An online community of writers, educators and students reads and reflects on literature
From 2004 to 2008
Length of the activity: the programme lasts approximately three months
After an exciting year as a pilot project in 2004-05, Quebec Reads was produced from 2005 to 2008.
In this programme, well-known authors from Quebec shared their work, their techniques and their writing style with Anglophone students, who in turn shared their personal experiences and their opinions on the readings. Students were able to gain precious insight from these professional writers through online communication. Collaboration and exchanges between the students and authors was a key element of the project.
This 10-12 week programme included one visit in person, a videoconference with the author and an online forum. After a first meeting with the author, students were invited to discuss the selected book (provided for each student) on the forum with the author and other students. A second meeting by videoconference concluded the experience. Other activities were also planned during the project (meeting for the teachers, workshop at the Blue Metropolis Festival, online forum, pedagogical guide, etc.)
The French-language version of the programme was entitled le Québec bouquine.
Since 2007, the Quebec Reads programme was conducted in tandem with the Quebec Roots programme. This allowed students throughout Quebec to familiarise themselves with the work of several Quebec authors before undertaking work of their own.
Past participants have included David Homel, Catherine Kidd, Stanley Péan, Monique Polak and Carolyn Marie Souaid.
Carolyn Marie’s replies were wonderful. In particular, her comments on their own poems, written after reading hers, were enlightening and useful. They enjoyed finding out about the biographical background to the works, and learned important lessons about the difference between narrator and author. This actually encouraged them to experiment more with voice in their own work.
Cathy Evans, teacher participating with one class in 2005-2006.