Canada Set to Usher in New Year with a New World Record

    Family Literacy Day festivities gain momentum; hundreds of events
    culminate in nationwide celebration of reading and learning as a family

    TORONTO, Jan. 8 /CNW/ - ABC CANADA Literacy Foundation, Family Literacy
Day(R) Founding Sponsor Honda Canada, and Official Family Literacy Day (FLD)
World Record Attempt Sponsor Oxford Learning are pleased to announce more
event news for the FLD World Record Attempt. Property developer Ivanhoe
Cambridge has come on as a supporter of the initiative with at least 15
shopping centres across Canada planning to host public events. Publishers
Annick Press (in Toronto) and la courte échelle (in Montreal) have agreed to
make the five Robert Munsch stories to be read during the World Record Attempt
available for download on the Family Literacy Day website. In addition, a kick
off event is being planned at Toronto City Hall for January 23 with hundreds
of school children and several celebrity guest readers - more details on this
will be announced in the coming days.
    The Family Literacy Day World Record Attempt is a national, bilingual
initiative encouraging adults and children to engage in 30 minutes of reading
together between 2:00 pm EST on January 23 and 2:00 pm EST on January 24,
2009. The initiative, part of Family Literacy Day 2009 celebrations,
encourages Canadians to read along and help break the Guinness World
Record(TM) for "Most Children Reading with an Adult, Multiple Locations." As
best-selling author Robert Munsch is honorary chair of Family Literacy Day,
Munschworks 2, featuring five classic Munsch stories (also available in
French), has been chosen as the book to be read during the FLD World Record
    "The additional support and the Toronto City Hall event will certainly
help increase our chances of breaking the Guinness World Record and, more
importantly, get more families involved in Family Literacy Day activities to
experience the benefits of adults and children reading and learning together,"
said Margaret Eaton, President, ABC CANADA. "Having Ivanhoe Cambridge shopping
centres across Canada hosting events will make it even easier for Canadians to
find a public venue in their community to attend; and by having permission
from Annick Press to put the stories online we can make them available to a
wider audience who may not have access to the book."
    Among the 15 Ivanhoe Cambridge shopping centres planning to host FLD
World Record Attempt events are Guildford Town Centre in Surrey, BC; Sunridge
Mall in Calgary, AB; Kildonan Place in Winnipeg, MB; Upper Canada Mall in
Newmarket, ON; Bayshore Shopping Centre in Ottawa; and Place Montreal Trust in
Montreal, QC. These public events join an already impressive list of FLD World
Record Attempt venues, including 85 Oxford Learning centres, YMCAs, libraries,
schools, literacy organizations and community centres across the country.
    The Robert Munsch stories (in text-only format) will be available to
print off from the FLD website beginning Wednesday, January 21. The stories,
with full illustrations, will also be available in read-only format online
during the 24-hour period of the FLD World Record Attempt so participants can
read along using their computer.
    The Family Literacy Day websites,, or in French
at, feature all the information and resources people need to
participate, including pre-registration and an event listings page for the
public to find locations in their community. At press time, 384 events, with
an estimated 61,000 participants, had been registered online.
    "The current record of 78,791 was set across the U.S. in 2006, so if you
think about it in terms of population we've already won," says Eaton. "The
U.S. is at least 10 times Canada's size in population, so for us to have over
40,000 people registered we are doing extremely well. We are definitely on our
way to making a new Canadian Guinness World Record."


    About Family Literacy Day

    Family Literacy Day, held annually on January 27, was developed by ABC
CANADA Literacy Foundation and Honda Canada in 1999 to encourage families to
read and learn together on a daily basis. Last year, for Family Literacy Day's
tenth year celebrations, it is estimated that over 275,000 Canadians
participated in literacy activities at home and in schools, libraries and
literacy organizations across the country. For more information, visit

    About Oxford Learning

    Since 1984, Oxford Learning has been using cognitive learning techniques
to help children develop new ways of thinking, concentrating, listening, and
remembering. Oxford Learning goes beyond tutoring to help students reach their
learning potential, not just for one grade or one year, but for a lifetime.

    About Honda Canada

    Honda is the world's pre-eminent maker of engines for automobiles,
motorcycles and power equipment. With 135 manufacturing facilities in 28
countries worldwide, Honda now attracts more than 23 million customers
annually. Honda Canada manufactures the Honda Ridgeline, Civic sedan and
coupe, the Acura CSX and MDX, in addition to fuel-efficient four cylinder
engines at its three plants in Alliston, Ontario.

    About ABC CANADA Literacy Foundation

    ABC CANADA Literacy Foundation is Canada's private-sector voice
championing adult literacy. The national charity envisions a Canada where
individuals, regardless of their circumstances, are provided the opportunities
to increase the skills that prepare people for realizing their full potential
at work, at home and in the community. To learn more, visit

For further information:

For further information: MEDIA CONTACTS: Karen Benner, Communications
Manager, Phone: (416) 218-0010 x 122, Toll free: 1-800-303-1004 x 122, email:; Ashley Tilley, Communications Coordinator, Phone:
(416) 218-0010 x 127, Toll free: 1-800-303-1004 x 127, email:

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