Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Camrose Composite High School: Senior Opportunity class

We made one visit to the senior opportunity class at Camrose Composite High School as a celebration of Literary Arts, part of Alberta Art Day celebrations. The senior opportunity class are studying and reading Robert Munsch stories so it was a good match. They gave us four words so we came up with a story epilogue.

Four extra words: Biking, happy, train show, swimming

You can read the whole story at http://www.munschabunch-story.blogspot.com/

Don't forget to Donate - it's still not to late.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Final Two Chapters of the Project Story

Helen reports we have raised about $8000 for Literacy - great job everyone.
It's still not to late to donate.

David also sent me the last few chapters of the Project Story.  It is posted at


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Explaination for Number 9

The story behind #9 of the Top 10 lessons learned is that when we camped at McLennan, the campground was actually closed for the season. The manager of the campground lives on-site, so opened the men’s washroom for us to use on this very cool evening. Helen and I went for showers first and were puzzled that, even though there was hot water at the sink, we could get NONE from the single-dial control in the showers. Maybe the hot water supply to the showers was somehow shut off for winter? After suffering through cold showers, we bundled up and headed back to our site to make supper. We had not crossed paths with Alan, but sometime later he returned to our campsite exclaiming what a GREAT shower he’d had. I was convinced he was bluffing and told him so. After all, we had shivered through very quick, very uncomfortable showers. With a great laugh, he explained that the plumbing was backwards in the showers and he’d had an abundance of hot water.

Check out the next chapter of our story at http://www.munschabunch-story.blogspot.com/

Sheralyn's Top Ten

Sheralyn sent me this list and asked me to post it......
I don't get number 9... I'll find out and explaine later.

10. It’s better to have a broken arm than a broken head. Wear a helmet!

9. Those who consider the possibility that the plumbing is hooked up backwards will undoubtedly have a more comfortable shower.

8. Hair dryers are a multi-purpose appliance that no camping trip should be without.

7. When you are in a bad way, there are usually enough empathetic souls around to get you back on track, unless you are a big guy hobbling down the road with a flat tire.

6. The probability of cycling fast enough to outrun a large mean dog is inversely proportionate to the width of your tires.

5. Real campers CAN use recipes.

4. Cycling on narrow shoulders in 40 km/h cross wind is best left to fools.

3. “Where’s Waldo” is much more enjoyable as a book than as a real-life exercise.

2. Road grit from passing motorists on a rainy day is not a recommended source of dietary fiber.

1. If a tree falls in the forest…. You CAN hear it.

Friday, September 11, 2009

2009-09-11-Home Safe in Camrose - Sparling School

This afternoon, the team rode into Camrose to wild enthusiastic applause from the students at Sparling School.
After the grand entry, the team read "Zoom" to the students and talked about the importance of reading.  They also told the students all about the adventures that they had on their trip - trees falling on bikes, 60kph head winds, rain, and injuries at Tim Hortons.  Finally, the students gave them four more words for the final chapter of the Miles for Literacy Story.  (If you have a name for our story, please email it to us at info@miles4literacy.com.) 
When will the story be complete?  How much money did we raise?  Are they Large Warty Frogs???
Stay tuned for more updates!!

2009-09-11 - Ministik School and Another Story Chapter

This morning the team got quite a suprise when they visited Ministik School.  When they went into the 1/2 classroom, they found a map of their route, and a story board with the Miles4Literacy story on it.  The Class had been following our blog, and knew all about the trip so far.  They even had their four words picked out.  Sheralyn says that they were very enthusiastic "Zoomers".
David sent me Chapter 5 of the Story from C.J. Schurter School in Slave Lake.  I have it posted for you to view.  Only three chapters left!
Helen and David reading Zoom
(Photo by Dan Jensen - Camrose Booster)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

2009-09-10 - Westlock Update! and New Chapter for our Story.

I spoke with Helen today! She is OK and not in pain, but she suspects that her arm is BROKEN! She has an appointment in Camrose just after they are scheduled to arrive back in at Sparling School tomorrow. Helen even rode 4km today, and hopes to do a bit more tomorrow. What a trooper!

There is a new update to the Story! Click Here!! Chapter 4, from McLennan. The four words are Marvellous, Awesome, Cool, and Spectacular! You have to read it to believe it.

The team is on schedule. They enjoyed their presentation at the Westlock Elementary School, and are now heading for Sherwood Park. Today is cool with some light showers, but nothing compared to the first part of the trip!! They are all looking forward to getting Sparling School tomorrow afternoon.

Please come out to cheer the team home. They expect to be at Sparling School around 2:30pm.
Alan and David talking about Bike Safety!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

2009-09-09-Major Update! - Westlock

Lots of news today!!
Sheralyn called me tonight and we had a long chat!  Good news - and bad!  
Last night, after a day of riding in the rain, as they pulled into Slave Lake, Helen needed a "Tim's".  She pulled into the parking lot and into a handi-cap zone with her bike.  Unfortunately she had technical difficulty with her dismount (couldn't get her foot out of the toe clip).  She fell onto the handicap sign and hurt her arm.  The team took her to the hospital, where she was checked out.  She is now wearing a splint that starts at her wrist and runs almost up to her shoulder.  It is held on with three tensor bandages.  Helen is in good spirits, but couldn't ride today (she tried, but it hurt too much).  She probably won't be riding tomorrow either, but we hope she can join the group again to cycle back into Camrose on Friday!
Helen in a wheelchair in the hospital with her arm in a splint!
This morning, the team made a presentation to CJ Schurter School in Slave Lake.  A lot of fun was had by all!  To celebrate literacy, the school, which has a protected reading time every day, read a total of 15,831 minutes (all yesterday) in honour of the Munsch a Bunch project, and to support Literacy.  WOW! That's 10 minutes for every kilometer of our journey!
Alan, David, Sheralyn and Helen reading "Zoom" at C.J. Schurter School.
David even won a "Hoppy Award" (a green certificate that looks like a frog), because he was nice to someone in the school office and made them Happy!  CJ Schurter School is an "I Care" School.  The school is K-3 and has 400 students.
Kids are always impressed with the map showing the route!
After the presentation, the team headed for Westlock.  Today was the best day for riding yet.  Sheralyn says the number one piece of equipment required was a pair of sun glasses!  With Helen not riding, the others had to make up the difference, so it was a record distance day for David, Alan and Sheralyn!
Even though Helen couldn't ride, it didn't mean she wasn't contributing to the team.  At one point, she had pulled over with the van to wait for the rest of the team.  While waiting, a truck full of men pulled up in front of her and got out.  They saw the cyclists, and the graphics supplied by Windwood Signs on the side of the van.  They wanted to know what the tour was about.  It turns out that they are cyclists also, and have done some similar rides and fund raising.  They were on a hunting trip, but had been rained out.  They left Helen with a $60.00 donation!  Good Job Helen.
Dave - Tuning his Bike!
It's hard to believe that there are only two riding days left in the trip.  Tomorrow night, the team is looking forward to dinner with David and Helen's daugher-in-law in Sherwood Park.  After that they will ride out to Ministik School where they will camp the night and be prepared for the presentation the next morning.
Watch for another chapter of our Story Tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

2009-09-08 - McLennan and Slave Lake

another Saint Patrick School poster
Cold Rainy Weather
Our team has been too busy, too wet, and too cold to send me daily updates, so we missed yesterday; but I did receive an email and a text message today - so here is the update.
Monday, there were no presentations, and as reported on http://www.twitter.com/miles4literacy the team actually had a tailwind for most of the day.  When they arrived at McLennan, the campground was closed for the season.  Fortunately, the lady who manages the campsite, and lives there, opened the gates and let them stay.
Trying to warm up before the ride....
After a presentation to the École Providence School in McLennan, the team started cycling to Slave Lake.  The weather did not want to cooperate.  It was cold and rained most of the way.  Tonight, the team has found a laundromat in Slave Lake, and is busy drying out their clothes and trying to warm up so they will be ready for tomorrow.
2009 Miles for Literacy STORY.

This year, we are trying something new.  At each school that we visit on the tour, we ask the students for four words.  Each day, we create one chapter of the story using the four words from that school or community group. The story is posted on a 'Sister Blogsite';


Each chapter will have the four words in bold font. We may not be able to post a chapter every day, because we don't always have access to the internet along the way.   Please be patient, we will post the chapters as soon as we can.  The first three chapters are now on the site.

Our story does not yet have a title, if you have any ideas, please either leave a comment or email us at info@miles4literacy.com.

Please remember to support our local Literacy Programs.  You can download a donation form at http://www.miles4literacy.com/donate.html.

Helen -still ready to go!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

2009-09-06 - Fox Creek - Fairview

Wow! A lot has happened over the last day and a half. Sheralyn's cell phone died, so I haven't been getting updates as often as I would like - so missed yesterday's blog..... Let's catch up!

Friday, Sheralyn and Alan rode from Drayton Valley to Whitecourt alone, while David and Helen drove to Edmonton for repairs to their van and bikes. The van window will take a week, so they will have a cardboard and duck tape window for the rest of the trip. Helen's bike was repaired, but David needed a new one. They also purchased a new carrier for their bike. Everyone met in Whitecourt Friday Night.

Saturday, they all made a presentation to the Indoor Playground Society in Fox Creek. The society had arranged for parents and children (age birth to 8) to be in attendance. The parents and children all participated in the readings. It was a lot of fun. The photos were taken by Brandi Bedson, who is the photographer and reporter for the Fox Creek TIMES, http://www.foxcreektimes.ca/. Apparently David took some photos, but his camera is not digital - and he didn't have any film in it... :<(. Brandi graciously volunteered her photos. Thanks Brandi for the great photos!

Sunday Morning, Alan and Sheralyn attended a service at the Valleyview United Church, while David and Helen did the same in the United Church in Fairview. Presentations were done in both churches. Apparently neither Alan or Sheralyn are singers, so the congregation was kind enough to help with the singing of "I'll Love You Forever".

By tonight, the team hopes have cycled the distance between Fairview and Valleyview. (The teams are riding from each end and will meet in the middle sometime late today). The weather is not cooperating, and when I spoke with Sheralyn around 11:00 this morning, it was pouring rain! It has certainly been an interesting trip so far......

Monday, the team hopes to make it to McLennan.

More tomorrow (I hope!).
Fox Creek Indoor Playground Society

Nothing like a Robert Munsch Story!

Enjoying David's Story!

Ready for the next leg of the journey!
These Photos by Brandi Bedson!

Friday, September 4, 2009

2009-09-04-Update from Drayton Valley


I don't have any new photos, but I do have some news from the Crew. David calls it a "Rude" start to the tour! When the tree fell on the van last night, not only did it knock out the rear window of the van, but it also damaged both David and Helen's bikes! Neither are rideable. Bent handle bars, bent rims, and possible frame damage.

Undaunted, the team made a presentation to the students at Aurora Elementary School in Drayton Valley. The Grade Five students are starting a section on "WEATHER", so there was a great tie in, along with the usual bike safety and Munsch story. Another great welcome and send off.
Today, Sheralyn and Alan are riding to Whitecourt, while Helen and David are driving back to Edmonton for repairs to the Van and Bikes. If all goes well, they will all meet up in Whitecourt tonight.

David tells me that they were lucky, because if the tree hadn't deflected off the campground fire pit when it fell, it may have severely damaged the back of the van. I imagine the scene was similar to one of their Robert Munsch plays.... David yelled "RUNNNNNN!!!!", and Alan, David, Helen and Sheralyn all ran off in different directions. Thank goodness no one was hurt!

Another Poster from St. Patrick School in Camrose

Don't forget to Donate!


Thursday, September 3, 2009

2009-09-03-Campground Trouble!

A quick note. Too much excitement tonight! We are camped near Drayton Valley. A storm hit, and the wind blew down a tree which took out a window in one of our vans.

Fortunately no one was hurt - but we definitely need repairs.

Let's hope for better luck tomorrow!

2009-09-03-Departure from Saint Patrick School and Camrose!

One of many posters presented to us by the students of Saint Patrick School!

David is really happy about the van graphics provided by Windwood!

We arrived at Saint Patrick school around 9:00 to set up. Shortly after, the gym filled with enthusiastic kids. What a wonderful crowd!!!

First David talked about the trip and where the team had been in previous years. Have you ever ridden your bike to Winnipeg?

Next - Alan spoke about Bike Safety!
Sheralyn's helmet doesn't fit him very well...

Next we read a Story....
ZOOM! by Robert Munsch!

Lauretta's wheel chair just isn't fast enough.....

Mom and Dad say - it's just too fast!

No way - What speeding ticket???!!!
That wheelchair just isn't fast enough!

After the play - we read a poem!

Then Sheralyn presented the school library with a book signed by Robert Munsch!

The children had all drawn posters for us to take on the trip!

Finally - we are ready to go!

Ready to mount our bikes!
We're Off!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

2009-08-27-Kick off Party at Merchants!

We had a wonderful night at Merchants Tea House tonight to kick off the trip. David Samm emcee'd the program in front of a packed house of about 20 people.

David described this year's trip, how the Munsch a Bunch project got started, and showed slides of last year's trip.
Helen, David, Alan, and Sheralyn then acted out a Munch Book "David's Father" to the delight of the crowd.

Sheralyn is not sure she likes David's dad - THE GIANT!

It's pretty good to have a Giant as a friend!

They all turn out to be pretty good friends!
Mrs. Ford read her poem

"If you Give a Baby a Book"

If you give a baby a storybook, they will want to open it up.

And when they open it up, they will want to see the pictures.

An when they see the pictures, they will want to turn the page.

And when they turn the page, they will want to hear the story.

And when you help them with the story, they will want to hear it again and again.

And someday they will grow up, and read to a baby - just like someone read to them.

And that is what early Literacy is all about......

To top off the evening, Mrs. Hamblin read the Munsch Book, "Love you Forever"

Don't miss our departure from St. Pat's School on Wednesday morning, September 3, 2009 at 9:00!!

Departure 9:30 ish...

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

2009-08-19 Training run to Edberg and back!

The whole team headed out for a training run tonight. We need to work out how the van's would in the relay. Helen and Dave headed east from Camrose, while Alan, Sheralyn and I headed East. The vans were shuttled ahead in 15km increments with the riders taking turns. The two groups passed each other just East of Edberg, and met again in Camrose. Everything went smoothly, and we got back just before dark!

Sheralyn after her first 15km.
Alan and Sheralyn switching riders!

Check out the article in the Camrose Booster about our trip.
Don't forget to come out to our kickoff party at Merchants, Thursday evening, August 27, 2009 at 7:00pm.