OTTAWA, January 26, 2007- To celebrate Family Literacy Day, held annually on January 27, Library and Archives Canada released participation statistics for the 2006 TD Summer Reading Club, a program that aims to help increase children's literacy levels. The research showed a 10% increase in children's registration in the program-a record-breaking enrolment. Decima Research collected data for the National Report of 2006 Program Statistics, which were compiled from figures taken from 2,000 library branches in 11 out of the 13 provinces and territories.
According to a literature review prepared for Library and Archives Canada on the impact of summer reading clubs, reading books in the summer is associated not only with enhanced reading proficiency, but also with improved educational and societal success. A joint initiative between TD Bank Financial Group, Library and Archives Canada and the Toronto Public Library, the TD Summer Reading Club is an award-winning program that offers children and their families a fun way to enjoy reading during the summer months. With the participation of libraries across Canada, the program offers an innovative example of how to help raise literacy levels in Canada.
The program is free and offered each summer in participating Canadian public libraries to children ages 12 and under. The most common testimonial from parents and teachers about the program was that children significantly improved their reading habits. On average, each registered club member read eight books, bringing the total number of books read in the summer of 2006 to almost two million.
In addition to the increased registration, staff at participating libraries organized 5,000 more activities in 2006 than the previous summer for the nearly 400,000 children who took part. Girls comprised 55% of the participants while boys represented 45%, similar to 2005 proportions.
The goals of the TD Summer Reading Club are to encourage Canadian children to read for pleasure, to help maintain and improve their reading skills during the summer and to encourage them to be lifelong readers and library users. Theme-based reading kits, which include a poster, stickers and an activity booklet, are provided to participants as an incentive to read.Family Literacy Day is a celebration of the joy and importance of reading. For more information on the Report and on the TD Summer Reading Club, consult www.td-club-td.ca/
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Pauline M. Portelance
Senior Media Relations Officer
Library and Archives Canada
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