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Category: Life Stories

Sophie had a money problem

Sophie is a new Canadian. Her husband handled all their banking. He paid the bills. He gave Sophie cash to buy groceries. Then, Sophie’s husband died.   Sophie was frightened Sophie didn’t know how much money was in the bank. Everything was in her husband’s name. Sophie worked part-time. She didn’t know how she would…

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Zen helps Hoshi get around

LEVEL 1 Hoshi is blind. He is 12 years old. Hoshi is a big dog. He is an American Eskimo dog. Hoshi has a friend. Find out more. Read the whole story. Try the exercise Zen helps Hoshi get around Listen to the story Zen helps Hoshi, Reading by: Patty Bossort The two dogs have accounts…

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Writer lives at a lighthouse

Level 3 Caroline Woodward lives at a light station near Tofino, B.C. The lighthouse is on Lennard Island. The lighthouse is very important. It has lights that guide ships along the rocky shores of the Pacific coast. Caroline and her husband, Jeff, have lived and worked at more than 12 lighthouses along the B.C. coast….

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Retired football player swings an axe

Level 3 Shea Emry always wanted to be a lumberjack. A lumberjack is a person who cuts down trees and cuts them into logs. Shea Emry’s great-great-grandfather was a logger. Most of the men in his family worked in the forest industry. Emry likes to swing an axe. Emry says swinging an axe is better…

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Seven steps to a healthier life

Adapted from The Vancouver Sun Level 1 It is simple. Eat less and move more. Lose weight and feel healthier by doing these things. Read the PDFs. Try the exercises. Seven steps to a heathier life Your Health is part of an e-book on healthy living from Best of the Reader Visit the links: Best of the…

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Woman, 80, lands plane

  “Cessna Grand Caravan” by PinCheck is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0  Adapted from The Vancouver Sun by Nila Gopaul Level 1 Helen Collins flies to Florida with her husband. They enjoy eating and sitting by the ocean at Easter. John Collins, 81, is a pilot. They start to fly home.

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Backpack safety

Level 2 Special thanks to the BC Chiropractic Association Illustrations: Nola Johnston Choose a backpack: with many pockets, so you can balance your heavy things, such as books. with wide, padded shoulder straps: Read the PDF Backpack Safety-PDF

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Two heroes save four

Two heroes save four Adapted from The Province by Nila Gopaul Level 2 June 2010 Last June, Matt and Tyler were driving on the Trans-Canada Highway to Revelstoke, B.C. A van swerves Suddenly, a van in front of them swerved (turned direction quickly). The van rolled down 20 metres into Griffin Lake. The van began to…

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Kites

Kites Story submitted by Bob Luo Kites were invented in China. China has two perfect materials for building kites. Kitemakers use silk and bamboo. Silk is used to sail the kite. Bamboo is used to make the framework. Bamboo is lightweight but strong.

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Terry Fox’s Legacy

Terry Fox’s Legacy* (July 28, 1958 – June 28, 1981) Adapted from The Province by Nila Gopaul Level 2 Terry Fox died 34 years ago today, on June 28, 1981. Terry is remembered for his bravery and his run across Canada. Terry called this run the Marathon of Hope. This marathon helped raise money for cancer research. *Legacy:  (say: le-ga-see) –  a gift you…

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Gurdial Oppal’s 100-year journey

Gurdial Oppal’s 100-year journey Adapted by Nancy Carson from the book 100 Year Journey  Level 1 It is the early 1900s. South Asian people begin to come to B.C. In 1932 in Punjab, India, Gurdial Oppal gets married. She is young. She is under 20. Two years later, she travels on a ship to Duncan,…

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Kim Phuc is coming to Vancouver

Submitted by Jennifer Pearson Terell Chair, TEAL Charitable Foundation Kim Phuc is coming to Vancouver, B.C. in May 2015. Kim will be a keynote speaker at the 2015 B.C. Teachers of English as an Additional Language (TEAL) conference. She will speak to teachers about her life as a refugee and as an immigrant.

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A man gets a surprise

A man gets a surprise Adapted from The Westerly News by Nila Gopaul Illustrations by Nola Johnston Level 1 Listen to “A man gets a surprise”– Level 1 Reading by Nila Gopaul Ted Benson, 37, lives in Ucluelet*, B.C. It is January 2015. Ted is getting ready for bed. It is late. It is quiet. Earlier, Ted made…

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Students talk about their volunteer experiences

Submitted and written by Carrie Jung, Instructor in the English for Academic Purposes Capilano University Photos by Richard Berwick • Videotaping by Hugh Soulis • Interviews by Vilien Chen Video editing and layout by Nila Gopaul Capilano University Capilano University is located in North Vancouver. Many students from different countries come to this university to study. Some…

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Artist paints family stories

Artist paints family stories Adapted from The Vancouver Courier by Nancy Carson Level 3 Jazmin Sasky is an artist. And she loves stories. Recently she listened to the stories of single mothers. Then she painted one large picture about each family. The paintings show each family story with beautiful, bright colours.

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Jerry lost his backpack

Jerry lost his backpack Submitted by Dora Huang, Burnaby School Board LINC Program Try the crossword. Click here. Answer key on the last page of this story. Try more exercises on this story. Click here and go to pages 2 and 3.  On November 5th, Jerry came from China. He got on the number 134…

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Happily ever after

Adapted from The Province by Nila Gopaul Level 1 Karam and Katari Chand have been married for 87 years. This is a long time to be married. It is a new world record. Karam is 107 years old. Katari is 100 years old. They are from India. Now they live in the U.K. Key to happiness…

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Marwa and Wissam, a love story

2014 Write a Story contest winners Story by Marwa O’da Burnaby, BC This story is by one of our four winners. Click the link to read the story.

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Hector has new legs

Hector has new legs Adapted from CBC.ca by Nancy Carson Level 2 Hector is a very happy dog. He is not homeless anymore. Lisa Korol adopted Hector. He now has a loving home in Regina, Saskatchewan. A homeless dog Hector did not always have a good life. Hector’s mother was a stray. She had no…

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Nam is the man!

                          Nam is the Man! Young skater, Nam Nguyen, wins gold. Adapted from the Vancouver Sun by Nancy Carson Level 1 In 2010, people saw a small boy skate at the Vancouver Olympics. He was only 11 years old. Everyone loved him. He…

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California tourist saves B.C. cyclist

Adapted from The Vancouver Sun by Nila Gopaul and The Westcoast Reader, October 2012 – includes a crossword puzzle Illustrations – Nola Johnston California tourist saves B.C. cyclist Level 2 Nas Rafi is a doctor from California. In July 2012, she visited Vancouver. Like many tourists to the city, Rafi walked around Gastown. It seemed like most days….

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A different kind of library

Adapted from The Vancouver Courier and The Vancouver Tool Library website by Nancy Carson Level 2 Many people go to a library. They borrow books. They read newspapers. They use the computers there. The new library in Surrey is different. You can borrow people at the Surrey library. They are called “living books”. You can…

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2015 goals – how to keep them

In the new year, many people make resolutions. Resolutions are promises or goals. For example: “I will quit smoking.” “I will lose weight.” “I will study a new language.” Did you know? Less than 10 per cent of people keep their New Year’s goals. Goals are easy to make. But they are also easy to break….

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Respect the ring

Adapted from CBC News by Nancy Carson Level 2 Respect the Ring Ringette deserves the same attention as hockey. Grace Kemp is 11 years old. She lives in Surrey, B.C. And she plays ringette. When she was in Grade 2, she met a player from the National Ringette League (NRL). Grace was inspired and she…

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Coconut Boys from Kelowna

Adapted from The Vancouver Sun by Nancy Carson Level 3 Two men from Kelowna are friends. Kevin Carta and Ryan Geni both wanted to start a business. Carta likes healthy, organic food. So, he thought about making a special pasta. It would be gluten-free. Geni is a vegan. He wanted an “ice cream” without using…

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Seniors’ stories

                          “Seniors’ Stories” is a project. It is run by The Vancouver Community Network. A team collected the stories from seniors.

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Seven-year-old wants to help

Adapted from The Vancouver Sun by Nila Gopaul Joshua Smith is only seven years old. But he plans to feed over 500 homeless people this Christmas Eve. Joshua and his mother, Traci Smith, have helped feed homeless people for two years. “He’s an average kid,” says his mother. “He’s bratty. He’s sassy. Doesn’t want to…

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Artist weaves pictures of cities

                Adapted from The Province by Nancy Carson Level 1 Sola Fiedler,78, is a fiber artist. She makes beautiful pictures. She makes pictures of cities, like Vancouver. She makes these pictures with yarn. Read the PDF. Artist weaves-PDF

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Trans-Canada dog

Adapted from The Vancouver Sun and The Province by Nila Gopaul Level 2 Pollux the dog escaped through an open gate in 2010. Her owners were heartbroken. Pollux left Montreal and travelled 4,500 km to Kamloops, B.C. Pollux made new friends in Kamloops. “She was really well-behaved,” said one family. The dog had a microchip…

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Monkey business: A monkey selfie starts a fight

Adapted from CBCnews by Nancy Carson Level 1 Everyone knows what a selfie is. It is a photo you take of yourself. Teenagers take many selfies. President Obama and the Pope took selfies. Some animals take selfies – if they can touch a camera. A nature photographer David Slater takes photographs. He photographs life in…

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Get to know BC: the World’s Largest Paddle

“Get to know BC” is a new occasional feature with fun facts about the province. The small town of Golden, BC is home to the world’s largest hand paddle/oar. The Guinness Book of World Records listed the entry earlier this year. This paddle is 13 times larger than an actual oar. It is over 2.8 metres (9…

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Mary makes chapatis in Kenya

Level 1 Mary lives in Kenya. Kenya is in east Africa. She has a son and two daughters. Mary has many friends. She likes them to visit her. I live in a small apartment in Mary’s yard. I am in Kenya for a few months to help teachers. I like to watch Mary cook. Sometimes…

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Summer stories: Participation for wellness

2014 Write a Story contest honourable mention Story by Thompson River University Life Skills Reading Class Kamloops, BC: Kenzi Ceccon, Cody Chase, Dean Cummings, Kayla Finney, Cody Harmon, Brad Harrison, Adam Kenoras, Clayton Ralph, Alona Shoemaker This story is by one of our honourable mentions. Click the link to read this story.

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Summer stories: My first car

2014 Write a Story contest honourable mention Story by Nageb Sulaiman Surrey, BC This story is by one of our honourable mentions. Click the link to read this story.

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Summer stories: Arriving in Vancouver

2014 Write a Story contest honourable mention Story by Sonia Wang Vancouver, BC This story is by one of our honourable mentions. Click the link to read this story.

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Summer stories: My favourite memory

2014 Write a Story contest honourable mention Story by Harlei Kelliher Osoyoos, BC This story is by one of our honourable mentions. Click the link to read this story.

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On This Day: A world record flight

On August 7, 1982, two pilots from Canada made a world record flight. They flew around the world in six days and 7½ hours in a single-engine plane. They flew 36,500 kilometres in a Cessna 210. Don Muir was 26 years old. He was a bush pilot from Sioux Lookout, Ontario. André Daemen was 22 years….

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Nora the piano cat

Nora is a smart cat. She plays the piano! She is very popular on the Internet and has her own website. You can watch Nora playing the piano here. Visit Nora’s website, Nora the Piano Cat. Do you have a talented pet? (Source: norathepianocat.com)

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Summer stories: The nature of wilderness

2014 Write a Story contest honourable mention Story by Rick Edmonds Prince George, BC This story is by one of our honourable mentions. Click the link to read this story.

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Canada Post honours C.D. Hoy

Level 3 Canada Post has seven new stamps. A famous Canadian photographer is on each stamp. See the stamps here. C.D. Hoy is on one of these stamps. Hoy was a famous photographer. He lived in Quesnel, B.C. B.C. road trip The Westcoast Reader editor and Nancy Carson drove to Quesnel, B.C. in 2012. It was summer. They went to the Quesnel and District…

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A big hug

2014 Write a Story contest winners Story by Stella Kong Vancouver, BC This story is by one of our four winners. Click the link to read the story.

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A childhood phase

2014 Write a Story contest winners Story by Bobbi Earl Summerland, BC This story is by one of our four winners. Click the link to read the story.

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The real me

2014 Write a Story contest winners Story by Alberto Holz Osoyoos, BC This story is by one of our four winners. Click the link to read this story.

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Edythe Culling shops for shoes

Adapted from The Province Level 1 Edythe Culling is shopping for shoes. It is a special shoe sale. The shoe sale happens every year. Read the PDF and do the exercise Edythe Culling shops for shoes Visit the link Look at these photos of the sale.

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Peak to be named for Tim Jones

Adapted from The Vancouver Sun Level 2 Tim Jones loved Mount Seymour. He walked his dog there. He rescued people there. He died on Mount Seymour. He was 57 years old. Thousands of people came to Tim Jones’ funeral. Police, firefighters, mountain rescuers, hikers, climbers and skiers came. People lined the street to watch the procession….

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Hero rescues family from fire

Adapted from The Vancouver Sun Level 2 Trevor Yellowbird is a hero. Trevor and his sister, Robin, saved three people from a house fire. Trevor lived in a basement suite. Robin was visiting. Robin smelled smoke about 3 a.m. Gurbux Dhanjal was Yellowbird’s landlady. She lived upstairs with her daughter, father and mother. The fire…

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An accident can change a life forever

Adapted from The Province Level 2 Trevor Philips walked home from a concert. A car hit him. Philips broke both his legs. He crushed his ankle. He broke his ribs, collarbone and backbone. He may lose the sight in his left eye. Philips was an active person. He worked in a restaurant. He ran a company…

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A special day

Adapted from a story printed in the December, 2013 edition of The Westcoast Reader I’m Angela. I’m originally from China Wenzhou, Zhejiang. Wenzhou is a coastal city, it means “song and dance of the rural.” I’m a professional dancer and I used to dance in a troupe in Wenzhou. I was also a dance teacher in an…

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Pilot crash-lands a glider

Adapted from The Province Level 1 A young cadet is lucky to be alive. He crash-landed his plane on the roof of an apartment building. Read the PDF. Try the exercise. Pilot crash-lands a glider Watch the videos: Flying in a glider 1 Flying in a glider 2 Learning to fly a glider

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Olesia dances in her wheelchair

Adapted from The Vancouver Sun Level 1 Olesia has cerebral palsy. She is 35 years old. Olesia has difficulty speaking. People thought she was not very capable. They were wrong. Olesia dances in her wheelchair. Read the PDF. Try the Exercise. WheelchairDancing Visit the links: A dancer invented a new wheelchair just for dancing. There are wheelchair dance…

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