The East York - Scarborough Reading Association is committed to improving the quality of literacy instruction and encouraging the development of a lifelong interest in reading.
In the Beginning...
In the 1960's, a group of educators came together from two of the legacy Boards of the Toronto District School Board: East York and Scarborough, along with the Metropolitan Separate School Board (EY and Scarborough regions), now the Toronto Catholic District School Board. Their mandate was to promote literacy, through an affiliation with the International Reading Association (IRA). They established the East York - Scarborough Reading Council and held meetings and workshops in local schools and Board offices.
This group of dedicated volunteers, comprised of teachers, consultants, administrators, superintendents and resource personnel initiated a yearly program of literacy events, the highlight being the annual Reading for the Love of It Conference.
The First Conference
The East York - Scarborough Reading Council held its first annual reading conference at Samuel Hearne Senior P. S. and Oakridge Jr. P. S. on February 14, 1975. It was expected that 750 teachers would attend the one - day event on a designated professional activity day. There were five large group sessions and 33 small group workshops and Reading for the Love of It was born. Reading awards were given out to teachers and staff who had demonstrated leadership in the field of reading. The annual conference has been held every year, since 1975, with the exception of 1988, when the IRA Convention was held in Toronto in May of that year and we chose to combine our efforts.
2020 marks the 44th anniversary for the conference
The Conference has grown from a few hundred local delegates to upwards of 4000 delegates from across the country, making it the largest literacy conference in Canada. Reading for the Love of It is hosted at the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Toronto.
How is the Association organized today?
The East York - Scarborough Reading Association became incorporated in 1989 as a non-profit organization. Our mandate is a commitment to furthering the goals of literacy education, by improving the quality of literacy instruction and encouraging a lifelong love of reading.
The Association is comprised of volunteer educators drawn from the Toronto Catholic District School Board and the Toronto District School Board who meet monthly in the Reading Office - yes, we have our own space now!
The Executive (twenty-six members at this time) is organized as follows:
What activities does the Association offer?
The Association's "main event" is the annual literacy conference in February each year. The Reading for the Love of It Conference is regarded as pre-eminent in bringing together local, national and international authorities in the field of literacy. The goal of the conference is to provide a wide spectrum of speakers to inspire and provoke thinking about literacy issues, and to promote the lifelong love of reading, all at an affordable cost to delegates.
Speaking of Reading is our twice-yearly newsletter that is sent out to all delegates who have attended the conference. Each complimentary issue focuses on a literacy theme and features articles, book reviews and photographs from educators in the field. Noteworthy events and special presentations are highlighted, and current thinking about best practices in literacy, learning and teaching is shared.
Outreach is the Association's effort to reach out to support individuals and organizations involved in worthy literacy endeavours. These projects have included assisting adult literacy groups, sponsoring Faculty of Education students, supporting book programs for daycares, building schools in Africa and providing programs to inform parents about literacy development. These are examples of ways in which the Association demonstrates its commitment to making a difference.