com. Any reader can register individually, or Teacher-Librarians can register their public library or school. Once they are signed up, readers can read any book from any category and vote for their favorites. It is suggested that participants read at least 5 of the 10 titles in an award category before voting for their favorite. Participants on varying reading levels can decide which book award categories are right for them—and if they are feeling ambitious, they can read all 100 titles!
4. Those who participate in the Forest Awards can connect with their favorite authors and illustrators for visits, book talks, educational workshops, and other fun activities.
When readers register, they become eligible for special promotions including access to different learning activities, virtual content, book talks from authors and illustrators, and—most importantly— the opportunity to vote for their favorite book in any of the ten award categories! Readers can sign up for additional Forest Perks that give them early ticket access to the Forest of Reading Festival, exclusive discounts at the Library Marketplace and volunteer, networking, and professional development opportunities.
5. The readers pick the winning books!
A great motivator for readers is knowing that their vote counts—they are in charge of choosing the winning titles! For JLG members, this is especially exciting because we already have some of the 2023 Forest of Reading finalists in stock! Check our website for these award-nominated titles:
The Forest of Reading Awards are a terrific way for students to fall in love with reading again, and here at JLG, we want to help foster that love of reading. If you have questions about our book selections or would like to know more about the titles we offer, schedule an appointment with one of our sales representatives. Happy reading!
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