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Ontario books-in-schools project funds publishers to create academic materials

Evan Munday.

Evan Munday.

The government of Ontario has launched an initiative to get more Canadian literature into the province’s schools as part of a culture strategy it released last July.

The Canadian Books in Ontario Schools Fund, helmed by Tourism, Culture, and Sport Minister Eleanor McMahon, offers $250,000 per year over three years to homegrown publishers for supplementary classroom resources based on their existing titles. These resources, in the form of discussion guides, activities, and lesson plans, will be created to complement literature appropriate to be taught to students from kindergarten through Grade 12. Resources may also be considered for distribution through TVO’s TeachOntario online portal.

Another part of the fund will support promotions and marketing to aid in the resources’ discoverability for teachers, librarians, and school boards. The first round of resources will be available to students as early as the 2018 academic year.

“It’s critical for kids to see that authors aren’t just from London or L.A. – they are from Sudbury, from Curve Lake First Nations, from Mississauga,” children’s author Evan Munday says in a press release. “As a Canadian author, I’m glad that this new fund will give teachers more tools to bring local stories into their classrooms.”

Ontario-based literary publishers can apply for the Ontario Media Development Corporation-backed grants online.