December 25, 2000
This week, we are launching 7 stories written by students from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. These students are enrolled at SIAST-Kelsey Campus, at the Literacy Centre. As a special event you can read their stories as well as hear them.
The family unit is the key to the success of any family literacy program. It is through the family that the seeds of literacy grow. The role of the parent as a model cannot be under-estimated. It is through modeling that the child establishes lifetime patterns. When parents read to their children, reading becomes a positive. Not only are the parents showing the child that reading can be an enjoyable thing, but the experience allows the parent to develop his or her own skills. The promotion and encouragement of family literacy is one of the mandates of the SIAST Kelsey Campus Literacy Program. In our efforts to achieve and validate this the students from the literacy class have created children's storybooks. The students receive a copy of the book that is theirs to take home. The books are to be shared with their own family and extended family units in the spirit of family literacy. These are some selected stories from the two children's book Unicorns and Dragon Tales.
My name is Katherina Aguilera. I am from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. I come from a small family; I have four brothers. When I decided to come back to school I had to start from the beginning. That meant I had to enroll in the literacy program. At first I didn't know if I could start over again, but the literacy program has helped me to develop my skills and to reach some of my goals. One of my goals was to write children's stories. The program has given me the confidence to further my education.
Play an audio version of this story
Once upon time, there lived a beautiful young princess. She lived in a frigid, old castle. She lived all by herself. Her mother and father and their servant had passed away when the black plague passed through the castle. The only one that survived was the young princess.
She was tired of being alone. Every night before she went to sleep, she prayed that she would have someone to talk to, someone who would be her friend.
One day she decided to go for a walk through the forest. She followed the same path that she always did when she would go walking through the forest.
There by the river she saw something. It was an injured unicorn crying out for help. At first she was afraid to approach the unicorn. She didn't know what to do. But she thought to herself that the right thing to do was to help the unicorn. So she walked slowly toward the unicorn. She said to the unicorn.
"Don't be afraid. I'm here to help you."
"Who are you?" asked the unicorn.
"My name is Katherina, said the princess. "What's your name?"
"My name is Sky," answered the unicorn. "I cut my leg on a branch that was beside me, and I can't get up." Katherina slowly sat down beside Sky. "It's going to be all right." She ripped a piece of her dress and covered the cut.
"Thank you," said Sky.
"Can you make it to my castle?" asked Katherina.
"No I don't think so. My leg is still bleeding," said Sky.
Katherina had no way of getting him back to the castle. He was too heavy to carry. Katherina decided to go back to the castle and get some medicine for his leg.
"I'll be back shortly, I'm going to get something to help you. So don't worry," said Katherina.
It was getting dark and cold. Sky was getting scared. He was worried about Katherina and wondered whether she was coming back or not. Then Sky heard a weird growling sound in the background. It was coming closer and closer.
He was afraid that if Katherina didn't come in time that a monster that lived in the forest would take him away.
All of sudden the noises stopped. He thought he was safe. But then out of nowhere he saw two red beams that looked like eyes running towards him. He felt his heart beating faster and faster. Sweat was running down his face. He started to scream for help.
"Help! Helpl" He yelled out. - He screamed so loud that all of the animals that lived in the forest could hear him.
"Skyl Sky! It's me, Katherina. I could hear you screaming all the way from the castle."
'"Oh Katherina I thought you were a monster coming to take me away," said Sky.
Katherina stood there and laughed.
'You silly unicorn there is no monster in this part of the forest."
"But are you sure? I saw red eyes," said Sky.
"They were not red eyes; those were fireflies," said Katherina.
"Fireflies?" asked Sky.
"Yes they were helping me find my way back to you," said Katherina.
Sky was relieved to know that there was no monster that was going to take him away. Sky was glad to see Katherina again. It made him feel better now that she was there with him.
"Now that you are feeling better, I think it is time to put some medicine on your leg," said Katherina.
She sat down next to Sky and pulled a gold container out of her bag and opened it up. She gently put the cream on his leg.
"I hope that it doesn't hurt," said Katherina.
"No it doesn't hurt," replied Sky.
"So what do we do now?" asked Katherina.
"I guess just I will wait until my leg heels up. But if you have to go," said Sky, "I will understand."
"No I don't have to go. To tell you the truth, I really have no reason to go," said Katherina.
"What do You mean?" asked Sky.
Katherina told him about what had happen to her family and how lonely she has been and how she had no one to talk to for so long.
"Well, you don't have to be alone anymore. I'm glad that I met you. Thank you for helping me. I know that you and I are going to be the best of friends," said Sky.
Katherina started to cry; she could not believe that she was going to have a friend. She could not believe that there would now be someone who would do things with her.
"Thank you for being so kind and being my friend," she said.
That night Katherina and Sky talked about everything. It was as if they had known each other for a long time. Before they knew it the sun was rising. They didn't realize that they had talked the whole night.
"How do you feel? Do you think that you can walk?" asked Katherina.
"I can try," said Sky. Sky slowly got up and started to walk around.
"Hey!" he said, " I can walk now. Thanks for helping me, Katherina."
"I guess you have to go home," said Katherina.
"I don't have a home. I live here in the forest by myself," said Sky.
"You mean you don't have any family? How come?" asked Katherina.
"Well, my family all died when the great storm destroyed our home. It took along everything that was in it way. I'm the last unicorn that exists," said Sky.
"I'm sorry that happen to you. You and I are a lot alike. Hey, I have an idea. Would you like to come and live with me? I have a lot of room," said Katherina.
"You would like me to live with you? Yes! I would love to live with you," said Sky.
So Sky went to live with Katherina. No longer was the castle cold; it was filled with laughter.