Sheree Fitch recipient of New Brunswick Literacy Award
RIVER JOHN, NS - River John author Sheree Fitch was recently honoured with a New Brunswick Literacy Award.
On Nov. 26, Fitch received the award for an Individual in Outstanding Contribution in Literacy by the Literacy Coalition of New Brunswick in honour of Dr. Marilyn Trenholme Counsell, former New Brunswick Lieutenant-Governor and Senator and now past president of the Literacy Coalition of New Brunswick. This award recognizes outstanding achievements in the fields of literacy and essential skills.
“I am so grateful and humbled - this award coming from my home province and from a woman I so deeply admire, a woman who has supported and championed my work for so long, a woman who has inspired so many people herself, recognized the importance of early childhood education and literacy read to thousands of children, all of this, after a lifetime of service as a professional committed to healing others.” said Fitch.
Fitch has authored many books for all ages as well as hosting workshops on creativity, literacy education, children’s and women’s issues, storytelling and narrative.
In July 2017, she opened Mable Murple’s Book Shoppe & Dreamery in River John as a seasonal specialty book shoppe featuring Atlantic Canadian books in all genres as well as Canadian children's books.
“I will say what I always say: A book cannot be a book unless it is read and a poem cannot be a poem without being heard –so this award really belongs to all the readers of over 30 years - the teachers, librarians, educators, parents and grandparents, everyone who reads to children and puts good books in their hands. And the child readers themselves! “
In addition to her own writing, Fitch has performed at the Canada Day Celebrations at the Canadian Embassy, the Washington National Cathedral, and the Library of Congress. She was part of a Cultural Arts exchange in Mexico, and has represented Nova Scotia at international schools in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, China, Belize, Thailand, and Vietnam, bringing rich experiences back to the Canadian literary community.
She has twice been a writer-in-residence in the country of Bhutan, Nunavut and the Vancouver International Writers Festival's school outreach program in Nelson, B.C. Closer to home, she was the 2013/2014 Pictou Antigonish writer-in-residence.
Fitch also holds three honorary doctorates from Canadian universities for her contribution to Canadian literature, education and for her work as a literacy advocate and activist for social justice, especially issues affecting women and children.
“At 62, I know now more than I ever did, all I have ever done, really, is do the thing I was put on earth to do - love all children as my own and especially my own who inspired so many of my books –tell stories, write poems, teach, shine a little light,” she said.