Toronto teacher, author Nadia L. Hohn wins ETFO Award for Children’s LiteratureMalaika’s Costume honours creativity and dignity in the face of poverty.
August 16, 2016
TORONTO - The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) has presented Elementary Teachers of Toronto member and author Nadia L. Hohn with its 2016 Children’s Literature Award for her book entitled Malaika’s Costume.
The award is presented to a member or non-member to recognize published quality children’s literature that is in keeping with ETFO’s positions on social justice and equity.
A teacher at Toronto’s Africentric Alternative School located within Sheppard Public School, Nadia has written a story that sheds light on the immigration stories of many Canadian families and children. Malaika’s Costume centres on Malaika, a girl who lives in the Caribbean with her grandmother while her mother lives in Canada to provide for her family. When money does not come for her to make a costume for the Kiddie Carnival, Malaika uses creativity and resourcefulness to become the Carnival peacock of her dreams.
While Malaika is poor, she lives in a community that is diverse and peaceful. She and her grandmother retain their dignity and do not allow poverty to define their dilemma. As the author says of this immigrant experience, “it’s an event that played out in my immediate and extended family as well as in other families today of various backgrounds.” The manuscript for Malaika’s Costume, Nadia’s first picture book, won the Helen Isobel Sissons Canadian Children’s Story Award from P.A.C.E (Project for the Advancement of Childhood Education) Canada.
“Nadia’s book epitomizes the values of social justice, equity and anti-poverty that ETFO promotes in education and our wider society,” said ETFO President Sam Hammond. “Her book teaches children that respect for diversity, creativity and resourcefulness can overcome the obstacles they may face.”
The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario represents 78,000 elementary public school teachers and education professionals across the province and is the largest teacher federation in Canada. Its Building Better Schools education agenda can be viewed at www.buildingbetterschools.ca.