Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Ministry of Education: 2008 September 23

PENTICTON – For the fifth consecutive year, the Province will match all donations raised during CanWest’s Raise-a-Reader campaign in B.C., Premier Gordon Campbell announced today.

“Literacy is a key that opens the door to a world of knowledge, of learning and of opportunity,” said Premier Campbell. “By supporting literacy programs like Raise-a-Reader, we can help ensure that every British Columbian has the chance to open that door and develop a life-long love of reading.”

The provincial government has been matching funds collected through Raise-a-Reader since 2004, and has contributed nearly $2.4 million to the CanWest campaign to date. National Raise-a-Reader Day is tomorrow, Sept. 24. The matching funding will support many family literacy groups, such as CNIB, the Vancouver Public Library Foundation, the Canucks for Kids fund, Literacy BC, Aboriginal HIPPY Canada (Home Instruction for Parents of Pre-school Youngsters), S.U.C.C.E.S.S., the B.C. Council for Families, SOS Children’s village B.C. and Big Sisters of B.C. Lower Mainland.

“Our government’s commitment to improved literacy levels through initiatives like Raise-A-Reader is leading the country,” said Education Minister Shirley Bond. “Partners like CanWest help us support children and adults and increase awareness about the need to raise literacy levels.”

“Literacy involves continuous learning and enables us to reach our goals, develop our knowledge and achieve our potential,” said Kevin Bent, president and publisher of the Vancouver Sun.

There are now nine newspaper outlets in B.C. participating in the Raise-a-Reader campaign with Kamloops and Tofino/Ucluelet launching campaigns for the first time this year.

Since the inception of the campaign in Vancouver in 1997, Raise-a-Reader and its sponsors have made significant contributions to help improve literacy for children and families not only across the province, but also across Canada.

British Columbia is a nation-wide leader in Raise-a-Reader fundraising and the matching funds the provincial government is providing this year will help support more than 180 beneficiary organizations throughout B.C.

Since 2001, government has invested more than $145 million in new literacy initiatives, including pre-literacy and early learning programs, including providing $12 million to operate the kindergarten readiness program Ready, Set, Learn, and $2.7 million for the ActNow Literacy Education Activity and Play (LEAP BC) program that encourages literacy, physical activity and healthy eating in preschool-aged children.

Media contact:
Bridgitte Anderson, Press Secretary
Office of the Premier
604 307-7177

Public Affairs Bureau
Ministry of Education
250 356-5963