BY CORRIE BROWN
Sylvan Lake Municipal Library was proud to host Michael Kusugak, well-known Inuit storyteller, and his wife, Gerry Pflueger, at Lighthouse Christian Academy Mar. 17th.
Michael Kusugak grew up in Repulse Bay, NWT (now Nunavut). During his childhood, his family travelled by dog sled, living a traditional Inuit lifestyle.
He is the author of seven picture books, including Northern Lights: The Soccer Trails, winner of the Ruth Schwartz Award; Hide and Seek; My Arctic 1, 2, 3; and Baseball Bats for Christmas; and was co-writer of A Promise Is a Promise (with Robert Munsch).
Michael Kusugak lives in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut. Michael’s wife Gerry brought a variety of items that children could touch, try on, try out, and experience.
The library was fortunate to be one of the final recipients of the Community Spirit Program donation grant during the town’s centennial year. Due to ongoing renovations, the decision was made to use these funds to bring a well-known Canadian author to our little neck of the woods, and share that visit with a local school.
To decide on the lucky venue for Mr. Kusugak’s visit, the library held a contest open to local schools. The challenge was to create a banner about why their school should win a visit from this Inuit storyteller. The banners needed to demonstrate a knowledge of who Kusugak is, what his books are about, and had to include both staff and student participation.
The three schools to participate in the contest were C. P. Blakely, Lighthouse Christian Academy, and Our Lady of the Rosary. The judges of this contest: you, the public! At the end of the week, there were 432 votes cast, with Lighthouse Christian Academy receiving 217 of those votes. The Grade 2 classes from the other participating schools were invited by the winning school to attend the author’s event.
Many thanks to everyone who voted for their school of choice. The banners were all beautifully crafted, and in the end it was a close race. This wonderful collaboration between public and school library brought students, parents, teachers, and library patrons together in this quest for literacy. Well done, Sylvan Lake.