Surrey students celebrate reading in a very 'Fluffy' way with volunteers from Corus Entertainment and TD

SURREY, BC, April 8, 2016 /CNW/ - At a special reading celebration hosted by Corus Entertainment and TD Bank Group, First Book Canada celebrated 'reading and great books' with students at Old Yale Elementary School in Surrey this morning. Thanks to generous support from the corporate partners working with First Book Canada, all the children received brand new books to call their own.  The First Book Canada organization acted as both hosts and reading buddies today for the students in grades one and two at the school for a very special reading celebration event with local bestselling author /illustrator Ashley Spires.  They were joined by a significant number of volunteers from Corus Entertainment and TD to give out the books to the students and then sat down and read with them.

"It all starts with getting books into the hands of the children who need them most," said Tom Best, Executive Director, 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. We are thankful to our remarkable publishing and corporate partners like TD, who made it possible for First Book Canada to provide access to so many great books."

"It's incredible to see the excitement children have as they dive into the vibrant world of books and meet the authors and illustrators, and we're thrilled to be a part of that journey," said Mauro Manzi, Senior Vice President, TD Bank Group - Pacific Region. "TD is delighted to celebrate with First Book Canada in its programming to provide greater access to children's literature and helping encourage Canada's youth to discover a lifelong joy of reading."

Partnering with First Book Canada and TD at today's reading celebration were Corus Feeds Kids, the entertainment company's principal philanthropic focus, and staff from local Corus radio station C K N W News Talk 980.

The grade one and two students from Old Yale Elementary School were treated to an energetic presentation by Ashley Spires, author of Fluffy Strikes Back (Kids Can Press). Signed copies of the book were given to each student to take home and keep. After the presentations, students were paired up with volunteers from Corus Entertainment and TD  who read with the students and gave each of them additional books to take home.

"Kids Can Press is dedicated to providing support to organizations such as First Book Canada to instill a lifelong love of reading in all children, which also aligns with our corporate mission to nourish children's bodies and minds through Corus Feeds Kids," said Lisa Lyons Johnston, President of Kids Can Press and Chair of the Corus Feeds Kids Steering Committee. "Our creators never hesitate to support the work of First Book Canada and many have read their books to students at First Book Canada events across the country."

About Ashley
Author and illustrator Ashley Spires grew up in Tsawwassen, BC and after stints living in Toronto and Saskatoon; she now lives in Ladner, having made an educated decision to never move from BC again. She is the creator of the Binky the Space Cat series of junior graphic novels, which have earned her numerous awards, including the Silver Birch Express and the Hackmatack. Her picture books, including Larf, Small Saul and The Most Magnificent Thing, provide readers young and old with a good laugh. When not drawing, she is often jogging with her dog Gordon or wrangling her three cats, Penny, Fran and Gracie.

About First Book Canada
First Book Canada provides books and educational resources to programs and schools serving children from low income families across Canada. 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 Canada. Since 2009 First Book Canada has 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.

About Corus Entertainment
Corus Entertainment Inc. is a Canadian-based integrated media and content company that creates, broadcasts, licenses and delivers content across a variety of platforms for audiences around the world. The company's portfolio of multimedia offerings encompasses specialty television and radio with additional assets in pay television, television broadcasting, children's book publishing, children's animation, animation software, and technology and media services. Corus' 30 television brands include ABC Spark, Cartoon Network (Canada), CMT (Canada), Disney Channel (Canada), HBO Canada, Movie Central, Nickelodeon (Canada), OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network (Canada), Telelatino, TELETOON, Treehouse, W Network, YTV, Historia, La chaîne Disney, Séries+ and TÉLÉTOON. Its 39 radio brands include CKNW AM 980, Rock 101, Country 105, 630 CHED, Fresh Radio, JUMP! 106.9, Q107 and 102.1 the Edge. The company also owns Nelvana, an internationally renowned animation production company, Kids Can Press, Toon Boom and Quay Media Services. A publicly traded company, Corus is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (CJR.B).  Experience Corus on the web at www.corusent.com

About TD's Commitment to Children's Literacy
The ability to read is often taken for granted. This skill is paramount to success during school years and beyond, which is why TD believes it's important to get children reading and to foster a lifelong joy of reading. Since 2000, TD has invested more than $35 million to support children's literacy and reading programs at local schools and public libraries across Canada.

SOURCE First Book Canada

For further information:

For media inquiries, please contact:

Tom Best
Executive Director
First Book Canada
866-393-1222 ext. 0130
tbest@firstbook.org

Magda Krpan
Corus Entertainment
416-479-6054
magda.krpan@corusent.com

Jeff Meerman
TD Bank Group
604-654-0324
jeff.meerman@td.com

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