Thousands of Canadian children receive books through 2007 Gift of Words(TM) program



    TORONTO, March 20 /CNW/ - ABC CANADA Literacy Foundation is pleased to
announce that 55 organizations across Canada are receiving funding -
representing $100,000 this year - to increase their book collections through
the 2006/2007 Gift of Words(TM) presented by Starbucks program.
    This national program offers grants to schools, libraries and literacy
organizations for expanding titles in permanent book collections and
developing reading circles. Grant funding is donated by Starbucks Coffee
Canada, and the program is managed by ABC CANADA, Canada's national charity
for the promotion of literacy.
    "Through this program and the generosity of Starbucks over the last two
years, we have helped put new books in the hands of over 280,000 children, in
125 communities across the country," says Margaret Eaton, President, ABC
CANADA. "Gift of Words helps create innovative reading programs that appeal to
children and families, and offers a viable solution to one of the biggest
problems facing literacy and learning organizations today: the lack of
available funding."
    "I'm proud that the Gift of Words program has touched so many Canadian
children and families," says Colin Moore, President, Starbucks Coffee Canada.
"At Starbucks, we believe that reading and writing skills are the building
blocks of society, and we are pleased to do our part to help foster those
skills."
    In addition to the grant money ($1,500 for each book collection, $2,500
for each reading circle), more than 57,000 reading-related promotional
materials, created by ABC CANADA, have been distributed at Gift of Words(TM)
reading circles, including bookmarks and certificates of participation
featuring 'A to Z' tips for parents on the importance of reading with
children.

    
    This year's recipients, from coast to coast to coast, include:

    -   Haye River Dene Village Library, Hay River, NT - to create a reading
        circle for the young members of the First Nation's community which
        incorporates the use of board books, storyboards, music and rhyme, as
        well as storytelling by community Elders;

    -   Kidston Elementary School, Coldstream, BC - for a book collection to
        help support the school's buddy reading program where seniors, high
        school students and local celebrities read with the younger children;

    -   Further Education Society, Calgary, AB - to support a reading circle
        for at-risk families to enjoy a guest storyteller, one-on-one reading
        and a special storyboard to be built together;

    -   Moosomin Family Resource Centre, Moosomin, SK - to create a reading
        circle to emphasize the fun of reading, featuring motivational
        activities, including an element for non-verbal children to
        communicate through the use of sign language;

    -   Ecole Crescentview School, Portage la Prairie, MB - for a book
        collection that includes both English and French materials and books
        to interest reluctant boy readers;

    -   Beardmore Public School, Beardmore, ON - for a collection of books
        that target reluctant readers, including high-interest,
        low-vocabulary fiction and non-fiction;

    -   Beverley Junior Public School, Toronto, ON - to create a collection
        of children's books including multi-sensory/tactile books for
        students with developmental disabilities;

    -   Bibliothèque municipale de Saint-Georges, Ville Saint-Georges, QC -
        to build on its collection of bilingual and dual-language books for
        the city's growing population;

    -   St. Bernard's Elementary School Literacy Committee, Witless Bay, NL -
        to create a reading circle where students and community volunteers
        read and discuss books together and receive visits from local
        authors.

    -   Andrew & Laura McCain Library, Florenceville, NB - for a collection
        of books including graphic novels to attract the interest of boys and
        bring them back to the library; and

    -   Eastern Counties Regional Library, Mulgrave, NS - to create a reading
        circle for children and their families to step back in time and to
        share and learn about the history of their community as one of the
        oldest seaports in the Maritime Provinces.

    -   L.M. Montgomery Elementary School, Charlottetown, PE - to add a
        variety of picture and chapter books to the collection that meet the
        interest and reading levels of students, particularly those who are
        struggling with reading and beginning to disengage.
    

    For a complete list of 2007 grant recipients, visit:
    www.abc-canada.org/gow

    Attention Media: If you are interested in visiting a Gift of Words(TM)
program in your community, please contact ABC CANADA Literacy Foundation.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    ABC CANADA Literacy Foundation is the national charity committed to
promoting adult, workplace and family literacy to the general public and to
the private sector. ABC CANADA's focus is on public awareness programs,
providing promotional support to local literacy groups, and conducting
research to further the development of a fully literate Canadian population.
www.abc-canada.org

    Starbucks Coffee Company provides an uplifting experience that enriches
people's lives one moment, one human being, one extraordinary cup of coffee at
a time. To share in the experience, visit www.starbucks.com.






For further information:

For further information: ABC CANADA: Jim Pollock, Director of
Communications: (416) 218-0010, ext. 126, or 1-800-303-1004, ext. 126, cell:
(416) 524-8267, jpollock@abc-canada.org; Starbucks Coffee Canada: Simone Abt,
Grey Worldwide PR, (604) 484-3272, simone_abt@grey.net

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