OTTAWA, January 27, 2009 – Half a million children across Canada participated in the TD Summer Reading Club in the summer of 2008, reading almost two million books and taking part in close to 30,000 programs and activities in libraries across the country. These statistics, reported in the Harris-Decima Final Report of Program Statistics for the 2008 TD Summer Reading Club, were released today by Library and Archives Canada on the occasion of Family Literacy Day.
Since 2005, participation in the TD Summer Reading Club program has more than doubled making it the most successful summer reading club in the country. According to the Report, increased excitement in reading and sharing books is noted as the most common indicator of this success. Other indicators are increased reading habits, increased membership and more visits to the library. The most common testimonial from parents, teachers and caregivers about the TD Summer Reading Club program is that children are reading more frequently and that their reading skills have improved. Harris-Decima compiled the data from the 2,000 library branches in the 11 participating provinces and territories.
"It is very promising to learn that the number of children visiting libraries and enjoying books is increasing," stated Ian E. Wilson, Librarian and Archivist of Canada. "The TD Summer Reading Club has been successful in inspiring children to spend more time reading books, but it has also encouraged parents and caregivers to become more involved in their children's reading activities."
New to the program last summer was the creation of the TD Summer Reading Club Library Awards which recognize excellence in programming and innovation in participating libraries. The deadline to apply for the Summer 2008 Awards is February 15, 2009. The awards will be presented at a special ceremony in Montréal next May.
"We're encouraged to see the impact our summer reading club is having on literacy and social skills development in children," said Frank McKenna, Deputy Chair, TD Bank Financial Group and TD Literacy Champion. "Children's literacy is one of our community giving areas of focus, and it's through initiatives like the TD Summer Reading Club that we can lend our support to encourage reading at a young age."
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. Through the participation of libraries across the country, the program offers an innovative approach towards helping to raise literacy levels in Canada.
The program is offered free of charge each summer in participating Canadian public libraries to children of age 12 and under. The goals of the TD Summer Reading Club are to encourage Canadian children to read for pleasure, help maintain and improve their reading skills and 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 part of the program's incentives.
For more information on the Report and about the TD Summer Reading Club, visit www.td-club-td.ca/index-e.html.
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Pauline M. Portelance
Senior Media Relations Officer
Library and Archives Canada
Telephone: 819-994-4589 or 613-293-4298
TD Bank Financial Group