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U-Otter Get To Know Helen Raczuk

Helen Raczuk is co founder of U-Otter-Read-It, an educational publishing company serving teachers and parent educators since 1996.

In the course of her 35+ year career, Helen has been an elementary music teacher, classroom teacher, school librarian, curriculum developer/writer, teacher workshop leader, student teacher facilitator, home school facilitator, and content facilitator developing web based educational curriculum. Colleagues nominated Helen in 1989, for teacher of the year award from the National College of Education.

Already reading when she started grade one, Helen happily remembers the joy of discovering new words and the amazing world of stories. She also remembers the extreme frustration and boredom of being in a restrictive classroom where word play and exploration was not encouraged. Otters learn through supported 'playful' practice, and Helen is committed to incorporating that philosophy into the strategies she shares with educators.

Helen has traveled extensively throughout western Canada, Eastern USA, and Singapore, as a speaker and educational workshops leader.  The topics have dealt with everything from music education, computers in the classroom, to early literacy development and readers theatre. She has presented more than 300 sessions at over 100 conferences, and is consistently described as energetic, practical, well organized, resourceful and highly motivating.

She is the author and co-author of more than a dozen resources (see below) for readers theatre and literacy as well as co-author of a book about antiques, collectibles and downsizing with well known Alberta appraiser, Brian Lehman.

Helen continues to work with families and children wherever possible, most recently adding day care worker, education program director / tour guide for a museum, and substitute teaching to her long list of educational experiences! Currently, Helen is the Literacy Coordinator  and Teaching Coach at  Mother Earth Children's Charter School, Canada's only Indigenous Charter School.

Skagway, Alaska

Helen in Hong Kong

Teacher Workshop in Singapore

Helen with Hazel Hutchins

Helen with Brian Lehman

Paddle wheeler at Whitehorse: Teachers Conference

Helen enroute to Kelowna workshop, 2007

Author and co-author credits:

  • 1983 - TURTLENAUTS - (QS publication) co-authored with Robert Hogg. Designed to teach and integrate LOGO (computer language) grades 2 - 3.

  • 1986 - CREATE AND CELEBRATE, Choral Builder Program II and III. Consultant and Writer for activities to cross grades and curriculum K - 8. - Sylvionics Publication, Chicago.

  • 1989 - "HOW MIGHTY IS THE PEN?" - ATA Association Magazine, Nov./Dec. 1989.
    Reprinted Missouri Teachers Association, 1990.

  • 1992 - "Clean Up Your Act", Accommodating Student Differences, Published by Alberta Response Centre and County of Parkland, FACETS project.

  • "Primarily Puppets" - bibliography, same publication as above

  • 1993 / 94 - THE FOUR R'S - Rhythm, Reading, Rhyme & Rap - Consultant and writer for activities to cross curriculum and grade levels. Vol. I, II, III. - Sylvionics Publication, Chicago. Revised and reprinted 2002

  • 1996 –Invitation to Munsch , U-Otter-Read-It publications.

  • 1997 - Invitation to Readers Theatre - a teacher’s guide for celebrating holidays throughout the school year, U-Otter-Read-It publications,

  • 1998 Connecting Women: ‘Venturing into Unknown Waters’.

  • 1998 – Invitation to Readers Theatre – celebrating our Canadian Heritage, U-Otter Read-It publications

  • 1999 Early Literacy: A Seasonal Approach, U-Otter-Read-It publications, co-author, publisher

  • 2001 - present – Series to supplement and support literacy development, U-Otter-Read-It publications:

    • Twisters to Twangle the Tongue

    • Rhymes and Lullabies

    • Manners and Mischief

    • Readers Theatre for Christmas

    • Pocket Activities for Early Childhood

    • Fabulous Aesop

    • Christmas Sampler

    • Aesop Again

    • Stories Around the World

    • Silly Solutions

    • Animal Tales

    • Once Upon a Time

    • Poetry, Patterns, Pockets and Scripts

  • 2000 – Publisher and editor: A Vocal Invitation to Readers Theatre (Shirley Konrad, author) U-Otter-Read-It publications

  • 2004 – Publisher, Co-author: You Don’t have to be Dead to Have an Estate Sale, with Brian Lehman U-Otter-Read-It publications

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