Chevron Canada, Dave Kelly and Calgary Public Library team up with Calgary Reads to read to students on Family Literacy Day

One in four children entering grade 1 are behind their peers

CALGARY, Jan. 27 /CNW/ - To mark the importance of Family Literacy Day, a special reading celebration will be held at Rundle School in Northeast Calgary today to show young children just how exciting reading can be.

Calgary Reads will be hosting the reading celebration along with corporate sponsor Chevron Canada and supporters the Calgary Public Library and the Calgary Board of Education. Former Breakfast Television host and star of Seussical the Musical, Dave Kelly, along with volunteers from the supporting organizations will read stories to grade one and two students.

Calgary's grade one and two students are falling behind in literacy at alarming rates. Calgary Reads, a non-profit organization promotes and supports early literacy programs and has long held the belief that literacy is the right of every child. Their literacy tutoring program now serves up to 600 students in Calgary annually.

"Family Literacy Day is an opportunity to celebrate the adventure of reading and show young children how exciting reading can be," said Steacy Collyer, Executive Director of Calgary Reads. "We are discovering now more than ever that family literacy is the cornerstone of success for young children, not just at school age but well into adult life. When parents talk, sing, play and read with their children, these simple and incredibly fun activities literally shift a child into a literacy environment and set them up for success."

Research has shown that literacy skills drive economic growth, labour market outcomes, productivity growth and innovation. Most reading problems are preventable, yet one in four children entering grade one are significantly behind peers and poorly prepared to learn.

In April 2010, Chevron Canada identified Calgary Reads as an important partnership. Chevron employees donate Human Energy™ to Calgary Reads in the form of volunteers on the board of directors, reading tutors and advocates for literacy in the Calgary community.

"Chevron has succeeded in the global marketplace due to our highly skilled and innovative workforce," says Jeff Lehrmann, President of Chevron Canada Resources. "Our individual and collective success is the result of a solid education foundation we were fortunate to receive. Through our partnership with Calgary Reads, we have the opportunity to provide that same foundational opportunity to the children of Calgary."

Today's event runs from 12:45 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. in the Rundle School Gym and media and the public, along with their favourite book, are welcome to join.

About Calgary Reads

Calgary Reads was formed as a charity in 2001. The program began with 25 tutors working with 40 students and now has nearly 400 tutors working with 600+ students in almost 80 schools in Calgary and surrounding communities. Calgary Reads supports early intervention with struggling readers in Grade 1 and 2. Programs include:

  • CalgaryReads@School - well-trained volunteer tutors read 1:1 with grade 1 and 2 students below grade level reading skills in English as a first language and in English as a Second Language for English Language Learners (ESL4ELL)
  • Calgary Reads@Home, a project that involves and supports the families of Calgary Reads children (currently underfunded and requiring corporate sponsorship to operate)
  • Together Events where celebrity readers share their passion for books in local schools, and children whose home language is not English - 5 events planned for 2010/2011.
  • First 2000 Days, First 5000 Words - advocacy program engaging Calgary health professionals to educate families on the critical learning window of a child's first 2000 days (before they are 5) and the simple strategies that create a literacy-rich environment, such as reading, singing, talking and playing every day.

These reading programs are made possible because of hundreds of Calgary Reads volunteers.

About The Calgary Public Library

The Calgary Public Library is one of the largest public library systems in North America and the second largest civic library system in Canada. Calgarians visit the library's 17 branches more than five million times each year, and borrow more than 15 million books, CDs, DVDs, and other materials.

About Chevron Canada

Chevron Canada Resources is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Chevron Corporation of San Ramon, California. Since 1938, Chevron has been involved in exploring for, developing, producing and marketing crude oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids in Canada. Headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, Chevron Canada employs 270 people. The company is focused on operations offshore Atlantic Canada, Alberta and Northern Canada.

Chevron Corporation is one of the largest integrated energy companies in the world. It is involved in every aspect of the industry and employs more than 56,000 people worldwide. The Chevron vision is to be the global energy company most admired for its people, partnership and performance.



SOURCE Calgary Reads Society

For further information:

Kim Page Gluckie, Director of Communications, Calgary Reads

Leif Sollid, Senior Communications Advisor, Chevron Canada Resources


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