Volume 12 Week 5

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(Posted 2:30 a.m., April 16)
East end high school students to take part in unique human library initiative

Special to Orléans Online

Students at Sir Wilfrid Laurier Secondary School and Colonel By Secondary School will host a human library this Thursday in which people from various walks of life will become living books “on loan” for conversation.

Human Books come from all backgrounds and ways of life. The Human Book selection at the high school event will feature actors, broadcasters, politicians, musicians, police and health professionals, to name a few.

What could a member of the Ottawa Police Tactical Unit, a radio host, the CEO of Ottawa Hospital, or the Ambassador for the Republic of Croatia have in common? It’s the one thing that most of us have experienced, at one time or another – it is stereotyping and or prejudice.

Human Books and their readers will meet for a “loan period” with the chance for students to listen, to ask questions, and to share experiences. A Human Book is a volunteer who has decided to talk freely about their own life experiences and expects to be heard but not to be judged.

"Our classrooms and textbooks highlight extraordinary people throughout history and modern day; however, we thought it would be wonderful to punctuate these teachings with extraordinary people in our community," says Sir Wilfrid Laurier teacher-librarian Mei-Lan Morton.

"These are people who have such proficiency in various areas (local and global) and have poignant and inspirational stories of overcoming hardships, trauma, and discrimination, while contributing so much of their time in our community.”

Many of the Human Books are multi-faceted individuals with experiences that span the globe. Students will have an opportunity to “check out” individuals with very unique perspectives and knowledge and provide insight into various topics of interest, not readily accessible in students’ daily lives. Ms. Morton added that one of the goals of the day is to promote and inspire a sense of “Global Citizenship” within the students.

(This story was made possible thanks to their generous support of our local business partners.)

 

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