The Gift of Reading(R): preventing illiteracy among future adults

    MONTREAL, Oct. 30 /CNW Telbec/ - The Literacy Foundation and actress and
spokesperson Marie Turgeon invite you to buy a first new book for a needy
child, as part of the 9th edition of the Gift of Reading(R) project! In
November and December, support the project by visiting one of the
150 participating bookstores in Quebec as well as several other collection
sites, including the Salon du livre de Montréal, Montreal's book fair being
held November 14-19, 2007. By embracing our cause, you help convey the magic
of reading to children in your region living in families where the
relationship with books is all too often non-existent.

    Intergenerational problem

    Behind the children reached by The Gift of Reading(R) are very often to
be found parents who are weak readers, trapped in precarious fields of
employment, and poorly paid or simply out of work. In Quebec, 800,000 adults
aged 16-65 are illiterate, and this reality goes hand-in-hand with poverty.
And these adults' educational pathways have a direct impact on their
children's academic success. So one can more easily understand why there is a
higher incidence of children dropping out and illiteracy in these families. By
giving a new book to a child through The Gift of Reading(R), you enable the
Foundation to get in touch with parents who are weak readers and would like
one day to undertake literacy training so as to contribute to their children's
education and quality of life. The Info-Alpha line is there to support them:
    Over the past eight years, 138,000 children have benefited from the Gift
of Reading(R) project, and this past May 25,293 books were distributed. But
the Foundation receives 100,000 or so requests for new books each year. It is
essential for the public to act without delay so the Foundation can reach the
largest possible number of children and parents in order to break the vicious
circle of illiteracy once and for all.

    Participating is so simple!

    To participate in The Gift of Reading(R): go to one of the many
collection sites that support the cause, including 150 bookstores and seven
book fairs in Quebec. Buy a book there for a child aged 0-12, ask for the Gift
of Reading(R) bag and slip your present into it! Don't forget to write a word
of encouragement to the child on the dedication sticker and fill out the
project postcard. Then all you have to do is wait until May, when you could
receive a personal response from a grateful child! You can also organize a
collection initiative in aid of the project yourself-and why not make it an
annual affair!


    The books collected will be distributed in the first week of May 2008,
through schools (selected using the deprivation indicators established by the
Quebec Ministry of Education, Recreation and Sport), child care centres,
Famille grassroots organizations and various community organizations. These
organizations will have the pleasure of handing out to thousands of children
their unexpected presents- unexpected, since this is often their first brand
new book. Being used to second-hand items, the children value their gifts all
the more.

    Gift of Paris! contest

    From November 1, 2007 to February 1, 2008, share a children's book you
love with us and take part in the Gift of Paris! contest by visiting the
Literacy Foundation Web site at You could win a 1-week stay for
two in the City of Light, including passes for the Paris Book Fair in
mid-March 2008, or a deluxe 2-night package for two at the Manoir Victoria
Hotel in Old Quebec. For full details, visit


    Thank you to our 38 partners: Hydro-Québec, Quebec Ministry of Education,
Recreation and Sport, CanWest Raise-a-Reader, Bleublancrouge, Nationex, Salon
du livre de Montréal, Caisse populaire Desjardins d'Hochelaga-Maisonneuve,
Optometric Services Inc. and CIBA Vision, Hebdos Québec, Métro daily
newspaper, Pop Média, Familles d'aujourd'hui network, Le livre show and Vox,
Alstom Télécité, La Presse, The Gazette, Téléjournal Montréal, Première Chaîne
- La radio de Radio-Canada, Radiovision, McDonald's Restaurants of Canada
Ltd., Association des libraires du Québec, Chapters, Coopsco, Groupe
Archambault, Indigo, Les librairies indépendantes du Québec, Renaud-Bray,
Salon du livre de la Côte-Nord, Salon du livre de l'Estrie, Salon du livre de
l'Outaouais, Salon du livre de Rimouski, Salon du livre de Trois-Rivières,
Salon du livre jeunesse de Longueuil, Association des écrivains québécois pour
la jeunesse, Association nationale des éditeurs de livres, Association
québécoise des salons du livre, Communication-Jeunesse and Union des
écrivaines et des écrivains québécois.

    Literacy Foundation

    Founded in 1989, the Literacy Foundation is a non-profit organization
whose mission is to ensure that everyone-adults and children-has access to
reading and writing. To help the Foundation, make an online donation at

For further information:

For further information: Stefanie Bathurst, Public Relations Officer and
Webmaster, Literacy Foundation, (514) 289-1178, ext. 230,; Source: Prevention Department, Literacy

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