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Inside Terry James RC: STARS/EPALA program sees hundreds of students reading for fun 

April 15, 2024 

GUELPH, ON – Last year, the Terry James Resource Centre (TJRC) launched the STARS/EPALA (Students Taking Action Reading Solo / Élèves prennent action en lecteur autonome) program. This year, they decided to run it again and saw great student participation. 

This program was started to motivate and engage students in reading for pleasure. Other program goals included achieving K-12 literacy and French as a Second Language (FSL) curriculum expectations, highlighting and celebrating diverse literary voices and using the program as a chance to define and enrich the UGDSB’s reading culture.  

This year, the STARS/EPALA program saw 635 students participate, 28 classrooms participate and over 98,348 minutes (the equivalent of 2 months 1 week) spent reading.  

This year the program was driven by student voice, and therefore the winning classrooms were given the choice of prize. Classes could either choose a gift card for a bookstore to buy new books for the school’s Learning Commons or a jumbo LEGO set for the Learning Commons. Each student who participated in the program received a certificate and Sora sticker or button. Each participating student was also sent a form to fill out where they could make suggestions to the TJRC about books they would like to see added to Sora. 

Winners this year include: 

According to one teacher, the benefits of the program are endless, they said, “…it’s been great to see how much the kids have enjoyed reading ebooks and listening to audiobooks. It’s really sparked a love of reading in some of my more reluctant readers.” 

Congratulations to everyone who participated in this year’s STARS/EPALA program! 


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