We believe in the power of reading to move absolutely everything in our lives imaginatively, passionately forward. So we will inspire, compel and connect those who share our beliefs, and even those who don’t yet, to join forces to make our world one big, joyous reading place.
The ability to read well is critically linked to success in life. Strong reading skills can lead to positive self-esteem, school completion and higher education, ongoing employment, financial resilience, good health, and social skills. In essence, the ability to read well is a building block for self-sufficiency and full engagement in family and community life in adulthood. And yet, almost half of Canadians can’t read well enough to fully participate in society and the workforce.
Literacy is every child’s right; low literacy is the root cause of many of society’s most significant challenges – crime, homelessness, job insecurity, food insecurity and low levels of education. Stats Canada estimates a 1% increase in literacy rates would boost the national income by as much as $32 billion.
The Book Bank is located at the Children’s Reading Place. Here, we collect and store the tens of thousands of new and gently used books that we give to children throughout the year.
Calgary Reads works to get books into the hands of children who would otherwise have none. In lower-income neighbourhoods, research shows that there is just one book for every 300 children, compared to higher income neighbourhoods that average 13 books per child. Even 20 books in a home can have a significant impact on propelling a child to a higher level of education, and the more books you add, the higher the benefit, especially for those in low-income homes.
“We aren’t a family that uses the Food Bank, but we are not far off. We can just barely pay the bills. So, coming [to the Children's Reading Place] allows [my daughter] to get the books we could never afford.”