Arlene Perly Rae
Arlene Perly Rae is a children’s advocate, author, journalist, and literary critic. She was a long-time reviewer of children’s literature for the Toronto Star and is the author of Everybody’s Favourites: Canadians Talk About Books That Changed Their Lives. She has also written for the Globe and Mail, Quill and Quire, and Maclean’s. She was also a National Vice President of the Canadian Jewish Congress.
Her interest in the welfare of children has led to her involvement with Sistema Toronto (a social service after school program that uses intense music education), the Mr. Christie Book Awards (sponsored by Christie Brown, later Nabisco and finally Kraft), Middle Years Matter Coalition, where she was their official spokesperson, the CEO of Born to Read Project (free books to students in grades 1 – 3), and a member of the June Callwood Campaign Against Child Poverty.
Arlene co-chaired the YWCA Elm Centre Campaign, fundraising for a 300-unit complex of permanent housing for women and women-led families and Aboriginal families in downtown Toronto. She was also a board member of the National Reading Campaign, the Stratford Festival, World Literacy of Canada, McClelland and Stewart and the United Way of Greater Toronto.
She has been awarded several times for her humanitarian and volunteer work. While living temporarily in New York City, she has served on the UN Hospitality Spouses’ Committee and is currently the Director of WIF, the Women’s International Forum.
Arlene holds a MA from the University of Toronto, Centre for the Study of Drama.