Canadian Readers Recognized Internationally for Family Literacy Day World Record Attempt

    Guinness World Records(TM) receive documentation for more than 119,000
    Canadian participants surpassing original record; Canada runner-up to new
    U.S. record

    TORONTO, April 23 /CNW/ - ABC CANADA Literacy Foundation, Family Literacy
Day (FLD) Founding Sponsor Honda Canada, and Official FLD World Record Attempt
Sponsor Oxford Learning, today announced that more than 119,000 Canadians were
documented participating in the FLD World Record Attempt to break the Guinness
World Record for "Most Children Reading With an Adult, Multiple Locations."
The previous world record of 78,791 children and adults reading together was
set in the U.S. in 2006.
    In the weeks following Family Literacy Day, ABC CANADA received and
processed documentation from over a thousand libraries, schools, literacy
organizations, Oxford Learning Centres, Honda auto dealerships, Ivanhoe
Cambridge shopping centres and YMCAs across Canada, and submitted
documentation for 119,405 Canadian participants to Guinness World Records'
head office in London, England for verification. This number surpasses the
original record of 78,791. ABC CANADA rallied Canadians to come together as a
prelude to Family Literacy Day, an annual initiative held on January 27, and
read for 30 minutes over a 24-hour period on January 23 and 24.
    "The excitement of this national reading celebration was spectacular,"
said Dr. Nick Whitehead, CEO, Oxford Learning. "We'd like to thank everyone
who participated in the FLD World Record Attempt. It was truly a memorable
event for thousands of Canadian adults and children."
    Recently, Guinness officials notified ABC CANADA that the Guinness World
Record for "Most Children Reading with an Adult, Multiple Locations" had been
    "Guinness World Records receives approximately 60,000 applications every
year, and unfortunately during Canada's documentation process it was verified
that the U.S. organization which originally set the record in 2006 set a new
record with 238,620 participants," said Carey Low, the Canadian Record Keeper
for Guinness World Records. "We were very impressed by the results and
enthusiasm displayed in this attempt by thousands of Canadians. We
congratulate Canada for this incredible attempt and for eclipsing the original
    "Canadians should be extremely proud of their efforts during this Family
Literacy Day World Record Attempt," said Margaret Eaton, President, ABC CANADA
Literacy Foundation. "The event registered a great victory for family
literacy. Through this national initiative we all experienced the many
benefits of adults and children reading and learning together."
    In honouring the importance of reading and learning, several schools and
non-profit organizations across Canada took part in the FLD World Record
Attempt challenge with a chance to win one of six $1,000 cash donations. Three
$1,000 awards for non-profit community groups with the highest number of
participants, and three awards for the schools with the highest percentage of
participation based on their school population, were available to be won.
    Over 1,000 World Record Attempt events occurred across the country.
Nearly 20 schools across Canada had 100 per cent of their school population
participate and three of those schools were chosen in a random draw as prize
winners. Congratulations to the following winners of the FLD World Record
Attempt challenge:

    -   Fort Nelson Community Literacy Society, Fort Nelson, BC -
        570 participants
    -   Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy, Revelstoke, BC -
        520 participants
    -   Edmonton YMCA, Edmonton, AB - 452 participants
    -   Holy Rosary School, Regina, SK
    -   Tricon Elementary, Bay de Verde, NL
    -   James Morden Public School, Niagara Falls, ON

    Official cheque presentations to these organizations will occur in the
coming weeks.
    Overall, Family Literacy Day 2009 rallied over 263,000 Canadians from
coast to coast. The page now turns to the 12th annual FLD, happening on
January 27, 2010. Several ABC CANADA partners, including FLD Founding Sponsor
Honda Canada, are already planning for what promises to be a successful
    "Recognizing literacy and learning as a family is what Family Literacy
Day is all about," said Jerry Chenkin, Executive Vice President, Honda Canada.
"Honda Canada is proud to be supporting this national initiative with ABC
CANADA. We salute the many organizations who help us promote and celebrate
adults and children reading and learning together."

    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. Every year, thousands of Canadians
participate in literacy activities at home and in schools, libraries and
literacy organizations across the country. For more information, visit

    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 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 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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