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Category: Life Stories

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…

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Virtual Terry Fox run

Every September, Canadians go for a special run. The run is called the Marathon of Hope. 2020 is the 40th anniversary of the Marathon of Hope. Why do Canadians run? Terry Fox was a young man from Port Moody, BC. He lost his left leg to cancer in 1977. He wanted to run across Canada…

Life Stories Sports
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Hayden goes camping

Hayden likes to spend time outdoors. This summer, he is going camping across BC. He is reserving campsites from the BC Parks website. Why does Hayden like camping? Hayden likes to explore nature. He feels relaxed when he is away from the city. “When you are camping, you get to see nature in a new way,” he says. “I…

Life Stories Nature
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Donny’s Wax

Erik Levings and Taro Milligan are Grade 8 students from Abbotsford, BC. They like to skateboard. Their friend Donnie saw them skateboarding. He wanted to try, too. Making wax Levings and Milligan decided to buy Donnie his own skateboard. They made and sold their own skateboard wax to make money. Levings and Milligan went to…

Community Life Stories
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Nunavut’s new greenhouse

Nunavut is a large territory in northern Canada. It is very cold and dark. The weather makes it hard for fruit and vegetables to grow. So, groceries are expensive. A greenhouse was built The Arctic Research Foundation wanted to help people in Nunavut. It made a greenhouse near Gjoa Haven from shipping containers called “sea…

Community Environment Food Life Stories
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Lize wins an award

Norma Lize is a refugee from Lebanon. In February, she was recognized as a leader in Vancouver’s LGBT community. She won the January Marie Lapuz Youth Leadership Award. Something was missing Lize grew up feeling that something was missing from her gender identity. At 18, she met a transgender woman. It made her think that…

Community English Learners Life Stories Social Issues
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Vancouver’s first Indigenous poet laureate

Christie Charles is a spoken word artist. Spoken word poetry is read aloud. Poets use their voices and sometimes music to perform their poems. Charles dances and sings her poems. Sometimes she sings in the Salish language. She plays the drums. Sometimes she raps. Her poetry performances are lively. One of her poems says: Charles…

Culture Life Stories
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Landlord rights

Mei is a landlord. She rents out her parents’ old house. One day, Mei does a routine inspection of the house. It is very dirty. There is a hole in the wall. The cabinets are broken. There is water leaking on the floor. Her tenant has a cat. The lease says “no pets allowed.” Mei…

Community Culture Life Stories
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Tenant rights

Amare and Stephanie rent an apartment. The rent is affordable. They are happy. One day, their landlord visits. He tells them he will raise their rent by $200 per month. Amare and Stephanie are worried. They check their bank accounts. They look at their bills. They cannot afford the rent increase. The landlord says that…

Community Culture Life Stories
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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)

Life Stories
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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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