About Us

Books with Wings is a Toronto not-for-profit organization which provides brand new, quality picture books and personal letters for First Nations children who reside in isolated Canadian communities. The organization consists of four dedicated volunteers who are driven by the belief that literacy, education and equal opportunity are critical elements in the transformation of the lives of First Nations children. Books with Wings thus aims to encourage early literacy skills in children who do not have access to books of their own. We also seek to educate our book donors on the existing literacy-related challenges that affect indigenous children. We choose only literature which inspires curiosity, creativity and a love of reading. Books with Wings works with schools on a long-term basis so children come to know us personally through our correspondence. Ultimately, our goal is to befriend a young child and to help give them a brighter future through the written word.

 

Our Team

Anna Rosner (Ph.D. University of Toronto)

Anna Rosner is the Director of Books with Wings. She teaches French at university, writes children’s stories, and is the published author of short-story fiction, numerous scholarly articles, and the middle-grade biography Journeyman: The Story of NHL Right Winger Jamie Leach. Dedicated to promoting her love for words, Anna has taught language and literacy to children and adults ages five to seventy-five.

 

Shelley Allen, (B.A. Brandeis, D.T.A.T.I. Toronto, A.T.R., R.P)

Shelley Allen is an art therapist in private practice working with children, adults, seniors and families in Toronto. Her experience includes coordinating all aspects of school art therapy programs for children with a variety of learning and physical challenges. She has worked as an active volunteer with many organizations including Lymphoma Canada and the Out of the Cold program, which provides shelter for the homeless in Toronto.

 

Andrea Hatherell (M.CI.Sc, University of Western Ontario)

Andrea Hatherell is a paediatric speech-language pathologist living in Toronto. She has previous experience working on a First Nations reserve as an elementary school speech-language pathologist, and currently works in a children’s rehabilitation hospital providing nonverbal children with tools, strategies and technologies for communication. It is through these experiences that she is aware of the far-reaching impact and joy books can have.

 

Sandy Gray (B.A., M.L.S., University of Toronto)

Sandy Gray has worked as a librarian, researcher, and corporate knowledge manager. A former president of the Association of Independent School Librarians (AISL), she worked for 17 years as a school librarian. As a lifelong learner, Sandy recently completed the University of Alberta’s MOOC on Indigenous Canada. Sandy is an avid reader who loves to connect books with readers of all ages.