Indigo brings to $7.5 million its funding to Canadian public schools



    
    - Fifth year of literacy program funding empowers change for schools in
    need -
    

    TORONTO, May 13 /CNW/ - The Indigo Love of Reading Foundation has
announced its continued commitment to children's literacy with another annual
injection of $1.5 million to fund literacy programs in high-needs elementary
schools across Canada. Currently in its fifth year of providing grants that
promote literacy programs from coast-to-coast, The Foundation today brings to
$7.5 million its total contribution to school libraries and classrooms.
    Government funding for books and library resources has been dramatically
reduced over the last decade and a half. In the 1970s public schools received
the equivalent of three new books per child per year, while today it is less
than one-third of a book(1) and in many schools across the country the
majority of books are over fifteen years old. Each elementary school welcomed
into the Indigo Love of Reading program will receive a grant of up to $160,000
over three years to purchase new books and learning materials that can
captivate and develop young minds.
    "The goal of The Indigo Love of Reading Foundation," said Heather
Reisman, the Foundation's Chair, "is to raise to national attention the
devastating effect which this library crisis has on the development and
education of our most precious resource ...our young people. The hope is that
once aware, every Premier will make rectifying this situation, an unbreakable
commitment."
    In addition to its direct work with schools, The Indigo Love of Reading
Foundation was instrumental in encouraging the Ontario government to make its
current $120 million commitment to literacy and school libraries over the next
four years which has begun to flow through all elementary schools in the
province directly based on their school's needs. The Foundation continues to
highlight the need for other Provincial governments to also increase their
financial commitment to literacy at the elementary school level.

    
    -----------------------------------------
    (1) "Writing on the Wall," Love of Reading Fund production, 2007

    Celebrating the Future of Literacy
    ----------------------------------
    

    The success of the program has resulted in increased literacy levels
throughout the past five years in grant recipient schools across Canada.
Through the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation, these literacy ambassador
schools received funding to change the course of their school's future.
    In 2007, Holy Redeemer Elementary School in Calgary, AB, was welcomed
into the three-year literacy program and has since experienced tremendous
literacy accomplishments. Prior to receiving a grant from the Indigo Love of
Reading Foundation, the school's literacy levels were well below the national
grade average. Over the course of its first year as a Love of Reading grant
recipient, the school increased its literacy levels significantly by up to
50%.
    At Lord Beaconsfield School in Vancouver, BC, students are completing the
three-year grant program as a 2005 grant recipient school. Students have
become so engaged with reading at the school through the Indigo Love of
Reading grant program that each student is provided with a new book on his or
her birthday. Literacy levels at the school have increased by up to 51% during
the course of the program.
    Dawn Gautreau, Teacher at Forest Glen School in Moncton, NB, has
experienced the full three-year program as a 2005 grant recipient school and
says, "three years after starting the grant (program), I now have added around
$6,000 worth of new books to my classroom library. I never hear 'I have read
all the books you have' any more."

    
    2009 Love of Reading Recipients
    -------------------------------

    This year, the following 20 schools will receive funding for literacy
programs from the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation. To listen to Heather
Reisman make the life-changing calls and to learn more about the Indigo Love
of Reading Foundation visit www.loveofreading.org.

    British Columbia:                    Quebec:
    Holly Elementary School, Surrey      New Carlisle High School,
    Grandview Elementary School,          New Carlisle
     Vancouver
    Lucerne Elementary Secondary
    School, New Denver

    Alberta:                             New Brunswick:
    Glendale Elementary School,          St. Patrick's School, Saint John
     Edmonton
    Belfast Elementary School,
     Calgary
    Capitol Hill Elementary School,
     Calgary

    Saskatchewan:                        Newfoundland:
    Princess Alexandra Elementary        St. John Bosco School, St. John's
     School, Saskatoon
    McKitrick Community School,
     North Battleford

    Manitoba:                            Nova Scotia:
    King Edward County                   Sheet Harbour Consolidated School,
     School, Winnipeg                     Sheet Harbour
    Aborgate Elementary School,          Gold River-Western Shore Elementary
     La Broquerie                         School, Western Shore
    Betty Gibson Elementary
     School, Brandon

    Ontario:                             Northwest Territories:
    A.R. Kaufman Public School,          Ecole St. Joseph, Yellowknife
     Kitchener
    McHugh Public School, Brampton
    East View Template, Sault Ste. Marie
    

    To be considered for an Indigo Love of Reading Foundation grant,
elementary schools must demonstrate that they are a high-needs institution and
show a commitment to an environment where literacy is a main focus. Schools
can apply for grants from the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation by downloading
an application at www.loveofreading.org. A new application will be available
for download in September.

    About the Love of Reading Foundation and Indigo Books & Music Inc.

    The Indigo Love of Reading Foundation is a fully chartered charitable
foundation whose goal is to improve the literacy and opportunity of children
in high needs schools. The Foundation annually grants $1.5 million dollars to
selected elementary schools across the country. Funding for the Foundation
comes 2/3 from Indigo and 1/3 from Indigo customers. This year The Love of
Reading Foundation was pleased to receive a donation from Random House of
Canada.
    Indigo is a publicly traded Canadian company listed on the Toronto Stock
Exchange (TSX:IDG). As the largest book retailer in the country, Indigo
operates in all provinces under different banners including Indigo Books &
Music; Indigo Books, Gifts, Kids; IndigoSpirit, Chapters, The World's Biggest
Bookstore, and Coles. The online division, www.chapters.indigo.ca, features
books, toys, music and DVDs, and hosts the award winning Indigo Online
Community.






For further information:

For further information: If you are interested in coordinating an
interview with an Indigo Love of Reading Foundation representative or a
principal from one of the schools selected to receive a grant, please contact:
Natalie Little, MS&L, (416) 847-1318, natalie.little@mslworldwide.com


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