A few weeks ago, I received an email through my website. It was from a school librarian in Fort Saskatchewan. She and a couple coworkers were planning a photo tour around Alberta as part of a literacy project. They would visit several communities during their school’s spring break in my area of the province, capturing images of “large” attractions and meeting authors along the way. Staff members of the French-immersion school, École Parc Élémentaire, made this incredible journey to spark a love of reading in their students through local sites and local stories.
École Parc Élémentaire staff members reading my books in front of Hughenden’s large brown-eyed Susan created by Ed Larson from a really big Bridgestone tire.
On Thursday, April 1st, the three of them – two teachers and the librarian – pulled into town in their white van and up to where I waited to greet them by the brown-eyed Susan situated on the edge of town. They presented me with a thank-you card and a water bottle featuring their school’s logo. I gave them some books and a coveted Village of Hughenden pin to attach to the literacy display that they would set up in École Parc.
When they left Hughenden, they were headed to the Drumheller area and had made reservations to stay overnight at the historic Rose Deer Hotel in the nearby village of Wayne where they would visit the Last Chance Saloon downstairs for supper and in hopes of spotting a ghost. They have updated me since and, while they enjoyed their stay and their supper, they reported their disappointment at not seeing an apparition there or anywhere during their trek.
They may not have seen a ghost, but these engaging École Parc Élémentaire staff members breathed life into the spirit of reading and, along the way, they made this east-central Alberta author’s day!