Fam­ily Lit­er­acy Day cel­e­brated in the South­west

The Southwest Booster - - NEWS - SCOTT AN­DER­SON SOUTH­WEST BOOSTER

The South­west Lit­er­acy Com­mit­tee held events in four South­west com­mu­ni­ties late last week to cel­e­brate the 20th an­niver­sary of Fam­ily Lit­er­acy Day.

Dr. Emily Bam­forth, pa­le­on­tol­o­gist at the T-rex Cen­tre in Eas­tend, read from the book Dan­ger­ous Di­nosaurs, writ­ten by Freda Wishin­ski, dur­ing events held in Swift Cur­rent, Pon­teix and Shau­navon last week.

She said she specif­i­cally chose this book be­cause it has a tie to the work she does in Eas­tend.

“I had a choice of two books that were pro­posed, and I chose this one be­cause it has Saskatchew­an di­nosaurs in it. And then I have some things that I can show them that re­late di­rectly to the di­nosaurs they hear about. So I thought that was kind of cool too,” Dr. Bam­forth said be­tween read­ings at the Swift Cur­rent Li­brary last Thurs­day.

She was able to show the stu­dents at­tend­ing her read­ings a cast of the jaw bone of the duck billed di­nosaur which is de­picted in the book. Stu­dents also had a chance to pass around a piece of co­pro­lite, which is fos­silized di­nosaur poop.

“Kids I think are re­ally fas­ci­nated by di­nosaurs. I was. It’s how I got into it was as a child. And it re­ally just cap­tures their imag­i­na­tion. Th­ese big an­i­mals lived in the past, and com­ing to the re­al­iza­tion that they’re not mon­sters or any­thing, they were just an­i­mals that lived a long time ago. And mak­ing those con­nec­tions be­tween the an­i­mals that lived mil­lions of years ago and the ones that live to­day. That’s kind of the frame­work of palaeon­tol­ogy and the foun­da­tion of sci­ence re­ally. So it’s kind of get­ting into those deep sci­ence con­cepts, but in a fun kind of sim­pler way to be­gin with.”

Dr. Bam­forth pointed out that she had an early fas­ci­na­tion with di­nosaurs, and she also loved hear­ing sto­ries.

“I ac­tu­ally re­ally strug­gled with dys­lexia when I was a kid. I couldn’t ac­tu­ally re­ally read prop­erly un­til I was eight or nine, but I loved story telling. I loved be­ing read to. And to this day I’m a vo­ra­cious con­sumer of au­dio­books. I love lis­ten­ing to the spo­ken word. So sto­ries were a big part of what helped me de­velop those read­ing/lit­er­acy writ­ing skills. So very very im­por­tant that I was re­ally in­ter­ested in learn­ing about di­nosaurs and hear­ing about them, and that’s kind of what helped me de­velop the skills.”

She was happy to share some in­sights into her work as a pa­le­on­tol­o­gist, as well as en­cour­age the stu­dents love of read­ing.

SCOTT AN­DER­SON/SOUTH­WEST BOOSTER

Dr. Emily Bam­forth, a pa­le­on­tol­o­gist at the T-rex Cen­tre in Eas­tend, read from the book Dan­ger­ous Di­nosaurs, writ­ten by Freda Wishin­ski, dur­ing events held in Swift Cur­rent, Pon­teix and Shau­navon last week in cel­e­bra­tion of Fam­ily Lit­er­acy Day.

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