Indigo donates $1.5 million to schools across Canada



    10 new schools added to the Love of Reading program

    TORONTO, April 26 /CNW/ - Indigo Books & Music Inc. today announced that
the Indigo Love of Reading Fund is committing $1.5 million to 10 high-needs
elementary schools across Canada. Through dollars raised by Indigo's Love of
Reading Fund, each school will receive $150,000 over three years to purchase
books and other learning materials. Due to the record breaking generosity of
employees and Indigo, Chapters and Coles customers in 2006, the Love of
Reading Fund was able to raise the total number of Love of Reading grant
recipients to 30 elementary schools across Canada. To date, the Indigo Love of
Reading Fund has committed over $4.5 million to promote early literacy and the
love of reading. Indigo's annual corporate contribution, which more than
matches customers' donation represents approximately 5% of its profits, well
above the suggested 1% for Canadian charitable donations by leading
corporations.(i)
    "We are making an investment in the future of our children," said Heather
Reisman, CEO of Indigo Books & Music Inc. "Early literacy is the basis of
self-esteem and a clear indicator of future success. By providing schools with
the resources they need we are opening a world of possibilities for our
children. We are showing students that there are many opportunities out there
and that they can be whatever they set their mind to."
    Promoting literacy amongst children is crucial to a healthy, successful
society. It is estimated that every dollar spent on early childhood
development equals a minimum of $3.00 in return to society.(ii)
    Church Street Public School in Toronto is the Love of Reading pilot
school and has witnessed tremendous results over the past three years. Through
Love of Reading grants they have been able to create a total learning
environment for students, including increasing the number and quality of books
in their library and classrooms, subsidizing field trips, raising butterflies
and lizards with students and arranging visits to the school by artists,
scientists, ballet dancers and opera performers.
    "Since becoming a Love of Reading school we've seen a positive and
tangible difference in our students," said Dr. Judy Gillis, Principal of
Church Street Public School. "We've been able to build a culture of literacy
in our school. Students are learning more about the world, they've become
excited about learning and reading and we've seen an upward trend in
standardized test scores."
    To be considered for a Love of Reading grant, 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 Love of
Reading Fund by downloading an application at
www.chapters.indigo.ca/loveofreading.
    This year, 10 new high-needs schools will receive funding from the Love
of Reading program. Four of these have a First Nations population exceeding
30% making aboriginal schools an area of special focus for the Indigo Love of
Reading Fund. Schools selected to receive grants as part of the 2007
initiative include:

    
    British Columbia

    -   David Hoy Elementary School, Fort St. James
    -   Queen Alexandra Elementary School, Vancouver

    Alberta

    -   Holy Redeemer, Calgary

    Saskatchewan

    -   Pleasant Hill Community School, Saskatoon

    Manitoba

    -   Wellington Elementary School, Winnipeg

    Ontario

    -   Sir John A. MacDonald Elementary School, London
    -   Ogden Community School, Thunder Bay

    New Brunswick

    -   Burnt Church School, Burnt Church

    Nova Scotia

    -   Chiganois Elementary School, Masstown

    North West Territories

    -   Weledeh Catholic School, Yellowknife
    

    How You Can Help
    ----------------
    In addition to the company's contribution, the Love of Reading Fund is
supported year-round by the generosity of Indigo customers and employees
through a variety of initiatives including donations in-store at Chapters,
Indigo and Coles, and online at chapters.indigo.ca/loveofreading, the purchase
of designated fundraising items, and the sale of Giftcard carriers. This June,
customers will be able to add any donation to their purchase and receive a
specially-designed Giftcard carrier in the shape of an apple, the perfect gift
to demonstrate teacher appreciation at the end of a school year, as well as
supporting a worthy cause.

    About Indigo Books & Music Inc.
    -------------------------------
    Indigo is a Canadian company and the largest book retailer in Canada,
operating bookstores in all provinces under the names Indigo Books Music &
More, Chapters, The World's Biggest Bookstore and Coles. Indigo operates
chapters.indigo.ca, an online retailer of books, music, videos, and DVDs. It
is a publicly traded company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the
stock symbol IDG.
    For the second year running, the Company qualified as one of Canada's Top
100 Employers in 2006 in a survey run by Mediacorp Canada. To learn more about
Indigo, please visit the About Our Company section of chapters.indigo.ca.

    Regional press releases and photos taken at the winning schools are
available upon request.

    See fact sheet for more information.

    (i)    Imagine Canada, Corporate Citizenship Commitment,
    http://www.imaginecanada.ca/page.asp?corp_citizenship_commitment
    (ii)   Economist Van Der Gaag, Early Years Study 2: Putting Science into
    Action, by Hon. Margaret Norrie McCain, Fraser Mustard and Stuart
    Shanker, p.137



    
                         Indigo Love of Reading Fund
                               - Fact Sheet -

    -   The Indigo Love of Reading Fund is a charitable initiative which
        provides funding to high-needs elementary schools across Canada to
        enrich literacy programs.
    -   The program is dedicated to enhancing literacy and self-esteem in
        students by providing schools a grant of up to $150,000 over three
        years to purchase books and other learning materials.
    -   Established in 2004, the Fund has provided to date $4.5 million
        annually to 30 schools across Canada to promote early literacy and a
        love of reading.
    -   This year, 10 new high-needs schools will receive funding from the
        Love of Reading program. Four schools have a First Nations population
        exceeding 30% making aboriginal schools an area of special focus for
        the Indigo Love of Reading Fund.
    -   Canadians can support the Indigo Love of Reading Fund through a
        variety of initiatives including: Donations in-store at Chapters,
        Indigo and Coles and online at chapters.indigo.ca/loveofreading, the
        purchase of designated fundraising items, and the sale of Giftcard
        carriers. The website can issue tax receipts for donations over $20.
    -   This June, customers will be able to add any donation to their
        purchase and receive a specially-designed Giftcard carrier in the
        shape of an apple, the perfect gift to demonstrate teacher
        appreciation at the end of a school year, as well as supporting a
        worthy cause.
    -   For more information about the Love of Reading Fund, please visit
        www.chapters.indigo.ca/loveofreading

    What Success Looks Like: How the Fund has helped Church Street Public
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    School
    ------
    Church Street Public School in Toronto is the Love of Reading pilot school
and has witnessed tremendous results over the past three years. Here's a
snapshot of the successes that the school has been able to achieve through the
Love of Reading Fund.

    -   The school library previously contained a total of 11,237 titles.
        Through the Love of Reading Fund, Church Street Public school was
        able to weed out 800 outdated titles and build their current library
        collection to an astonishing 16,000 titles.
    -   Previously, the average book on Church Street's library shelves was
        from 1986. Today, the average book is from 1994 or later.
    -   To date, the average number of books per child available has risen
        from 30 to 56.
    -   The average monthly library book check out per student across their
        school board is 3.3 books per student per month. Church Street
        students take out 4.8 books per month.
    -   The extra funding has allowed Church School to purchase books that
        cater to the individual needs of students, including books that
        appeal separately to male and female readers. As a result, they have
        noticed an increase in boys' interest in reading.
    -   The library now boasts a new mini-lab complete with eight computers.
    -   The school has been able to support a reading program around the Blue
        Spruce and Silver Birch reading competitions sponsored by the Ontario
        Library Association.
    -   The students have benefited from cultural experiences by inviting
        guest speakers and artists such as Silk Road Village Tales, Ballet
        Creole and Duffel Bag Theatre to the school.
    -   Additional projects were made possible including: Raising monarch
        butterflies and lizards in the classroom and a pen pal program with
        students in Mexico.
    -   The Love of Reading Program has opened worlds of cultural
        opportunities that would not be possible otherwise.
    




For further information:

For further information: If you are interested in coordinating an
interview with an Indigo representative or a principal from one of the schools
selected to receive a grant, please contact: Suzanne Rappaport or Sandra
D'Ambrosio, Edelman Public Relations, (416) 979-1120,
Suzanne.Rappaport@edelman.com or Sandra.D'Ambrosio@edelman.com


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