ACALA learners have collaborated in writing and publishing inspiring stories about their lives, our community, and the importance of lifelong learning.  Drop by our office, phone (902) 863-3060 or email for copies.


Based on an interview with her mother, Val, Anna’s story is about the early years in the life of a child with Down Syndrome. Beginning before her birth, “Anna” describes the family’s involvement with the resources and specialists, including Early Interventionists, speech pathologists, and teaching assistants, that have helped her become a thriving, independent girl, who swims and horseback rides and knows her alphabet. With a glossary of terms in plain language, Anna’s story is a helpful introduction to the world of Downs Syndrome a parent’s point of view. ACALAPress, 2012.


Based on an interview with Joshua’s mother, Ronalda, “Joshua” tells the story of raising a child with Global Developmental Delay and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and the resources that helped, particularly the Antigonish Guysborough Early Intervention Program. She speaks candidly about her concerns for her son, now that he is a teenager and her worries and hopes for the future. A plain language glossary and information about Early Intervention and their contact information makes this a handy resource for parents of special needs children with developmental delays. ACALAPress, 2012.

Grandpa’s Forever

Story and illustration by Tracy Matheson. A story with photo illustrations about a young boy’s special relationship with his grandpa, for children who experience the death of a loved one for the first time. ACALAPress, 2011.

What Are You Scared of?

Written and illustrated by the children in the Families Reaching Out to Community Program. A funny picture book about fear, charmingly illustrated with paper collage art by the authors. What are You Scared of? reassures us that everyone is afraid of something, and it’s okay! ACALAPress, 2011

What Will I do in School Today?

Conceived and illustrated by the children in the Kids First School Readiness Program. Each child’s description of what they will do at school that day is accompanied by their own hand-drawn illustration. 37 pages. ACALAPress, 2011.

Summer Camp

Created by Families Reaching Out to Community Program. A humorous story about a child’s summer camp experience, including swimming, s’mores and lots of french fries with colour illustrations by the children of Families Reaching Out to the Community. ACALAPress, 2011.

Clay Creations

Created by Families Reaching Out to Community. Original poems and stories, vividly illustrated in modelling clay, by children in the program! ACALAPress, 2011.

Shared Stories

A collaboration between ACALA and the R. K. MacDonald Nursing Home. Inspired by Antigonish poet Anne Simpson’s writing program at Sherbrooke Community centre in Saskatoon, ACALA volunteers paired up with residents of a local nursing home to to tell the stories of those elders. Photographs, introductions and first voice stories combine to give the reader a glimpse of who each elder was and is today. A foreward by Simpson and introduction by Kim Ells describe the importance of stories and the background of the project. ACALAPress, 2012. 1.

Write Around the World: Family Literacy Day Writing Contest Submissions 2012

Each year, ACALA holds a Family Literacy Day writing contest. In 2012, we published three collections of stories, poems and illustrations about real or imagined trips and travels, by students of: Antigonish Education Centre ( AEC) Antigonish; St. Andrew’s Consolidated School. St. Andrew’s; H.M. MacDonald Elementary School, Maryvale, and Reverend H. J. MacDonald School, Heatherton. Contest-winning and all other submissions are represented in three collections grouped by grade level: Primary to Grade 2; Grades 3-4; Grades 5-6.


by Anna Johnson, illustrated by Ivy Marie Apa. A clever, colourfully illustrated tale about how lazy Jack outwits the Devil three times, but in the end, cannot escape the justice of Heaven and Hell. 29 pages. Xlibris Corporation, 2011.

The Book that Sam Wrote

by Anna Johnson, illustrated by Jan Michael Vincent Sy. A rhyme in the tradition of “The House that Jack Built”, with full colour illustrations and a discussion guide. 22 pages. Xlibris Corporation, 2012.