Our Board Members
Sonya was a teacher with Simcoe County and Upper Grand DSBs for over 20 years including a stint as an Itinerant Special Education Resource Teacher for Deaf and Hard of Hearing students. In June 2017, Sonya was the recipient of the Fred L. Bartlett Memorial Award given by Ontario Public School Boards’ Association for outstanding contribution to education in Ontario.
Richard’s love of words and pictures has guided his career as a writer and graphic designer for over 30 years. From 2007 – 2012 he was a member of the Board of the International Festival of Authors at Harbourfront Centre, Toronto. He is formerly a sessional instructor at OCAD University and the author of Finding Lily: A Memoir (2006). Prior to his career in design, he was a high school teacher in Ontario and The Bahamas.
In St. Lucia, Leonise François is our Country Lead, co-ordinating book donations throughout the country and managing the annual Rainforest of Reading festivals each March Break. Prior to her retirement as Deputy Chief Education Officer in St. Lucia, Leonise was a teacher in Durham Catholic DSB. Leonise holds a Master in Education from McGill University. Since 2013, Leonise has been a member of the St. Lucia Teaching Service Commission overseeing teacher and principal appointments.
Robin recently retired, having taught English and Creative Writing for thirty years, including twenty years at Centennial Collegiate in Guelph. In addition to teaching, Robin committed a great deal of time to coaching cross country and track and field. Her passion for both reading and running is what first drew her to supporting OneWorld Schoolhouse five years ago. While at Centennial, she organized several Pass the Baton events as well as a Colour Run. Now that she is retired, she is eager to spend more time fostering a love of reading and running in young people both in Canada and in the Caribbean.
Peter Kendall co-founded Earth Rangers with entrepreneur and environmentalist Robert Schad in 2004 and led the organization for 15 years. Thanks to Peter’s passion, innovation, and unique ability to inspire others, Earth Rangers is now the largest youth conservation organization globally, with more than 200,000 young members across Canada. Peter is the Executive Director of The Schad Foundation. In December 2019, Peter was inducted as a Member of the Order of Canada.
Even from a young age, Marlaina has shown a strong conviction to make a difference. She is determined to motivate other students in Ontario to generously donate books so students in the Caribbean can have the same chances to imagine countless possibilities for their own future. As Student Ambassador, Marlaina helps create literacy-based activities for Rainforest of Reading. She also works tirelessly at every festival strengthening her love of reading and nurturing deep personal connections with her Caribbean counterparts.
Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.Philosopher, Psychologist (1842-1910)
If you believe what you read...you can, quite literally, believe anything.Professor, Philosopher (1912-1991)
I read. I travel. I become.St. Lucian author & 1992 Nobel Laureate
Literacy is, finally, the road to human progress and the means through which every man, woman and child can realize his or her full potential.Secretary-General of the United Nations (1997-2006)
Too many people grow up. That's the trouble with the world.(1901-1966)
At the moment that we persuade a child, any child to cross...that magic threshold into a library, we change their lives forever.
Start some kind words on its travels. There is no telling where the good it may do will stop.Humanitarian, Medical Missionary (1865-1940)
A good book is the best of friends, the same today and forever.Author (1810-1889)
If we want to make this world a better place, then we have to become better ourselves. There is no easy route.
It is by acts and not ideals that people live.Author (1844-1924)
All I know is what I have words for.
The future is always beginning now. Each moment is a place you've never been.Poet (1934-2014)
Reading brings us unknown friends.Novelist (1799-1850)
If you get the right [words] in the right order, you might nudge the world a little.Playwright
Life is too deep for words so don't try to describe it, just live it.Author, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe