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"Everyone has a voice deep down inside them, a voice that says “shine”. Some have loud voices, while some have quiet ones. Some people’s voice is so quiet they never get to hear it, while those that do may choose not to listen. Unfortunately, only a few decide to act on this voice, the stars who influence others to listen themselves."
Find your Little Voice

Year: 2015

I believe in me

We are all inspired by different things every day. These things help to encourage us when we doubt ourselves, to motivate us when we’re ready to throw in the towel and to believe that anything in life is truly possible.

Sometimes, our parents or teachers serve as reminders to help us stay on the right path, to push our potential and help us to focus on our strengths and not our weaknesses.

Other times, despite whatever advice or encouragement we receive we just don’t listen, or rather we can’t. We dwell too much on the negative that the positive attributes that make us unique and the dreams that help shape our future are lost silently in the wind.

It is in those moments where we don’t need reminding from others but rather an awakening in ourselves that we need to listen to our little voice the most.

Little Voice is more than just a children’s book, it a message that empowers us all to feel inspired, strong, hopeful, confident and, more than anything, determined to not only be proud of who we are but inspired to help others feel the same.

I believe in me, do you?

#wethelittle

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La Petite Voix

If you’ve been following our hints … you may have guessed today’s big announcement!

Little Voice is very excited to announce that our story will be available in French as of this Summer!

Il nous fait grand plaisir d’annoncer que ‘Little Voice’ sera disponible cet été en français!


 We are very excitedsarahblue to team up with the professional translator and song writer, Sarah Johnston, to introduce to you “La Petite Voix”!

Nous sommes très heureuses de collaborer avec la traductrice et auteure-compositrice, Sarah Johnston, pour vous présenter “La Petite Voix”!

We will keep you up-to-date in the months to come on our official publishing date! Stay tuned!


We also wanted to send a special thank you to Sylvie McEwen, a local French teacher, who has been passionately pushing for Little Voice’s translation since day one. Having translated Little Voice for use in her own classroom, Sylvie’s translation of our text has inspired us to fulfill our own dream of making Little Voice available to many more children!

We are very excited for this next step in our journey and look forward to sharing with you ‘La Petite Voix’!

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Our first $500

The most common form of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease affects men and women of all races, religions and socio-economic backgrounds. It is not a normal part of aging and no one is immune.

Alzheimer’s disease holds a very personal connection to Little Voice’s author Amanda Bernardo. Her grandmother, Teresina Bernardo, has been struggling with the disease for over twenty years.

When Amanda first set out to write Little Voice, she knew she wanted to give back. Her partner and illustrator on the project, Samantha Clusiau-Lawler, couldn’t have agreed more with Amanda’s decision to support the Alzheimer Society of Canada.

Together, they started the Little Voice Forget Me Not Project!

The Little Voice Forget Me Not Project donates a portion of each book sale in support of the Alzheimer Society of Canada!

The reality is that an estimated 500,000 Canadians have Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia. Over 70,000 of them are under 65 and approximately 50,000 are under the age of 60. 1 in 11 Canadians over the age of 65 has Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia. In just 5 years, as much as 50% more Canadians and their families could be facing Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia. Within a generation, the number of Canadians with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia, will more than double, ranging between 1 and 1.3 million people.

Today, Little Voice is extremely happy to donate our first $500 in honour of Author Amanda Bernardo’s grandmother Teresina Bernardo – the first $500 of many!

ASC

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Scholastic’s TOP 10 #BIGGERTHAN Books

Reading can help children surpass their own expectations and overcome obstacles. When children find the right book at the right time, the world opens, and everything becomes possible.

In conjunction with Scholastic’s “Open a World of Possible” reading initiative and Usher’s New Look BIGGERTHAN Words initiative, the “BIGGERTHAN Booklist Challenge” gave students in grades 3–8 the opportunity to actively connect with and share the power of reading in their lives.

Students were asked to create a list of three books that have made them feel “BIGGERTHAN”—books that had inspired them to take on challenges and which ultimately had a positive impact on them—and have their teacher or parent share it on social media using the hashtags #BIGGERTHAN and #sharepossible.

Today, Scholastic & Usher’s New Look announced their TOP 10 #BIGGERTHAN Book List!

#BIGGERTHAN Book List

Read the official announcement here!

Little Voice is extremely honoured to be on this list alongside many other empowering and
inspirational stories!

Our goal from day one has always been to inspire children to believe in
themselves and their dreams!

Today, we can officially say that we’ve reached that goal by having children feel …

#BIGGERTHAN!

We encourage you all to open a world of possible by encouraging children to learn to read and love to read!

#sharepossible

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Kaleidoscope Kids’ Books

Little Voice is getting louder and louder!

And by LOUD, we mean you can now find it not only online but in your favourite
Ottawa book store!

Little Voice has officially joined the shelves at Kaleidoscope Kids’ Books!
Located across from Lansdowne Park, this children’s book store carries not only Little Voice but a wide array of children’s literature!

Visit them today and get your copy of Little Voice! #wethelittle

Kaleidoscope Bookshttp://www.kaleidoscopekidsbooks.ca/

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2015 Walk for Memories

The Alzheimer Society Walk for Memories is a province-wide event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and education. Held annually in more than 65 communities across Ontario, this inspiring event calls on participants of all ages and abilities to help support people living with dementia.

Author Amanda and Illustrator Samantha joined hundreds of others in this year’s
2015 Walk for Memories!

"Cause I would walk 500 miles, and I would walk 500 more!"
“Cause I would walk 500 miles and                     I would walk 500 more!”

With your help, the Little Voice Forget Me Not Team was able to raise $564 dollars in support of the Alzheimer Society of Ottawa and Renfrew County!

Alzheimer Society of Ottawa and Renfrew County

I was so honoured today to walk for my grandmother, Teresina Bernardo. She was 67 years old when she was officially diagnosed with this disease. Having lived with Alzheimer’s for over 19 years, she now finds herself in the final and more difficult stages of this disease.

Teresina Bernardo, grandmother to Author Amanda Bernardo.
Teresina Bernardo, grandmother to Author Amanda Bernardo.

The topic of Alzheimer’s has always been an emotional one in my family. It would be difficult for any family living with this disease to describe it. However, I recently read an article that truly took the words right out of my mouth; the article read: “The more I lose my mom to Alzheimer’s, the more I experience how painful it is to miss someone who is sitting right in front of you.” That’s just it, typically when we lose someone we have a chance to say goodbye, to mourn and to heal. Yet, with Alzheimer’s you don’t really get that. You say goodbye after each conversation and watch as this disease slowly strips you away from your loved one’s memories. You see someone you love disappear even though they are standing right in front of you.

Today, for the first time, I was surrounded by so many others who understood what it meant to live with Alzheimer’s disease. To see so many people together in one room, fighting for the same cause, was truly inspirational and I am truly truly honoured to have been a part of this initiative. Being part of today’s event gave me hope for a better tomorrow. It inspired me to continue fundraising, advocating and doing whatever I can to help bring awareness to this disease and the funding needed to finally find a cure!

This was my first year walking, but it most definitely won’t be my last!

– Amanda Bernardo, Author

Author Amanda & Illustrator Samantha Walking the 2015 Walk for Memories!
Author Amanda & Illustrator Samantha Walking the 2015 Walk for Memories!

Today was a reminder of how Alzheimer’s disease has touched the lives of so many people. When I saw such a big community of people come together to walk, I was overjoyed with their positive spirits and hopes that someday, with much fundraising, we will find a cure!

Walking alongside Amanda today was truly wonderful. Ever since we launched Little Voice she has wanted to give back in some way or another to our community. I was 100% on board when she chose to help the Alzheimer’s Society. I knew why Amanda chose to donate to this cause, but today I was fortunate to have Amanda share with me her grandmother’s story. I am so proud to join her on this journey with Little Voice to now support this community we are so thankful to be a part of!

I look forward to walking many more kilometres in support of this amazing cause and I encourage you all to donate if possible or join us on our walk
next year!

  – Samantha Clusiau-Lawlor, Illustrator

Amanda and Samantha circled the track 25 times and walked a total of 5 kilometres!

The Alzheimer Society of Ottawa and Renfrew County had over 600 walkers present, with 82 teams and … drum roll please … raised

$253, 000 DOLLARS!

A BIG thank you again to all those who donated!

Little Voice and Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson
Little Voice and Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson

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January is Alzheimer Awareness Month

Join thousands of Alzheimer’s advocates who are making a difference!

Did you know that women are doubly affected by Alzheimer’s disease? They outnumber men living with the disease and more often than not shoulder the responsibility of caring for a family member with it.

You know these women. They are the special women in your life – mothers, wives, sisters, grandmothers, and friends.

That’s why this January during Alzheimer Awareness Month, the Alzheimer Society is joining our colleagues across the country to launch a nationwide campaign to get Canadians talking about  Alzheimer’s disease. We want women to take action, be Alzheimer’s savvy, know the warning signs and take steps to reduce their risk – not only for themselves but for those they care about. – Alzheimer Society of Canada

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2015, the year I make my dreams come true!

With 2015 ahead of us, we can’t help but think of our own list of resolutions.

New Years is a perfect opportunity to think about what we want to accomplish in the year ahead.  It’s a chance to think of our goals, both big and small, and a chance to create a plan of how we can attain them. It’s also an opportunity to think of ourselves and how we can improve our own outlook, our health, our intellect, etc… As well as a chance to think of others and how we can give back, offer support and volunteer.

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