The Indigo Love of Reading Foundation marked the announcement of its 2012 Literacy Grants with a significant milestone. The Foundation has now funded 1,000,000 books for high-need school libraries across the country. The 20 elementary schools who are the recipients of this year’s $1.5 million allocation will receive individual grants of up to $195,000 over the next three years, with the common purpose of stocking the schools’ libraries with new books so that the young students can reap the life-long benefits of reading.
The Indigo Love of Reading Foundation was established to ensure all elementary school children have easy access through their very own school library to the most essential learning tool, books. Since its inception in 2004, the Foundation has donated $13 million to schools in need across the country, providing access to more than 1,000,000 books for 36,000 children.
“We all have childhood memories of finding that special book that we loved and just couldn’t put down. Books have the unique ability to inform, educate and entertain children, encouraging ideas and points of reference that last a lifetime,” said Heather Reisman, Chair of the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation. “An absence of books leaves a void in a child’s development.”
Acclaimed Kids Can Press children’s author and Scaredy Squirrel creator, Mélanie Watt agrees: “Children need to have access to books to fulfill their potential. Books are the ultimate tool for stimulating young minds while strengthening the imagination.” Watt is also the author and illustrator of the Chester and Learning with Animals series and has lent her voice to the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation to announce the expansion of the program in partnership with First Book Canada.
This year, in addition to Literacy Fund grants, the Foundation has partnered with First Book Canada, an organization that works with publishers to supply overstock books to schools in need, to put even more books in the hands of Canadian children. Twenty additional in-need elementary schools will benefit from 17,000 books to be provided by the organization and its partners, Kids Can Press and Penguin Canada.
“It all starts with getting books into the hands of young readers,” said Tom Best, Executive Director of First Book Canada. “Learning to read is critical to a child’s success – both in school and in life. Literacy is one of the best predictors of a child’s future success. But a child without access to books won’t have the chance to become an engaged and capable reader.”
Congratulations to the 2012 Indigo Love of Reading Foundation Literacy Fund grant recipients!
The recipients of this year’s Love of Reading Grants were advised of their achievement via personal calls from Ms. Reisman.
Although many educators and literacy advocates were left speechless and moved to tears on hearing of their successful grant applications, Susan Yun, Principal at Parkdale Junior and Senior Public School in Toronto said it best when she noted, “This is going to be huge. It’s going to make a huge difference. [This grant] is giving our children a future.” With a school population of more than 730 students, Parkdale received the largest single grant of $195,000 ever awarded through the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation.
All 20 new schools receiving 2012 Literacy Fund grants from the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation demonstrated in their applications a clear commitment to nurturing a well-grounded future generation through advancing children’s literacy. Based on school populations, grants of up to $195,000 have been awarded to each school. This year’s recipient schools are:
Barrowtown Elementary, Abbotsford
Cedar Hills Elementary, Surrey
Thornhill Elementary, Terrace
|Prince Edward Island:
Eliot River Elementary, Cornwall
Balwin School, Edmonton
John A. McDougall School, Edmonton
Sherwood School, Edmonton
Glen Falls Elementary, Saint John
Riverside Community School, Prince Albert
St. Catherine Community School, Regina
Helen Tulk Elementary School, Bishop’s Falls
Jakeman All Grade, Trout River
King George School, Brandon
Nelson Whynder Elementary School, Dartmouth
Central Public School, Brantford
Delhi Public School, Delhi
Sherbrooke Public School, Thunder Bay
Blessed John XXIII Catholic Elementary School, Toronto
Parkdale Junior and Senior Public School, Toronto
William G. Davis, Windsor
Schools interested in applying for 2013 Indigo Love of Reading Foundation Literacy Fund Grants can download an application from the website. A new application will be available for download in the Fall of 2012.