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Biking in B.C.

Biking is one of the best ways to see B.C. You can see mountains, rivers and wildlife. You can stop for a picnic in a park or go for a swim at a beach. Here are some places to see by bike. Stanley Park Seawall Stanley Park is in Vancouver. Ride along the seawall. You…

Sports
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Plant a herb garden

Do you like to use fresh herbs in your cooking? Plant a herb garden in a container. You can put it in a sunny window. Or, you can put it on your deck or patio.  Enjoy fresh herbs all summer!  What you need:  pot with holes in the bottom  potting soil  herbs  trowel  water  What…

Nature
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HealthLink BC 8-1-1

Do you need to talk to someone about a health problem? 8-1-1 is a phone line that is available 24 hours a day. Anyone in B.C. can get free health information and advice over the phone. It is operated by HealthLink BC, a part of the B.C. Ministry of Health. What do I do? Call…

Health
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How to use a nutrition facts table

Nutrition facts tables show the calories and important nutrients in foods. This information can help you compare foods.   Adapted from Canada.ca • Photo: Jade Chan

Food Health
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The little yellow house

This house is famous. It’s called Leslie House. It was built in 1888. The house is in downtown Vancouver. Mr. Leslie was the first owner. He was a carpenter. His family lived there for 60 years. Then, the house was used for business. It was a restaurant for many years. Leslie House is for sale….

History
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Winter blues

Cold dark days can make you feel sad, sleep too much and overeat. The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) says about 15 per cent of people in Canada get the “winter blues.” There are many ways to feel better in the winter: Get light Go outside during the day. Keep your curtains open and spend…

Health
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Build a snow person

Build a snow person this winter for outdoor family fun! What you need: mittens or gloves snow, not too wet or too dry outdoor space buttons or stones, sticks, a carrot What you do:     Make a large snowball. Roll it on the ground to pick up more snow. Pack snow around the bottom of…

Holidays
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The Westcoast Reader is 40 years old

Joan Acosta was the editor of The Westcoast Reader for 27 years. She was the only employee of the newspaper during that time. She wrote all the stories and did the layout. Joan retired in 2009. After she retired, she created a website called Best of The Reader. The website has 15 ebooks with stories…

Announcements
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Mulled cider

Many people like to drink mulled cider in the winter. What you need: pot stove 2 litres apple cider 1 orange, sliced 10 whole cloves 10 whole allspice berries 3 cinnamon sticks What you do: Add orange slices, cloves, allspice berries and cinnamon sticks to the pot. Pour the apple cider into the pot. Mix…

Food
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Park has a new name

Belcarra Regional Park is in Metro Vancouver. It has a new name. It is called təmtəm.xʷtən/Belcarra Regional Park. There was a ceremony on October 8. Members of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation and Metro Vancouver officials attended. Why was the name changed? The name was changed to recognize the park as part of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation. It…

Community Culture
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National Truth and Reconciliation Day

In June 2021, the Government of Canada created a new statutory holiday.  The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is on September 30.  Why is there a new holiday?  From 1880 to 1996, Canada sent Indigenous children to residential schools.  The children were taken away from their families. Many were treated badly. Many died.  The…

History Holidays
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How to Vote

The first thing you need to do is check to see if you are registered to vote. You can check at elections.ca/register. You can also check to make sure your address is correct. How do I register to vote? You can register online, by mail or by calling 1-800-463-6868. You will receive a voter information…

Social Issues
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Canada votes in September

Canada is holding a general election. The election is on September 20. What are we voting for? Voters elect 338 Members of Parliament (MPs). Most MPs belong to a political party. The party with 170 or more elected MPs forms the government. The leader of the party becomes the Prime Minister.   Why should I vote?…

Social Issues
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First Peoples’ map of BC

There is a new map on the internet. It is called the First Peoples’ Map of BC. It is the first of its kind in Canada. How does the map work? The map is interactive.  You can zoom in on a place and click to learn about local languages, arts and culture. On the map,…

History Technology
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Good and bad omens

Some people believe in omens. An omen is an event that predicts the future. It is a sign that something good or something bad is about to happen. Here are some good omens: A butterfly flying into your home brings good news or an important guest. A bird pooping on you is good luck. Itchy…

Culture Social Issues
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How to pack a picnic

One of the best ways to enjoy the summer is to eat outdoors. You can go on a picnic with your family and friends. You can picnic at a park, a beach, a campground or by a lake. What to bring on a picnic: a blanket a picnic table cover a picnic basket or tote…

Community Family Nature
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Lighthouse keepers

A lighthouse has a bright light to warn boats not to get too close to a rocky shore. The lightkeeper is the person who maintains the lighthouse. Norbie Brant is a BC coastal lightkeeper. He usually works seven days a week. What do lightkeepers do? “Being a lightkeeper is kind of like being a farmer,”…

Environment Life Stories
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Take a “forest bath”

Some parks in BC offer “forest baths.” You can book a walk in the woods with a guide. The guide teaches you how to relax by enjoying nature. You use your senses to: feel the leaves smell the trees listen to sounds in nature A “forest bath” is meant to reduce stress and improve your…

Environment Health Nature
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Staycation vacation

This summer, take a staycation. A staycation is a stay-at-home vacation. You can do fun things in your own town or city. You don’t have to spend money on travel, airfare or hotels. What to do: Go on walking tours. Learn about history, architecture and art from a local expert. Many guided tours are free…

Holidays
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Frances likes to walk

Frances likes to go on long walks. She walks an average of 12 kilometres per day. We asked Frances why she likes walking. When did you take up walking?  When I was young, I worked on a farm.  I walked between the dairy farm and the sheep farm. It was 10 kilometres a day. Sometimes, I did it twice in a day. Why do you…

Animals Health Life Stories
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Pita pizza

What you need: pita bread shredded cheese 2-3 tablespoons pasta sauce pepperoni red pepper onion mushrooms What you do: Submitted by Ho Mei Cha • Photos: Felisha Chuter

Food
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Haiku poems

The LINC 6 class from MOSAIC English Language Centre learned about the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival. They celebrated what they learned by writing haiku poems. A haiku is a Japanese poem. It has a special number of syllables in each line. The first and last lines have five syllables. The middle line has seven syllables….

Community English Learners Nature
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The Marine Detective

Jackie Hildering lives in Port McNeill on Northern Vancouver Island. She is the co-founder of the Marine Education and Research Society (MERS). She calls herself “The Marine Detective” because the ocean is full of mystery. Jackie taught biology in the Netherlands. Then, she did a whale watching trip at Telegraph Cove, BC. “It changed my…

Animals Environment Life Stories
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Still time to complete Census 2021

It is census time in Canada. Statistics Canada collects data on Canada’s population.  The information helps make decisions about programs like employment, education and health care. The census happens every five years. Count every person. You must complete a census form.  It is the law. The deadline to complete the online census form was May…

Culture Social Issues
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Tick season

Spring is tick season. Ticks are small bugs that suck blood. They live in many places in BC. Ticks can spread disease to people and animals. Getting bitten by a tick can make you sick. WildSafe BC has tips on how to avoid ticks and tick bites: Avoid areas where there are ticks. Walk on…

Environment Nature
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Poems by students

Amanda Gorman is an African American poet. She wrote a poem called “The Hill We Climb.” The LINC 7/8 class at the Cowichan Intercultural Society in Duncan, BC wanted to celebrate Black History Month in February and National Poetry Month in April. Seven students wrote poems with the title “The Hill We Climb.” Here are…

English Learners
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Make a mason bee house

You can make a simple mason bee house. Use things you have around the house. What you need: Empty milk carton  Paper bags Tape measure or ruler Scissors Pencil What you do: Cut the top off the milk carton. Cut at an angle to make a roof for your house. Cut the paper bag into…

Animals Environment
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Maureen is a hero!

Maureen lives in Yale, BC. One day she looked out the window. She saw smoke. The smoke came from a window at the Gold Nugget Motel. Maureen called 911. She ran to the hotel. She knocked on doors. Two people came out. They didn’t know the hotel was on fire. Maureen said, “Move your cars!”…

Life Stories
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Bobcat rescued

A bobcat was on a railway track near Trail, BC. It was eating a duck. It was cold out. The bobcat’s back paws stuck to the frozen rail. Train workers saw the bobcat. The workers came to help. They tried to cover the bobcat with a coat. But it hissed and growled. It tried to…

Animals
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Nietzsche the cat

Nietzsche was a famous cat. He lived in a bookstore in Chilliwack, BC. He died on February 22. He was 18 years old. Nietzsche was a stray. He was brought to a shelter. The shelter named him Peppin. He was adopted three different times. But each time, he was brought back. In 2008, he was…

Animals
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Worm-picking

A worm picker is a worker who gathers worms. The worms are sold as live fish bait.  Worm-pickers work at night. They travel by trucks to different fields. They wear headlamps.  Each worm picker has two coffee cans strapped to their ankles. One is for worms. The other is filled with sawdust to dry off…

Animals Business Employment
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Nutrition Month 2021

Nutrition Month 2021 March is Nutrition Month. Healthy eating is different for everyone. Everyone has their own culture and traditions. Everyone has their own preferences and nutritional needs. There is no “one-size-fits-all” for healthy eating. This year’s theme is “Good for you! Dieticians help you find your healthy.”   7 tips to plan meals on…

Food Health
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Neighbours decorate for Lunar New Year

Elaine Su was born in China. She lives in New Westminster. She celebrates the Lunar New Year. Elaine has a son named Ellis. He is two years old.  She wanted him to learn how Lunar New Year is celebrated in Chinese culture. But this year, there are no festivities planned due to the pandemic. Elaine…

Community Holidays Life Stories
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Black Shirt Day

On January 15, students and teachers in BC wore black shirts to school. They wore black shirts to raise awareness about racism. Why January 15? January 15 was Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. Martin Luther King Junior fought for the rights of African Americans in the 1950s and 1960s. He raised awareness about racism against…

Community Education History Social Issues
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Heart Month

Keep your heart healthy  February is Heart Month. You can learn tips on how to keep your heart healthy and prevent a heart attack. What is a heart attack? Your heart needs a constant supply of blood to keep beating. If the blood flow gets blocked, the result is a heart attack. Recognize the signs…

Health
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“Please take my tenant!!!”

Jake Corr is a landlord. He rented a room in his house to Dustin. Jake and his wife are having twins. They need more space. They asked Dustin to move out so they could have extra space. Jake posted an ad Jake and Dustin live in Victoria. There are not many places to rent in…

Community Life Stories
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Be prepared for winter storms

Are you ready for a winter storm? What will you do if you lose power to your home? There are dozens of winter storms in BC. Most families think they are prepared. They have extra food and toilet paper. But they do not have a plan or an emergency kit. What do you do if the power…

Health Nature
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$1,000 for families

There is a new benefit for people living in BC. Some families, single parents and individuals are eligible to get money to help them through the pandemic. The Government of BC is making a one-time payment to help people in British Columbia “who have been hit the hardest” by the pandemic. Who is eligible? Families…

Social Issues
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New Year’s Eve

Canadians celebrate New Year’s Eve in many ways. Here are some of the most popular traditions. Countdown People count down to midnight. They count from 10 to zero. At midnight they wish each other “Happy New Year!” Many cities set off fireworks at the end of the countdown. People go outside and bang pots and…

Culture Holidays
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“Deck the Halls”

Have you heard this Christmas song before? The song is called “Deck the Halls.” It is more than 300 years old. People sing this song to wish their friends and family a happy holiday season. Where does “Deck the Halls” come from? “Deck the Halls” is based on a Welsh song called “Nos Galan.” “Nos…

Holidays Uncategorised
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How to make the perfect snowball

A friendly snowball fight is a great way to have fun with your family in the winter. You can learn how to make the perfect snowball. Make sure the snow is wet Good snowballs need to be made from clean snow that is a little wet. Test the snow before making a snowball. Give it…

Environment Family Holidays Nature
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Spending money on in-app purchases

A father and a mother are essential workers. They went to work this spring. Their daughter stayed home. The mother used her credit card in the summer. It would not work. The card machine said “declined.” She got a credit card bill in the mail. The bill was for over $12000. The mother asked her…

Life Stories
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Parmesan orzo

Erika and Victor’s comfort food is parmesan orzo. It can be a side dish to meat dishes. It is delicious as leftovers. What you need:  3 tablespoons butter 1 ½ cups orzo 3 cups chicken broth ½ cup grated parmesan cheese 1/3 cup fresh chopped basil What you do:  Melt the butter in a pot….

Food
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Flu shots during COVID-19

Are you planning to get a flu shot at a pharmacy? Things will be different this year. “Pharmacists will be putting in more time and resources to keep patients and themselves safe during COVID-19,” said Geraldine Vance. Vance is the CEO of the BC Pharmacy Association.  You will need to make an appointment. Pharmacies will…

Health
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Halloween and COVID-19

This Halloween, there are new safety guidelines for trick-or-treating due to COVID-19. BC Centre for Disease Control says, “Celebrate less socially and trick-or-treat locally this Halloween.” Children need to wash their hands before going out, when they come home and before eating treats.  Carry hand sanitizer for eating treats on the go. Try to keep…

Holidays
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BC votes in October

British Columbia is having a general election this month. General Voting Day is October 24. Voting places will be open October 15 to October 21. They are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. local time. Voting places will be open on election day, October 24. They will be open from 8 a.m. to 8…

Social Issues
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How to vote in BC

  Advance voting There are ways to vote before General Voting Day. One way is called advance voting. Advance voting is scheduled for 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. local time from October 15 to 21. All voters can vote at any advance voting place in BC. Your Where to Vote card shows the advance voting…

Social Issues
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Anna is a first-time voter

May and Ham

May and Ham are cats. They live in a barn in Maple Ridge. May and Ham live with goats and chickens. May and Ham help The barn has rats. The rats eat the goat and chicken food. May and Ham hunt the rats. They keep the food safe. Their owners give them lots of love….

Animals
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Concern over hand sanitizers

Not all hand sanitizers are safe to use. More than 50 brands of hand sanitizers have been recalled by Health Canada. Experts say good sanitizers are made with quality-grade ethanol. They are safe to use. If methanol or ethyl acetate are used it can be dangerous. “Methanol and ethanol will look similar and behave similarly….

Health
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