Literacy Foundation celebrates 15th anniversary of its flagship program The Gift of Reading by giving brand new books to 38,504 children

MONTREAL, May 1, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - To celebrate the 15th edition of its program, The Gift of Reading, the Literacy Foundation is pleased to announce that 38,504 brand new books will be distributed to that many underprivileged children aged 0-12. The Foundation and program spokesperson, actress Marie Turgeon, are proud to reveal the record results of this initiative aimed at preventing the reading difficulties that can lead to young people dropping out of school and then to illiteracy.

Broad distribution in targeted neighbourhoods
"Enjoying a brand new book all of one's own is not a privilege that everyone has," emphasized spokesperson Marie Turgeon. "For a disadvantaged child used to being given castoffs, receiving a new book, specially chosen for him or her by a donor, is a true gift!" Since 1999, more than 361,500 new books have been distributed in this way across Quebec.

The books donated by the general public in November and December in 145 bookstores and more than 100 libraries were sorted and inspected before being distributed to the donors' regions. Hundreds of book distribution events will be taking place in May 2014 with 507 establishments throughout Quebec: elementary schools, daycare centres, Famille grassroots organizations and non-profit organizations.

Under a partnership with the Lucie and André Chagnon Foundation, 20,000 of these new books will be distributed to pre-school-age children (aged 0-5). In this way, we hope to prepare a larger number of children more effectively for when they start school.

Taking action at every age
The Literacy Foundation also wishes to take advantage of the allocation of the books to underprivileged children in order to target parents and raise their awareness as to their role as models and educators. "It often happens that parents with low reading proficiency undertake literacy training so they can read their children stories or help them with their homework," stated Foundation CEO, Diane Mockle. An information sheet on the Info-Alpha referral line (1-800-361-9142) accompanying each gift helps reach parents with low reading skills through The Gift of Reading.

Thank you to our valued partners who contribute directly to the program's success!
Thank you to our loyal collaborators who help make The Gift of Reading such a success: Hydro-Québec, Naître et grandir, Cogeco Diffusion, Nationex, Salon du livre de Montréal (Montreal's book fair), Publici-terre, Cogeco Métromédia, TC.média, Métro daily newspaper, La Presse, Le Libraire, the Association québécoise des enseignants et des enseignantes du Québec and ICI Radio-Canada.

The Literacy Foundation's mission is to support adults and children in order to ensure the development of their ability to read and write so they can participate fully in society. To support the Foundation, make a donation at

SOURCE: Literacy Foundation

For further information:

Awareness Department
Literacy Foundation

Andrée Turmel, Communications Advisor
514-289-1178, ext. 226

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