Indigo Love of Reading Foundation Announces $1.5 Million in New Grants to 20 High-Needs Schools, Bringing Total Grants Given to Date to $16.5 Million Since 2004

May 22, 2015, 14:33 ET from Indigo Love of Reading Foundation

TORONTO, May 22, 2015 /CNW/ - The Indigo Love of Reading Foundation is thrilled to announce the recipients of its 2015 Love of Reading Literacy Grant. Twenty high-needs elementary schools across Canada will benefit from the Foundation's $1.5 million annual grant commitment. These grants provide deserving schools with the funds they need to enhance their libraries, where the average book available to children is 20 years old or more, and where an ongoing lack of funds has left shelves badly depleted.

The Love of Reading Literacy Grants help teachers promote literacy and a true love of reading. In a country where a shocking 42 per cent of adults are functionally illiteratei, efforts to bolster literacy and a lifelong love of reading are more important than ever.

"It's hard to imagine but sadly true that so many elementary schools across our country are suffering with badly out of date, poorly resourced libraries. Teachers and children deserve libraries with shelves stocked full of books, which are current and relevant to their interests.   Unfortunately, for elementary schools in resource-challenged neighbourhoods across Canada, this is simply not the reality," said Heather Reisman, President of the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation.   "Without access to books, children are deprived of the chance to learn and explore through reading, and to develop a lifelong love of reading. Through the Love of Reading Foundation, we are proud to change the lives of thousands of children across the country, by igniting a passion for books and confirming a belief in their potential."

Since its inception in 2004, the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation has donated more than $19.5 million and 1.7 million books to more than 2,000 schools, benefiting more than 584,000 Canadian children through its grants and other programs. This year, the Foundation is proud to continue its legacy of transforming school libraries by adding 20 new schools to its list of grant recipients.

The high-needs elementary schools that benefit from Love of Reading Literacy Fund Grants have limited offerings in their libraries, with outdated and damaged books on their shelves. On average, schools that apply for Literacy Grants have annual budgets of less than $8 per student – far below the minimum spend to ensure a healthy school libraryii. With a Love of Reading Foundation Literacy Grant, selected schools will receive more than $250 per student over a three year period.

Grant applications are peer-reviewed through five rounds of judging.  

The 2015 Indigo Love of Reading Foundation Literacy Fund Grant Recipients (by province):

  • Holy Family, Calgary, Alberta
  • Valley View School, Calgary, Alberta
  • Wilson Middle School, Lethbridge, Alberta
  • Majagaleehl Gali Aks Elementary School, Hazelton, British Columbia
  • Champlain School, Winnipeg, Manitoba
  • Marion School Library, Winnipeg, Manitoba
  • Bishop White School, Port Rexton, Newfoundland
  • Duc d'Anville Elementary, Halifax, Nova Scotia
  • Cecil B. Stirling School, Hamilton, Ontario
  • Highgate Public School, Markham, Ontario
  • Holy Family Catholic School, Toronto, Ontario
  • Manchester Public School, Cambridge, Ontario
  • Marvin Heights, Mississauga, Ontario
  • Mill Street Centennial Public School, Leamington, Ontario
  • St. Mary Catholic School, Welland, Ontario
  • Westwood Elementary School, Hamilton, Ontario
  • Athena Consolidated School, Summerside, Prince Edward Island
  • St. Monica Elementary, Montreal, Quebec
  • Vincent Massey Public School, Prince Albert, Saskatchewan
  • Westmount Community School, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

First Book & Indigo Love of Reading Foundation Grant Day Partnership
In addition to the 2015 Literacy Fund grants, Love of Reading has once again partnered with First Book Canada, which provides new books to children in need addressing one of the most important factors affecting literacy – access to books.  As part of this partnership, Love of Reading and First Book Canada will provide more than 1,500 new books to each of the 20 runner up schools that applied for the Literacy Fund grant, a donation of more than 30,000 books in total. This year books will be generously donated from Disney Worldwide Publishing.

Schools interested in applying for the 2016 Indigo Love of Reading Foundation Literacy Fund Grant can download an application at loveofreading.org.  Starting in November, a new application will be available for download with grant application deadlines in early February 2016.

To learn more about the Foundation, visit LOR10.ca

About the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation
Indigo Books & Music Inc. founded the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation in 2004 to address the underfunding of public elementary school libraries.  To date it has committed over $19.5 million to more than 2,000 schools through its signature programs. Every year the Foundation grants $1.5 million to 20 high-needs elementary schools so they can transform their libraries with the purchase of new books and education resources.  To date the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation's Literacy Fund has committed $16.5 million to more than 190 schools nationally. The Foundation's annual grassroots Adopt a School program unites employees, customer, schools and their communities to raise funds and put even more books into the hands of children.  Over the past five years the program has raised over $2.8 million so 450,000 children have a book to call their own.

About First Book Canada
First Book Canada provides new books to children in need, addressing one of the most important factors affecting literacy – access to books. By making new, high quality books available on an ongoing basis, First Book Canada is transforming the lives of children and elevating the quality of education in the country. In 2014, First Book Canada distributed over 825,000 new books to children in need across Canada. All funds raised in Canada go to programs serving Canadian children from low-income families. For more information, or to sign up to get books, visit us at www.firstbookcanada.org and follow our latest news on Twitter and Facebook.

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i
Source: The Daily, 2005, International Adult Literacy and Skills Survey
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/051109/dq051109a-eng.htm

ii Source: Canadian Books in School Libraries: Raising the Profile.  A Research Report for the Association of Canadian Publishers, October 2004. Page 11

SOURCE Indigo Love of Reading Foundation