The Gift of Reading(R): 25,293 brand new books given to children



    MONTREAL, April 30 /CNW Telbec/ - In May, through donations from the
public, 25,293 underprivileged children will be receiving a gift many of them
have never had before - a brand new book! These books were given by thousands
of donors as part of the Literacy Foundation's Gift of Reading(R) project. The
magic of this project is that it enables donors to have a direct impact on the
daily life of a child in their region. Indeed, one's very own book can make
all the difference when the social and economic environment is far from
conducive to reading. The Foundation targets children aged 0-12 across Quebec
in order to prevent difficulties with reading and writing that can lead to
dropping out of school.
    The new books were collected in 150 participating bookstores during the
Christmas holiday period, at numerous book fairs and through collections
carried out by the public and in companies. After being carefully inspected
and sorted, the books return to the administrative region they came from. The
Foundation has targeted 419 establishments, which will place the books in the
hands of the young people they are intended for: 170 schools and 607 classes,
147 Famille grassroots organizations, 79 childcare centres and 23 other
community organizations.

    Dual challenge: helping children and reaching parents

    Since 1999, close to 138,000 books have entered Quebec households in this
way. Behind the child receiving a book are very often parents with weak
reading skills, trapped in precarious fields of employment, and poorly paid or
simply out of work. Unfortunately, a poor command of reading and writing goes
hand-in-hand with poverty. Worse still, illiteracy is often transmitted from
generation to generation. The gift of a brand new children's book is intended
specifically to counter this problem, but on its own it is not sufficient to
break the vicious circle of illiteracy: the best way to help children will
always be to help their parents as well. That is why each child's book is
accompanied by a message telling the parents they can learn about literacy
resources through the Info-Alpha line: 1 800 361-9142.

    Messages that leave their mark

    Many donors sent a dedication along with their book. This message from an
unknown person represents a big plus for the child and gives a whole other
dimension to the gift. The young recipients are then strongly encouraged to
return thank-you postcards expressing their joy and gratitude, to the great
pleasure of the donors. So keep an eye on your letterbox in the months ahead,
and make your donation to the Gift of Reading(R) an annual tradition, in
November and December!

    
    Distribution of books by Quebec administrative region

           Administrative region              Books distributed
    --------------------------------------------------------------
    1      Bas-Saint-Laurent                              1,113
    --------------------------------------------------------------
    2      Saguenay - Lac-Saint-Jean                      1,195
    --------------------------------------------------------------
    3      Quebec City                                    1,308
    --------------------------------------------------------------
    4      Mauricie                                       1,268
    --------------------------------------------------------------
    5      Estrie                                         1,300
    --------------------------------------------------------------
    6      Montreal                                       6,881
    --------------------------------------------------------------
    7      Outaouais                                        944
    --------------------------------------------------------------
    8      Abitibi-Témiscamingue                            764
    --------------------------------------------------------------
    9      Côte-Nord                                      1,068
    --------------------------------------------------------------
    10     Nord-du-Québec                                   118
    --------------------------------------------------------------
    11     Gaspésie - Iles-de-la-Madeleine                1,200
    --------------------------------------------------------------
    12     Chaudière-Appalaches                           1,023
    --------------------------------------------------------------
    13     Laval                                            582
    --------------------------------------------------------------
    14     Lanaudière                                     1,099
    --------------------------------------------------------------
    15     Laurentides                                    1,651
    --------------------------------------------------------------
    16     Montérégie                                     3,052
    --------------------------------------------------------------
    17     Centre-du-Québec                                 727
    --------------------------------------------------------------
           Total                                         25,293
    --------------------------------------------------------------
    

    Thank you to our 37 partners: Hydro-Québec, Quebec Ministry of Education,
Recreation and Sport, Salon du livre de Montréal, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP,
Caisse populaire Desjardins Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, Nationex, Optometric
Services Inc. and Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Pattison Outdoor, Association
des radiodiffuseurs communautaires du Québec, Canal Vox, Hebdos Québec, Métro
daily newspaper, La Presse, Le Téléjournal/Montréal de Radio-Canada (CBC
French-language radio), Enfants Québec magazine and Editions Dominique et
compagnie, Pop Média, Première Chaîne - La radio de Radio-Canada (CBC
French-language radio), Familles d'aujourd'hui network, The Gazette, Zoom
Média, Association des écrivains québécois pour la jeunesse, Association des
libraires du Québec, Association nationale des éditeurs de livres, Association
québécoise des salons du livre, Chapters, Communication-Jeunesse, Coopsco,
Groupe Archambault Inc., Indigo, McDonald's Restaurants of Canada Ltd.,
Renaud-Bray, Salon du livre de la Côte-Nord, Salon du livre de l'Outaouais,
Salon du livre de Rimouski, Salon du livre de Trois-Rivières, Salon du livre
jeunesse de Longueuil and Union des écrivaines et des écrivains québécois.

    Literacy Foundation

    Founded in 1989, the Literacy Foundation is a non-profit organization
whose mission is to ensure that all adults have access to basic training in
reading and writing.




For further information:

For further information: Roxane Claessens, Public Relations Officer,
Literacy Foundation, (514) 289-1178, ext. 227, roxane.claessens@fqa.qc.ca;
Source: Prevention Department, Literacy Foundation, www.fqa.qc.ca

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Literacy Foundation

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