Family Literacy Day celebrated in the Southwest
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.
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.