FREDERICTON, N.B. – Children in Grades 4 through 6 are invited to join a Hackmatack book club at their local public library and participate in the Hackmatack Children's Choice Book Award.
“Encouraging a habit of reading to strengthen literacy skills in our children is one of our most important goals,” said Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Danny Soucy. “We encourage young readers to participate in the Hackmatack program, which runs all winter and concludes in the spring. We hope young New Brunswickers will take some time over the holidays to discover our Atlantic authors.”
Hackmatack Children's Choice Book Awards is an Atlantic Canada co-operative initiative involving libraries, schools, and bookstores in all four Atlantic Provinces. Awards are given in four categories: English Fiction, English Nonfiction, French Fiction and French Nonfiction.
Public libraries host Hackmatack book clubs and also work with some teachers to offer the program. By joining a club, children read the nominated books, discuss them at book club meetings at the library or on the Hackmatack blog, and vote for their favourite book.
“Through the annual Hackmatack program, we are fostering a culture of lifelong learning to enhance quality of life,” said Soucy, “Many schools participate in the program, but we want to remind the public that individuals can participate through their local public library. A love of reading at an early age sets the course for a lifetime of enjoyment and learning through literature.”
Each year, selection committees composed of library staff from New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scota, nominate 40 Canadian books as candidates for the awards. The nominated books are available in New Brunswick public libraries.
“Encouraging children to read and recognizing the works of Atlantic Canadian authors are two worthy goals of the Hackmatack program,” said Soucy. “It is a timely reminder of this free program as books are a popular and traditional gift and reading a common activity during the holidays.”
This is the 14th year of the Hackmatack Children's Choice Book Award. Each year, the project attracts about 350 reading groups from communities across Atlantic Canada, involving about 7,500 children.