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The Rocca Sisters & Associates Honour Family Literacy Day

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Today is Family Literacy Day, a national awareness initiative created by ABC Life Literacy Canada in 1999 and held annually on January 27th to raise awareness of the importance of reading and engaging in other literacy-related activities as a family.

It is so important to take the time each day to read with our children, even if it is just for 15 minutes a day.  Make reading an enjoyable and distraction-free experience that is part of your day-to-day life.  Bed time stories are the perfect opportunity to bond with your children while encouraging their reading skills.

In honour of Family Literacy Day, the Rocca Sisters & Associates would like to highlight some children’s authors that have resided in Burlington, Ontario.

Lana Button

Lana Button is a children’s author, freelance writer and early childhood educator.  She has worked with young children for more than twenty years. She is also a freelance writer, and has contributed child development articles to national magazines including Today’s Parent and ParentsCanada.  She is the author of Willow’s Whispers, Willow Finds a Way and Willow’s Smile.  For more information about Lana Button and the books she has written, please visit her website at www.lanabutton.com

Sylvia McNicoll

Sylvia McNicoll is an award-winning author of more than 30 novels for young people.  She was an editor for “Today’s Parent Toronto” for eight years, and is best known for her award-winning published works such as Project Disaster, The Big Race, Jump Start, Bringing Up Beauty and Caught in a Lie.  She has a passion for reading and writing and enjoys teaching young writers. For more information about Sylvia, please visit her website at http://www.sylviamcnicoll.com/.

Chris Francis

Chris Francis is a junior level teacher in Burlington, Ontario.  He has a passion for writing and illustrating and is currently working on a middle grade series. He has also created a teen-fiction story titled, Stoneway. Also known for his children’s picture books called Mr. Pancake Turkey, How Mr. Monster Biggens Changed My Life, etc. His latest children’s book is called Remembering Kaylee Cooper. More information can be found on his website at www.francisart.com.

Jennifer Maruno

Jennifer Maruno is a long-time educator.  Her debut novel, When the Cherry Blossoms Fell, was shortlisted for the Hackmatack Award and the Pacific Northwest Libarary Association Young Readers Choice Award.  She is also the author of Warbird, Cherry Blossom Winter, Kid Soldier, and Totem. She enjoys working with children and teachers to foster a love of reading. For more information, please visit www.jennifermaruno.com

There are so many resources available to help foster a great literacy environment in your home.  It is so important to encourage our children to have a love of reading and it is our responsibility to lay a good foundation for literacy in children.

The Importance of a Smoke-Free Home

Next week is National Non-Smoking Week and in honour of this campaign we thought it would be a good idea to discuss the importance of a smoke-free home and the impact smoking can have on a home’s resale value.

A 2013 survey of Ontario real estate agents and brokers, sponsored by Pfizer Canada, found that smoking in the home could lower the value of your property by up to 29 per cent.

When it comes to selling your home, buyers first impressions are critical for a quick sale. Many potential buyers are put off by a home that has been smoked in – the smell is difficult to get out and the discoloration on the walls & ceiling can be difficult to remove.

An overwhelming majority of Ontario real estate agents and brokers agreed that it is more challenging to sell a home where owners have smoked.

Were you aware that smoking can cause substantial, irreparable damage to the inside of your home? How, exactly, does cigarette smoke effect the home? First, smoke can stay in a room long after someone smokes there.  It settles on surfaces and builds up over time on electrical outlets, walls, ceilings, floors and furniture.  It can get into every nook and cranny of a home and can be quite costly to repair. The effect it has on your air conditioning system and furnaces could be severe if you don’t change your air filters regularly. The buildup of dust caused by smoke will be circulating the air, clogging up the air filters.  This will cause the unit to overwork and eventually breakdown.

So how do you maintain a smoke-free home? Never smoke inside your home. Create a comfortable place to smoke outdoors, and let guests know that your home is a smoke-free environment and show them an area that is suitable to smoke outside. In the event that you have smoked in your home, or are interested in a property that smokers occupy, with our extensive experience we have proven solutions to help bring a home that has been smoked in back to a better environment.

As Accredited Staging Professionals (ASP) and owners of the powerful trademarked STAGED & SOLD brand, we can provide you with inexpensive tips to help rid your home of odours so that your home can be sold faster and often at a higher price. For a free, no obligation home evaluation, please contact us directly at 905-332-4102 or email us at info@roccasisters.ca.

Know Your City’s Snow Removal Services This Winter

Winter is finally upon us! Although early winter has been much milder than previous years thanks to El Niño, it has been predicted that the second half of winter will be more of what we are used to – snow, freezing rain, and below zero temperatures.  Therefore, before we get hit with our first major winter storm of 2016, it would be a good idea to get familiarized with your town’s snow removal service.  Snow and freezing rain can make commuting and getting around town a nightmare!  Know when to expect your roads and sidewalks to be cleared – and be prepared for long commutes and dangerous winter road conditions.

There are also a few things that residents can do to assist the city with efficient snow clearing.

  • Remove snow from fire hydrants and drainage catch basins near your property.
  • Clear snow and ice from sidewalks adjacent to your property and from roofs that overhang onto the sidewalk.
  • Pile snow on the right side of your driveway (when facing the road) when shoveling. This helps minimize the ridge of snow created by the snowplow at the end of your driveway.
  • Remove plowed snow at the end of your driveway.
  • Park vehicles on your driveway and off the street when possible. This will allow plows to completely clear the roads.
  • Keep a safe distance from plows on the roads and do not attempt to pass.
  • Do not pile snow on roads or sidewalks. This is a violation of the Highway Traffic Act and city bylaws.
  • Keep decorative items near sidewalks and curbs flat on the ground and at least 30 cm away from the edge in order to reduce the chance of damage to property or snow removal equipment and injury to operators.

For more information on snow removal services, please visit the following links or contact us at the Rocca Sisters office directly at 905-335-4102 or by email at info@roccasisters.ca.

City of Burlington – http://www.burlington.ca/en/services-for-you/Snow-Removal-Frequently-Asked-Questions.asp
Town of Oakville – http://www.oakville.ca/residents/snow-clearing.html
City of Hamilton – https://www.hamilton.ca/streets-transportation/streets-sidewalks/snow-clearing

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