World record attempt planned

Peggy Revell

Forget eating better or exercising more. How about helping to break a Guinness world record for a New Year’s resolution?
On Jan. 23-24, people across Canada, including here in Fort Frances, are preparing to break the mark for the “Most Children Reading With an Adult, Multiple Locations” as part of the build-up to Family Literacy Day on Jan. 27.
Locally, one of the “record-breaking” events will be next Friday (Jan. 23) at exactly 2 p.m. at the Fort Frances Public Library.
“We’re pretty excited about it,” said children’s librarian Andrea Avis. “Every year we’ve done something a little bit different, and this year we were really excited that there was something being planned for us to participate in.
“I think it’s a really good opportunity for the community to get excited,” she enthused.
So far, more than 100,000 people from across Canada have registered to help break the current record of 78,791 participants, set in 2006 in the United States.
The nationwide challenge is scheduled to take place over a 24-hour period between 2 p.m. (EST) on Jan. 23, and 2 p.m. (EST) on Jan. 24.
“So what we’re trying to do is get all the parents and caregivers who have children at home on Friday at 2 p.m. [CST] to come down to the library and be a part of the special Story Time,” explained Avis.
To qualify towards the world record attempt, the five stories in the “Munschworks 2” anthology must be read for 30 minutes (not necessarily consecutively). This collection includes the stories “Pigs,” “Mortimer,” “Murmel Murmel, Murmel,” “Something Good,” and “Purple, Green, Yellow,” written by world-famous Canadian children’s author Robert Munsch.
At least one adult reader is needed for every 35 children, and for every 100 participants an independent witness is needed.
In the library’s case, 2009 Citizen of the Year Linda Hamilton will be dropping by for this role.
“The importance of literacy can never be stressed enough,” said Avis. And having families read together, to have children get used to sitting and listening to stories and participating in story-type events, all are important parts to literacy, she added.
Local schools also are putting together their own events for Jan. 27.
For those wanting to help out in breaking the record, there still is time to create and register an event through the Family Literacy Day website at
Family Literacy Day was created in 1999 by the ABC Canada Literacy Foundation and Honda Canada as a way to promote literacy and families reading together.