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More than 2,000 libraries across Canada will help children retain or improve their reading skills this summer with the free reading program
Halifax, June 16, 2008 - The TD Summer Reading Club is encouraging kids to take a break from school but not from the fun of reading books this summer. For the 13th year, TD Bank Financial Group is partnering with Library and Archives Canada and the Toronto Public Library to bring the award-winning reading club to more than 250,000 children across the country. TD has also pledged a three-year, $2.7 million investment to help Library and Archives Canada and the Toronto Public Library run the TD Summer Reading Club through 2011.
This year's TD Summer Reading Club theme, LOL (Laugh Out Loud) is designed to encourage the enjoyment of reading among children. All participants receive a reading kit containing a colour poster, sticker sheet, and a logbook to keep track of their progress. To encourage participation, many local libraries will offer reading games, challenges and discussions, book-related crafts, author visits and storytelling sessions.
"The latest literacy study by Statistics Canada shows that millions of Canadians do not have the literacy skills they need to keep pace with the escalating demands of our society and the economy," said Frank McKenna, Deputy Chair, TD Bank Financial Group and TD Literacy Champion. "TD is committed to doing its small part to encourage reading at a young age and to help build the foundation for a strong Canadian future."
With a focus on children ages four to 12, participating libraries will offer a range of books for all reading levels that fit into the LOL theme. Libraries will be hoping to surpass the two million books read by participants last summer.
"Our goal is to have children discover the laughter, fun, and excitement they can experience through reading," said Ken Setterington, Children and Youth Advocate for Library Services, Toronto Public Library. "The club is focused on helping children build their reading skills while having a great time in the Laugh Out Loud program."
"The reading club is a smart way to include an educational component into children's summer vacation," said Doug Rimmer, Assistant Deputy Minister, Library and Archives Canada. "Reading is an important life skill and everyone, including parents, teachers and mentors, has an important role in nurturing this skill at a young age."
In recognition of its success at bringing children and books together, the TD Summer Reading Club has previously received the Angus Mowat Award of Excellence.
The 2008 program, available in English and French, is being offered by libraries in Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Nunavut, Northwest Territories and the Yukon. New this year, all 400,000 free reading kits that will be given out across the country will be printed on Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified paper stock.
For more information about the TD Summer Reading Club, please visit www.td-club-td.ca/index-e.html.
TD Community Giving: Making a Difference Together
Children's health, literacy and education, and the environment are the three main areas of focus for community giving at TD. Flagship programs within these areas include: TD Children's Hospital Fund; TD Friends of the Environment Foundation; TD Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup; TD Canadian Children's Book Week; TD Canada Trust Scholarships for Community Leadership; and the TD Summer Reading Club. With support from customers and employees, TD is also involved with a host of national, regional and local causes benefiting diversity, arts and culture and other community programs. In 2007, TD donated $33 million to more than 2,000 organizations across Canada.
About Library and Archives Canada
Library and Archives Canada is one of Canada's newest and most innovative national institutions, dedicated to providing Canadians with a single window into the richness of its documentary heritage. As part of this national role, LAC supports, develops and works together with Canada's library and archival community, fostering a love of learning and delivering programs and services that meet the needs of all Canadians.
About Toronto Public Library
Toronto Public Library (TPL) is proud to be the creative force behind the TD Summer Reading Club. As the busiest public library system in North America, every week over 300,000 people visit its 99 branches and borrow more than half a million items. TPL has a distinguished history of providing excellence in children's library services.
For additional information please contact:
TD Bank Financial Group