New educational initiative aims to ignite social action by connecting Canadian students, authors and books

November 23, 2011

Ottawa….Through its Imagineaction program, the Canadian Teachers’ Federation (CTF) is partnering with the Canada Council for the Arts, the Canadian Commission for UNESCO (CCU), the Public Lending Right Commission (PLRC) and Indigo Books and Music to launch a project called Listen, I read. This initiative will bring Canadian students together with authors and books to encourage them to share their opinions and to use literature and video to become socially involved.

The idea is simple: artistic creation stimulates the creativity behind social action! After choosing a Governor General’s Literary Award-winning book, teachers and students will read and analyze it, discuss it with the author, translator or illustrator, and then make a video illustrating the social action the book inspires.

The objectives of this initiative are to:

  • promote contemporary Canadian literature and reading;
  • combine new technology with the processes of creativity and learning;
  • make students aware of literacy issues;
  • use the arts to help youth find their voices as citizens.

In 2011, two pilot versions of this initiative were successfully carried out – one in French by the Collège Louis-Riel in Winnipeg with Kim Thúy, and the other in English by the Holy Trinity Catholic High School in Ottawa with Caroline Pignat. Participants in the full-scale project will be able to see the many different forms the initiative can take by studying lesson plans and watching videos showing what the project involves or videos made by other students.

Funded by the Canada Council for the Arts, the CTF, the CCU and the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation, the Listen, I read project has been launched to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Public Lending Right Commission, the 75th anniversary of the Governor General’s Literary Awards (GGs), the UN International Year of Youth and the UN Literacy Decade. The project launch coincides with the GG presentations (on November 24), in which PLRC members are also taking part.

The CTF Imagineaction program aims to engage young people in social action projects tied to the school and local communities.  View the video message by CTF President Paul Taillefer and Michelle Legault, Executive Secretary, Public Lending Right Commission, Canada Council for the Arts.  More information:


CTF President Paul Taillefer (contact Francine Filion, CTF, 613-688-4314)

Lolita Boudreault, Writer-Editor, Canada Council for the Arts, 613-566-4414, ext. 4557 / 1-800-263-5588, ext. 4557
Pauline Theoret, Program Officer, Imagineaction, 613-688-4303