René Schmidt is a Canadian author, a retired teacher, a husband, and a dad. Most of this website is about his books, school visits and writing projects, but first meet his family.
René and Shirley with Adrian and Daniel (with cat). Adrian lives in Vancouver and works as a stonemason / bricklayer. His company is Ediface Masonry, masonryvancouver.ca He created the wall behind the family. Dan lives in Barcelona, Spain and teaches English there. Shirley and René live in Trenton Ontario in a super-insulated house they built themselves a few years ago.
Below René gives a presentation to students in Etobicoke about editing and writing.
Early in his teaching career René taught students who hated reading. When he couldn't find books in the library those students would enjoy, he began to write his own with the students' names as the main characters.
Here, talking to students about the mine disasters in Springhill, Nova Scotia, René leads into a talk on child labour laws in Canada. In the 1800's boys as young as twelve worked (and died) in the Springhill coal mines.
René is honoured to join fellow Forest of Reading prize-winners and nominees at an Author's Booking Service event in Milton last December. Some of the other authors are Marsha Skrypuch (who organized the event) Ted Staunton, Sigmund Brouwer, Karen Bass, Alma Fullerton, Rebecca Bender, Kari-Lynn Winters, Robert Priest, Adrienne Kress, Rona Rimler Arato, Heather Camlot, Sylvia McNicoll, Rebecca Anderson Bohner, Irene Luxbacher and Nadia Hohn.
René sometimes misses teaching. In the photo above he was given a wonderful book launch at Stockdale P.S., his last school. Kathryn Corbett (now owner of Lighthouse Books in Brighton) organized it and a follow-up visit to the Forest of Trees event in Toronto where students from all over Ontario voted Leaving Fletchville second place overall. Here, his former students read their favourite parts from Leaving Fletchville.