WOTS Up! Word on the Street

WOTS Up! Word on the Street – Toronto September 26, 2010 – Queen’s Park
By Garth Brooks

The last Sunday in September is always a great time of year to celebrate literacy and literature as the new fall publishing season approaches. It’s also when the much anticipated  Word on the Street Festival takes place . The huge event, a.k.a The National Book and Magazine Festival was held on Sept 26 this year and the perfect sunny weather brought out record crowds!  It’s outdoors, family-friendly and free –what a way to spend a Sunday! !

WOTS just keeps getting bigger and better – more author readings in a variety of genres, presentations and workshops, and a greater selection of books and magazines to browse at or buy.

CODE has been a regular participant at WOTS for years. It’s a great opportunity for us to tell festival goers all about CODE and its literacy projects and special initiatives.  This year, we were especially excited to show off our Canadian engagement programs Project Love, and, our brand new youth engagement initiative “Project CODE”. We were thrilled to get so much interest from local teens in Project CODE- and, we  actually managed to recruit some new “Project Coders” including Hedda and Cici. – who left WOTS revved up to start a P.C  club at their high school!

Manning the CODE booth were: Garth Brooks, Program Manager for Canadian Engagement, and Vivi Spicer, Communications Manager; and Gloria Reinbergs and Florrie Dalglish, former CODE Toronto employees and longtime supporters graciously volunteered their time to help us out. Luke Swanek from we(e) press  also shared our table and showed visitors our new jointly-published children’s picture book, Around the World in the Blink of an Eye. The books were flying off the shelf!

The highlight for me always is to liaise with other literacy groups and catch up on their news or to meet newly established groups to form a common idea that we might pursue in the future. Like CODE, this provides an opportunity for them to promote their organizations and the work that they do to support literacy either at home or overseas.

This year, CODE was located in Booth 255 in the “Fringe Beat” section, right at the corner of Wellesley Street West and Queen’s Park Crescent East – right at the beginning if you were approaching from the south. People who visited CODE’s booth, were interested in the work that we do with our partners in our overseas countries particularly the big books which we had available for viewing .

WOTS is a great event and CODE plans to continue being a part of the festival. If you live in the Greater Toronto Area, look out for our booth next year on Sunday, September 25, 2011 and drop by for a visit.