Elementary Students Get 750,000 Gifts Of Reading

    McGuinty Government Negotiates Book Discounts For School Libraries

    TORONTO, Jan. 20 /CNW/ -


    Elementary students will soon have access to thousands more books and
valuable resources in their school libraries.
    A first-ever agreement between the government and 73 booksellers will
allow school boards to buy library books and other resources at a significant
discount - one that many school boards would not have obtained otherwise. The
vendors are small, medium and large book sellers that represent 37 communities
across Ontario. They include independent and specialty book stores as well as
larger chains, publishers and distributors. This investment is good for
Ontario's economy as vendors are required to have a presence in the province.
    Agreements were sent to vendors last week and books are expected to begin
arriving in elementary school libraries in March.
    School libraries play an important role in student literacy. Children who
develop strong reading skills in elementary school have a better chance at
success in high school and beyond.


    "This agreement represents a double investment by the Ontario government.
When school libraries buy more books, they are stimulating both the economy
and the minds of our elementary students," said Education Minister Kathleen
    We applaud the Government of Ontario for taking this precedent-setting
step toward advancing literacy, curiosity and the love of reading. It is an
inspired response to in-depth research confirming the relationship between
well-stocked public school libraries and student literacy and performance,"
said Heather Reisman, chair of Indigo Books and Music and the Indigo Love of
Reading Foundation.
    "Thanks to the discounts in the agreement, we'll be able to stretch the
dollars the government is providing to buy even more resources. The new books
will provide a real boost for libraries in our elementary schools," said
Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board Chair Jessica Brennan.


    -   School boards will receive pricing discounts ranging from five to 50
        per cent.
    -   The $15-million library book investment will provide a minimum of
        $1,500 for every elementary school in the province with a typical
        school of 300 students receiving over $3,000.
    -   Since 2003, the government has provided $86 million in one-time
        funding for textbooks and library resources.
    -   Children with early exposure to books and reading will be better
        equipped for performing mathematical tasks in addition to having
        strong literacy skills.

    Get tips to help your child learn to read (http://www.ontario.ca/abc123).

    Find public libraries
    (http://www.culture.gov.on.ca/english/library/index.html) in Ontario.

                                                      Disponible en français

For further information:

For further information: Michelle Despault, Minister's Office, (416)
212-3747; Patricia MacNeil, Communications Branch, (416) 325-2676; Public
Inquiries, (416) 325-2929 or 1-800-387-5514, TTY 1-800-263-2892

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