UPS reads between the lines, delivers solution

$50,000 grant supports volunteer retention efforts at Parkdale Project Read

TORONTO, Feb. 11 /CNW/ - Parkdale Project Read (PPR) will be able to provide more support to its community thanks to a US$50,000 grant from UPS Canada.

PPR is a non-profit, community literacy program that operates an adult and family-focused learning centre in the Parkdale community in Toronto. PPR helps English-speaking adults who want to learn to read and write, realize their learning goals by providing free literacy services in a supportive community.

The grant will be used to help develop and implement a program to support and retain volunteer tutors and volunteer board members. By recruiting and retaining tutors that reflect the diverse cultural backgrounds of the learners they serve, PPR staff will be able to focus more effort on programming.

"Volunteers are the root of PPR," said Nadine Sookermany, program manager, Parkdale Project Read. "With the grant, we can increase our tutor population by 75 per cent, up to 150 volunteers. The grant will permit us to bring in 100 additional learners, representing a 50 per cent increase over our current capacity."

The grant will also help increase the effectiveness of the PPR volunteer board and will have an impact on the success of fundraising and partnership development.

"Volunteerism is an ongoing priority for UPS and our employees," said Mike Tierney, president, UPS Canada. "It was a natural fit for UPS to invest in an organization that mirrors our feelings towards community support and involvement. More than 30 UPS employees were personally involved with PPR in 2009."

UPS's grant program highlights the company's philosophy of striking a balance between financial contributions and hands-on volunteer hours. Organizations are nominated for grants by UPS employees. Each grant recipient must have benefited from 50 hours of hands-on volunteering from UPS employees to qualify.

Since its founding in 1907, UPS has built a legacy as a caring and responsible corporate citizen. Whether through its involvement with United Way, The UPS Foundation or volunteerism, UPS provides assistance to programs that provide long-term solutions to community needs.

About Parkdale Project Read (PPR)

Project Read and the Parkdale Literacy Project formally joined together to become one organization - Parkdale Project Read in 1986. It was incorporated, registered as a charity and elected a board of directors. Now located in a storefront at King and Dufferin Streets, PPR supports free one-to-one tutoring and small learning groups for adult literacy learners. PPR serves one of the most culturally diverse communities in Toronto. The adult and senior learners come from all backgrounds, culturally, economically and socially.

About The UPS Foundation

Founded in 1951 and based in Atlanta, Ga., The UPS Foundation's major initiatives include programs that support community safety, non-profit effectiveness, economic and global literacy, environmental sustainability and diversity. The UPS Foundation pursues these initiatives by identifying specific projects where its support can help produce a measurable social impact. In 2009, The UPS Foundation donated US$43 million to charitable organizations worldwide. Visit community.ups.com for more information about UPS's community involvement.

SOURCE PARKDALE PROJECT READ

For further information: For further information: Tara Smith, UPS Canada, (905) 676-1708, mediarelations@ups.com; Nadine Sookermany, Parkdale Project Read, (416) 531-6308, Projectread2@bellnet.ca

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PARKDALE PROJECT READ

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