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Reading Level: Level 3

September is Literacy Month

In B.C., we celebrate Literacy Month. Literacy is important to everyone. This year’s theme is “Literacy connects us!” Get involved! Enter the Literacy Connects Us Contest: Fill in the cloud with words or pictures that describe how literacy connects you at home, at work or in the community. Send your entry to contest@decoda.ca or post…

Uncategorised
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Rattlesnake gets a ride in sports car

In June, employees at a car dealership in Vancouver got a surprise. They found a snake in a Ferrari. The dealership called the Wildlife Rescue Association of B.C. Support Centre Helpline. “To our surprise, a photo determined it wasn’t a local Garter snake, but a Northern Pacific Rattlesnake,” Wildlife Rescue posted on Facebook. Employees had…

Animals Nature
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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$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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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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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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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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Study tips

Here are some ideas to help you study: Stay organized It can be hard to know where to begin. You may have many things to study at once. Make a list to help you stay organized. Write down what you need to study. Add important dates to your calendar. Break it up Learning information in…

Education
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Farmers’ markets

What is a  farmers’ market?  For hundreds of years, farmers sold their food at open markets.  Before towns had grocery stores, these markets were the only way to buy food. Now, people shop at farmers’ markets to support local farmers.  They can buy what is in season.  For example, in July, berries, radishes, and tomatoes are in season.  Because the food at farmers’ markets…

Food
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#DifferentTogether

People in BC are being asked to take a pledge against racism. A pledge is something you promise to do.    The pledge against racism was created by the Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia.    Why are people taking the pledge?   During the COVID-19 pandemic, many Asian Canadians have been hurt by violence and hateful words. People are taking the #DifferentTogether Pledge to stand…

Community Social Issues
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Virtual Canada Day

Many regular Canada Day celebrations are cancelled. They are cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.   This year, there are new ways to celebrate Canada Day.     In Victoria, the city will hold neighbourhood gatherings. The gatherings will be small so people can practise social distancing.     In Trail, the city will have red lights on the Victoria Street Bridge. The lights will be red to honour…

Culture
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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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Wanuskewin’s baby bison

A baby bison was born on Wanuskewin lands. She was born on Earth Day. She is the first baby bison to be born at Wanuskewin in over 150 years. Bison are special Bison are important to the local Indigenous peoples. The elders wanted to bring the bison back to their land. They wanted their children…

Animals
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Mental Health Week

Mental Health Week is from May 4 to May 10. Mental health is the way we think and feel about ourselves. It is the way we think and feel about the world around us. Good mental health makes it easier to handle stress and other problems. Here are some ways to practise good mental health:…

Health
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How to make compost at home

What is compost? Compost is made when small organisms called microbes break down household and garden waste. Waste can include things like food scraps, grass clippings, leaves and plants. Waste will break down, or decompose, over time. Composting speeds up the process. It gives the microbes a chance to break down the waste faster. Why…

Environment Food
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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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Single-use item bylaw

A new Vancouver bylaw will start in April. This bylaw will ban food vendors from giving customers disposable straws, forks, knives, chopsticks and spoons. People with disabilities can still get a straw if they need one. No more foam In January, Vancouver banned foam cups and foam take-out containers. Soon, the city hopes to stop…

Business Environment Social Issues
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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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COVID-19

COVID-19 is a new virus. It is also known as novel coronavirus. The virus appeared in Wuhan, China in December 2019. It has infected over 110,000 people in countries around the world. Close to 4,000 people have died worldwide. What are the risks? Most people can recover at home. The risk is greater for older people…

Health
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Preparing for a job interview

Job interviews can be stressful. If you prepare for your job interview, you will be more confident and relaxed. There are many ways to prepare for a job interview. Practise your answers before going to the interview Many interviewers ask the same questions. They will ask about your work experience. They might ask you about…

Business Culture Education Employment
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Finn and Traveller

Finn and Traveller are sniffer puppies. They work at Vancouver General Hospital. They started work on October 25, 2019. Sniffer puppies are trained to smell bacteria that makes people sick. They sniff for bacteria in hospital washrooms, hallways and waiting rooms. What is a sniffer puppy’s job? Sniffer puppies and dogs can smell the bacteria…

Animals
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Vaping

Vaping is similar to smoking.  When someone vapes, they use a small device to breathe in a liquid. The device is called an e-cigarette. The e-cigarette heats up the liquid and turns it into vapour. What is the liquid made of? The liquid inside an e-cigarette is called e-liquid or vaping juice. Often, vaping juice…

Health Social Issues
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Cold remedies

You can catch a cold at any time of the year. Some people try to fight the cold before it starts. If they can’t, people want to get rid of the illness as quickly as possible. Remedies to fight a cold before it starts Some people try to fight a cold as soon as they…

Culture Health
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Wildfires in BC every summer

Level 3 We have about 2000 forest fires every summer in BC. Forest fires are also called “wildfires”.Many hectares of forest are lost every year. Sometimes homes are lost, too. The wildfire season starts when the forest gets dry in the spring.The fire season ends when the forests get wet from rain and snow in…

Community
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Summer jobs for youth 2017

Level 3 The Summer Jobs Program helps students get summer jobs. The Summer Jobs Program is part of the Youth Employment Strategy. Read on to find out: What the program does Who can participate How students and youth can get help finding a job What does the program do? The Summer Jobs Program helps youth:…

Community
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B.C. Votes 2017

Resources for BC Votes 2017. Visit these links Find out more about elections in B.C. Digital and printable maps of B.C. Electoral Districts Interactive Electoral Districts Map Register to vote on-line Learn more about identification and vouching  

Community
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Happy Lunar New Year!

Adapted from article written by Nila Gopaul, originally posted to The Westcoast Reader, February 2015 Every year, during Lunar New Year, many cities and towns in B.C. are filled with red banners. Sometimes there are lion dances, parades and crowds. Restaurants are filled with many people. Around the world Lunar New Year celebrations last for 15 days. Vietnamese, Chinese…

Holidays
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Remembrance Day

Lest we forget November 11     Remembrance Day Level 3 November 11 is Remembrance Day in Canada. On this day we honour Canadians who fought and died in wars. Many communities have special events and parades on Remembrance Day. Watch this Remembrance Day ad from the Government of Canada Red poppies Sixty thousand Canadians died…

Holidays
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Protect yourself from colds and the flu

Level 3 In Canada, many people get colds and the flu (influenza) in the winter. Viruses cause colds and the flu. These viruses pass easily from person to person. Learn more about colds and the flu: How to protect yourself How to protect others What to do if you have a cold or the flu…

Health
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Can we save the ocean?

Level 3 Boyan Slat says, ”Yes, we can!” Who is Boyan Slat? Boyan Slat is 21 years old. He lives in the Netherlands. Boyan started thinking about how to clean up the ocean when he was 16 years old. His family was on vacation near Greece. He liked to swim in the Mediterranean Sea. He…

Environment
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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….

Life Stories
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The Summer Jobs Program

In March, Prime Minister Trudeau announced more money for the Canada Summer Jobs Program. The Summer Jobs Program helps students get summer jobs. The program is part of the Youth Employment Strategy.

Community
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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…

Life Stories
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Prime Minister Trudeau in Washington

  LEVEL 3 Americans are excited about Prime Minister Trudeau. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited the President of the United States. He stayed for three days. This was the first official visit of a Canadian Prime Minister to the United States in 20 years. Hundreds of people greeted Prime Minister Trudeau at the White House…

Community
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Education First Nations style

LEVEL 3 Eighty children go to a special school in Vancouver. They learn in First Nations style. The Aboriginal Focus School is the only one in Vancouver. Seventy of the students are aboriginal and 10 are not aboriginal. They have room for more students. The school helps students develop cultural pride. Students learn about the…

Education
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