What is DWAC?
The Durham West Arts Centre is a 'hub' organization working to establish links with artists, arts groups and arts lovers. We host exhibitions, activities and events at the Centre as attractors. We want to meet and talk to the groups and individuals who are willing to help build the infrastructure for a permanent arts centre in Ajax-Pickering.

Partners & Sponsors
Partner: Town of Ajax Partner: Pine Ridge Arts Council Partner: Metamorphi Media
Coming Soon : The Franklin Show
DWAC in the Press Header

Reading Kids

Thousands of local students make record bid
Franklin the Turtle read to students across Durham


At 9:30 a.m. last Thursday, thousands of Durham kids were on the same page.

The elementary students from schools across the region were being read 'Franklin the Turtle' books in a bid to make it into the Guinness Book of World Records. A new record category was established for the number of people being read to at the same time, says Angie Littlefield, executive director of the Durham West Arts Centre, who organized the group read.

"We're going to establish a record that's pretty tough to beat," she says. Ms. Littlefield, former principal of G.L. Roberts Collegiate and Vocational Institute in Oshawa, says at last count about 8,600 young people took part in the record attempt. Not bad when you consider her original target was 3,000 to 4,000. "It just kept exploding and getting bigger and bigger," says Ms. Littlefield, noting she already had about 3,000 kids signed up in June.

She explains the Guinness people need verification to consider it a record, so she's preparing to box and ship thousands of pledge forms to London, England to prove the count. As a former principal, Ms. Littlefield says it's hard to get those forms returned, so the actual count sent to Guinness might be 5,000 to 6,000.

Some schools really got into the spirit of the event, with principals dressing up as Franklin and wandering the halls. At Pickering High School in Ajax and Pine Ridge Secondary School in Pickering, photography students captured the event on film to create a collage. The Ajax and Whitby public libraries also took part and Ms. Littlefield says teacher-librarians in the schools were a big help, jumping on board and creating a lot of enthusiasm.

She said apart from establishing a record, the event was intended to promote literacy and create awareness of an art exhibition at the Durham West Arts Centre in Ajax from Sept. 23 to Oct. 22. Eighty works by Franklin illustrator Brenda Clark will be on display and admission is free.

-story by Mike Ruta, Durham News Advertiser, September 28th, 2004


DWAC THANKS: Glengrove, Sir John A. Macdonald, William Dunbar, Applecroft, Athabasca, Bolton C. Falby, Duffin's Bay, Lincoln Avenue, Lord Elgin, Southwood Park, Terry Fox, Westney Heights, Bellwood, C.E. Broughton, Dr. R. Thornton, Fallingbrook, Florence Heard, Glen Dhu, Leslie McFarlane, West Lynde, Winchester, Grandview, Harmony Road, Hillsdale, Uxbridge, Prince Albert, McCaskill’s Mills, Eagle Ridge, Sir Samuel Steele, Dr. Emily Stowe, Pringle Creek, Sir William Stephenson, Carruthers Creek, Roland Michener and to Pickering High School, Pine Ridge High School and Henry St. H.S. for sending students in support of the Readathon.