December 10, 2015

Dote Magazine rallies for “A Good Book Drive”

*Guest Blog*
Calgary’s Dote Magazine encourages a book drive for Calgary Reads as we help bring books to children in our city who need them most. In collaboration with the Calgary Food Bank, A Good Book Drive runs until January 5.

Hello Book Lovers!
Throughout the month of December we are aiming to get out and inspire Calgary to donate a new copy of a book they think every child should read. The books this year are going to a program through Calgary Reads called Read Every Day That You Eat, an amazing children’s literacy program in partnership with the Calgary Food Bank that provides children in need an opportunity to have books of their own. This means the books you donate will go directly into the hands of children who need them most and inspire them to love reading as much as you do.
Here’s how you can help! *December 5 – Jan 5, 2016*agbd-logo

Have an hour? 
Head out to one of our many local independent book stores to buy a new book! Then drop by your closest Drop Box location between December 5th – January 5th to fill out a book plate, slap it on the inside cover and place it in the box. Bonus points: snap a photo of your book title and share it on social media with #agbd2015 and #agbdyyc

Drop Box locations:
Owl’s Nest Books
The Livery
Calgary Reads
Reclaimed Canada
Coco and Charlie
Village Brewery
Banbury Lane Design Centre
Crave Cupcakes and Cookies  – Crowfoot
Crave Cupcakes and Cookies  – Aspen
Crave Cupcakes and Cookies – Willow Park
Crave Cupcakes and Cookies – Kensington
Shelf Life Books
2000 Days Pre Kindergarden
Monkey Shines Books
One Cycle Spin Studio
Rubaiyat Gallery
Gravitypope Clothing and Shoes

Have 10 minutes?
Order your book title and have it shipped or dropped off directly to Calgary Reads (#105,105, 12th Ave SE). Stumped on what to get? Browse the suggested list below, or call your favourite 0-8 year-old. Then brag about the title you picked on social media using #agbd2015 and #agbdyyc.

Have 5 minutes?
Tell the Internet! Forward this email, to your pals and co-workers to deliver a new book to their nearest Drop Box location. All 21 local locations will be listed with a map on agoodbookdrive.com starting on December 5th – Jan 5th

Help us meet our goal of donating 2,000 new books this year while kicking off your holiday season by helping children in need.

Suggested children’s book titles:
A Mouse Called Wolf – Dick King-Smith
Cliffhanger – Jacqueline Wilson
Charlotte’s Web – E.B. White
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
Fantastic Mr Fox – Roald Dahl
Glubbslyme – Jacqueline Wilson
The Gruffalo – Julia Donaldson
The BFG – Roald Dahl
The Cat in the Hat – Dr Seuss
The Hodgeheg – Dick King-Smith
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – C.S. Lewis
The Tiger Who Came to Tea – Judith Kerr
The Mum-Minder – Jacqueline Wilson
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing – Judy Blume
The Sheep-Pig – Dick King-Smith
The Fox Busters – Dick King-smith
Where the Wild Things Are – Maurice Sendak
James and the Giant Peach – Roald Dahl
Pippi Longstocking – Astrid Lindgren
Winnie the Pooh – A. A. Milne

To learn more and receive updates on A Good Book Drive please visit:

guest blog post #2

November 17, 2015

Crafters come together for Calgary Reads

Guest Blog: Crafters come together for Calgary Reads.

We so appreciate the many individuals and groups who come together to support Calgary Reads as we help children to read with confidence and joy! We’re delighted to share this guest blog post by one such champion – Valerie Kapsha.
Last February at Teachers’ Convention, I was lucky enough to attend a presentation by Steacy Collyer, Executive Director of Calgary Reads. I left feeling inspired and a bit saddened by what she had to say. Over the weekend I could not stop thinking about her message and I knew it was because I needed to do something to help. There had to be a way for me to get the word out to more people. First, of the plight of many of our young children in Calgary. Second, that there was this great organization out there trying to help!

As it happens, I am not only a teacher. I am also a paper crafter. It is a passion I have had for many years, and I have managed to parlay that passion into a small but loyal following of ladies. About three years ago I became a consultant for Close To My Heart, a company based in the US that caters to all types of paper crafters. A few months after that, I began my blog, SureScrapsaLot.com. Always looking for ways to push my personal boundaries, I had been thinking for quite some time about hosting a crop event. This is a pretty big deal, as it involves a lot of people, over an entire day. It occurred to me that there could be a way to combine both my desire to stretch myself AND to support Calgary Reads!

First I got in touch with my friend, Chris Dumont. She agreed that it was a great cause and she would be happy to organize the food for the day. Paper crafting all day you can really work up an appetite! Next, we needed a venue, so I approached the leaders at Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Hanson Ranch. I was stunned when they volunteered to WAIVE ALL FEES for the use of their large hall for a whole day! Because of their generosity, we were able to save a big portion of each registration fee which went directly to Calgary Reads. Well, that was last April. Our group was small, as crop events go:  There were eleven of us altogether. But their hearts were big, and their pockets were open, and we managed to raise over $500 altogether! It was exhausting, and we could not have done it without a lot of help behind the scenes. BUT WE DID IT!

guest blog post #4

Once everything was cleaned up and put away, I immediately started looking ahead. I was already excited about hosting another crop event. This time I decided to expand a bit more, and so invited another friend, Lori Withell, to join forces with me and Chris (who had agreed to look after our tummies again). Lori has been a Stampin’ Up demonstrator for a REALLY long time. They are another company that caters to paper crafters. Holy Trinity Anglican Church agreed again to waive all fees for use of their hall for the day and we were all set for October 24th. Again, it was a huge amount of work, and just like last time, we had a lot of help behind the scenes, but it was a terrific day. This time our group totalled twenty-four ladies! Wow! And I am happy to say that because of the generosity of Holy Trinity and all of these ladies, we were able to send Calgary Reads a cheque for $643.00. Amazing!

So what’s next? Well, Lori, Chris and I have already agreed that we are definitely going to do it again. If we can raise over $1,000 a year, that’s A LOT of books! We are already looking at dates for April 2016, so stay tuned for more details. And, if you are a paper crafter, or you know a paper crafter, spread the word. Who knows what wonderful things will happen next??

Calgary Reads’ Literacy Coaches stopped by the event too to talk about our work and thank everyone for their support!


October 28, 2015

Little Free Library Passport challenge

Become a “Well Travelled Reader” with our Little Free Library Passport challenge!

Like books? Like travel? How about a literacy-inspired journey around Calgary? It’s free, fun for you, your family, group or team . . . and you can earn a great prize!

We’re thrilled to bring you our Little Free File_008Library Passport challenge.

At Calgary Reads we inspire a reading-revival movement. Now, as part of spreading the joy of reading – we’ve launched our Little Free Library Passport challenge. You can take part:

  1. First: visit the Passport Office (aka Calgary Reads – 105, 105 12th Ave SE) and collect your free Little Free Library Passport.
  2. Then alone . . . or with your friends, family or group (who have Passports too) – visit the 14 Little Free Libraries (reader citizenship posts!) listed in the Passport. Use the stamps provided at each Little Free Library to stamp your Passport on the corresponding page.
  3. Return to the Passport Office with at least 10 stamps in your Passport and receive a custom “Well Travelled Reader” badge to sew onto your jacket, backpack or hat. Treat each Little Free Library as if it were a different country and the stamp as your proof of entrance (visit)!

This adventure is open to anyone. Help us highlight the Little Free Library movement and share the importance of literacy and the joy of reading! On your travels perhaps bring a book or two to leave behind or choose a new one from a Little Free Library as you visit.

This project is an exciting collaboration with Calgary’s 2014-2016 poet laureate Derek Beaulieu. Award winning poet, author and publisher, Derek’s creativity flourishes. He created the stunning visual poems in our Passport.

So, be a citizen reader! Tour the city – visit the listed Little Free Libraries – earn a badge – and spread the joy of reading! Don’t forget to share your photos and stories with us too on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!