At the end of the 16e edition of its program Reading as a gift, the Literacy Foundation will donate its 400,000e new children's book for a child living in a disadvantaged environment. This year alone, more than 40,000 books will be offered to young people aged 0 to 12 across Quebec.
Since 1999, throughout the province, hundreds of thousands of new books have been distributed in the community.
This year, 40,022 books were collected from the general public and children's book publishers. Since the fall of 2014, the program has been able to count on the collaboration of 250 bookstores and libraries and on more than a hundred fundraising activities organized by businesses and individuals wishing to get involved in this great cause. All of these books have been sorted and categorized for distribution in the region of origin of each donor. Book distribution activities will take place in May 2015 in many of the 546 beneficiary establishments across Quebec: elementary schools, childcare centers (CPE), family community organizations (OCF) and non-profit organizations.
One of the objectives of the program being to arouse children's interest in reading from an early age, nearly 17,000 books will be distributed to children aged 0 to 5 years.
Raise awareness among several generations
As part of the handing over of books, the Literacy Foundation also sets itself the task of making parents aware of their role as educators and role models. “It often happens that a parent with a weak reader takes a literacy initiative in order to be able to read a story to their child or help them with their homework,” said Diane Mockle, President and CEO of the Foundation. A reference line information sheet Info-Alpha (1 800 361-9142) accompanies the book given to each child in order to reach parents with weak readers.
It is the actress Salomé Corbo who acts as spokesperson this year. “Sometimes all it takes is a small window to better see the world around us. Giving a new book to a child means breaking through the wall, bringing in the light and finally allowing them to discover the field of possibilities, ”she emphasizes. The program Reading as a gift aims to prevent reading difficulties likely to lead to dropping out of school and then to illiteracy.