What was the first book you read to your child? Some of my favourites were Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown and Love You Forever by Robert Munsch.

Reading books to children stimulates their imagination and expands their understanding of the world. It helps kids develop language and listening skills and prepares them to understand the written word. Once kids grow and begin school, reading is an essential skill they must learn in order to become successful.

Did you know that 30% of Canadian Grade 3 students lack basic literacy skills[1]? My kids are reluctant readers, so when they find an author or genre that draws their attention, I jump right on it. Right now, it’s all about scary stories… they want to read Stephen King books, though they might be a little too mature for my younger son.

I’ve told my boys – if you ever want me to purchase a book that you will read, I will buy it for you. We’ve taken many trips to Chapters and spent time browsing through the Young Readers section, looking for titles and book covers that pique their curiosity. They’ve often come home from school with a borrowed book from the school library – one that their teacher has recommended for them. I’m so grateful that their teachers are so involved in their learning success, introducing them to new genres and authors, and that our library has a great selection of books to choose from.

But what if we didn’t have a school library? Or what if there weren’t enough books to borrow?

Many schools in economically disadvantaged communities in Canada can only afford one new library book per year for every three children[2]. That’s it! Research shows that children who struggle with literacy are four times more likely to drop out of high school[3].

Elementary school libraries need more funding, and that’s where the Indigo Adopt a School (AAS) program comes in. It’s an annual, three-week campaign that aims to put more books into the hands of children. This year, over 500 schools are registered to participate in the program. It will run from September 16 to October 8.

There are two ways that schools are participating:

  1. Indigo, Chapters and Coles stores “adopt” local high-needs elementary schools in their communities to fundraise on their behalf, with 100% of the funds raised in-store being donated to help revitalize the schools’ libraries.

During the campaign, Indigo employees together with their communities raise in-store donations, with every dollar contributed helping to transform their adopted school’s library.

  1. In addition to the “adoptees,” over 350 participating schools will fundraise online through adoptaschool.indigo.ca to help bolster children’s literacy development and encourage their students to foster a lifelong love of reading.

Each participating school is also eligible to receive up to an additional $1,200 for books through the Foundation’s matching initiatives.

All schools participating in the Adopt a School program receive 100% of the funds raised in-store and online at adoptaschool.indigo.ca. At the end of the campaign, the Foundation will provide each school with their funds as an eGiftcard for the purchase of books. In addition, the schools will receive a 30% discount on books at Indigo, Chapters and Coles stores.

Help Encourage a Love of Reading with Indigo Adopt a School

Adopt A School Story Contest

Canadians can also get involved by sharing a short story on the online profile of a participating school, with an option to “heart” their favourite stories. In each province, the top five schools with the most “heart” stories will have a chance to win a top prize of $2,500 Indigo eGiftcard to purchase new books. The remaining four schools in each province will receive $500 Indigo eGiftcard for new library resources. The top prize will be selected by random draw.

How to support your local school:

Book Bonus!

For every $20 donation online (adoptaschool.indigo.ca), the equivalent value of two books, made to a participating school, the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation will contribute a donation of $10, the equivalent of one extra book, up to $1,000.

Tell a Story, Give a Story!

Submit a story through adoptaschool.indigo.ca in support of a participating school of their choice, with no donation required. For every story shared, the Foundation will donate $10, the equivalent of a book to support the students at that school, up to $200.

For more information on the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation, please visit adoptaschool.indigo.ca.

Indigo Love of Reading Foundation

Disclosure: This post is proudly sponsored by Indigo. As always, the opinions expressed herein are my own

[1] EQAO Provincial Assessment, 2014

[2] Data collected from The Indigo Love of Reading Foundation Literacy Fund grant program

[3] Hernandez, Donald J. “Double Jeopardy: How Third Grade Reading Skills and Poverty Influence High School Graduation.” Published by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, 2012

Author

Maria Lianos-Carbone is Publisher/Editor of amotherworld. Follow her on Twitter @amotherworld and @lifeandtravelca.

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