Our Dandelion Story
for making reading wishes come true
Twenty-two years ago…
…we dreamed a dream that all children in Calgary could become joyful, confident readers. Over the years, Calgary Reads’ one-to-one reading programs, our family readaloud revolution, our Book Bank and our special reading places have given thousands of children a bright start in school and in life. Thank you for being a part of the passionate community of supporters who’ve championed each child’s right to read.
Continuing our legacy
Today, because of the pandemic, there are many more children who need help becoming stronger readers than Calgary Reads can reach on its own. The need for greater early literacy support is so vast and complex and critical, that we needed to scale up and spread out to improve the reading lives of local children and families. So, we’re turning to our village and to you.
Spreading Early Literacy Across Calgary
wee read and Read Up!
Read Up! is a school-based volunteer tutoring program with children in Grade 1 & 2.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Calgary and Area are experts at creating one-to-one mentoring relationships for children and youth in Calgary. Their work is perfectly suited to take on these school-based volunteer programs.
“We know that literacy is an important protective factor for children and we have seen evidence of this time and time again within the mentoring relationships we support. We look forward to expanding that focus very intentionally.”
Ken Lima-Coelho, President & CEO, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Calgary and Area
Read with Me
Canadian Children’s Literacy Foundation (CCLF) has a big, bold ambition: to build a brighter, more literate future for all children in Canada. Because they promote and develop literacy initiatives, champion literacy partners across Canada, and empower people to build literacy skills in their homes and communities, they’re a perfect fit to continue our work with this program, now called Early Words.
“The Read with Me initiative lays the foundation for a healthcare-based approach to children’s literacy in Canada. We’re proud to be carrying on its legacy through our Early Words program as we work with clinics in Calgary and throughout Canada.”
Ariel Siller, CEO, Canadian Children’s Literacy Foundation.
Frontier College is a national charitable literacy organization that believes literacy is a right. They are committed to finding and using innovative ways to reach the people in our communities facing barriers to education. Frontier College will steward Calgary Reads’ resources, ensuring that children from Vancouver to Halifax will continue to benefit from the material.
“We are very much looking forward to extending the life of the amazing resources Calgary Reads has created so we can further support community literacy volunteers with some of the very best training materials.”
Richard Harvey, Regional Director West & Prairies, Frontier College.
Read Up! Tutoring
Read Up! Tutoring program resulted from a collaboration between Calgary Reads and Mount Royal University’s B.Ed. program, so it’s a natural fit for MRU to take on Read Up! Tutoring, now MRU Reads.
“Our students have learned so much about how children learn to read from the experience of tutoring children. We are excited to carry on this proud tradition to support the next generation of teachers.”
Jodi Nickel, Professor, Department of Education, Mount Royal University
YW Calgary offers a continuum of preventative and restorative services to support women, their families and their community toward a place of wellness. YW facilitators have been hosting LENA Start programs for Calgary families for three years.
“YW Calgary is excited to further embed LENA Start in our programs and digital technology strategy. We know LENA offers a unique evidence-based process that fosters and expands strong and healthy futures for children and their families.”
Sue Tomney, CEO, YW Calgary
Little Red Reading House and more
Reading Place Affiliates at carya, Children’s Cottage YYC, CUPS, Discovery House, Families Matter, Richmond School, YYC, YW Calgary Women’s Centre
Little Red RV and more
UCalgary Owerko Centre, Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation
The Owerko Centre’s mission is “To optimize brain and mental health for children and families through research, education, and community engagement.” Calgary Reads is in conversation with these partners to take on our precious house and other assets.
“We are delighted to discuss how the Owerko Centre and UCalgary can create community-engaged and community-embedded research about the critical importance of early literacy.”
Dr. Susan Graham, Director, Owerko Centre at the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute.
Big Book Sale
Early Childhood Literacy Fund, which will distribute grants to organizations working on early literacy.
The Rotary Club of Calgary is an organization of business, professional and community leaders who come together through commitment and fellowship to create opportunities and a better future for generations who follow. A long-time supporter of Calgary Reads, the Rotary Club of Calgary hopes to take on and steward our most important fundraising asset, the Big Book Sale.
“We are thrilled to be working with Calgary Reads to examine how we can participate in sustaining the Big Book Sale … this amazing event that brings Calgarians together in support of early childhood literacy.”
Manon Mitchell, President, Rotary Club of Calgary.
Meet Our Dandelion Partners
Nurturing Our Dandelion Community
To help ensure our seeds are being nurtured to grow and thrive, our partners’ efforts will be supported and measured by a year-long evaluation, a case study and a new Literacy Lab. Rest assured, our seeds are united and in the very best hands.
The Next Big Book Sale
2021-22 Report to Community
This was a special year for so many reasons. From our Little Red Reading Van sharing the joy of books to the biggest Big Book Sale yet, there was proof, everywhere, that early literacy matters. We are so grateful to have people like you helping to build a thriving community that reads.
Please take a moment to read our 2021-22 Report to Community: From Small Seeds Grow Big Things.