First Book Canada and Kumon Canada partner to bring more than 10,000 new books to children in need.

More than 70 per cent of children who received books through First Book Canada reported increased reading at home.

TORONTO, ON, January 27, 2015 – First Book Canada and Kumon Canada, a national organization with math and reading centres are joining forces to promote literacy, and distribute thousands of new books to children in need across the country.

More than 29 million children across North America live in low-income households. Most of these children have no age-appropriate books at home, and the classrooms and programs they attend are woefully under-resourced. For young children, reading is paramount to their growth and development. Recognizing the importance of reading at a young age, starting on Saturday, February 7, more than 10,000 new books will be distributed by First Book Canada at Kumon’s head office to in need schools and community based programs across the Greater Toronto Area. Book recipient groups include teachers, librarians and community based program administrators who will distribute the books to the children they serve. These books will be put into the hands of children from low-income families, to grow home-libraries and nurture a love of reading.

“Seeing a child get excited about ‘what’s next’ in a story and develop a love for reading is something Kumon instructors and associates have the privilege of witnessing each and every day in our centres. By partnering with First Book Canada, we’re able to extend that opportunity into our communities,” said Lyndsay Lowman, Brand Communications Manager at Kumon Canada. “We are truly excited about this partnership and can’t wait to open up more worlds and create more smiles through literacy.”

This joint literacy campaign will continue throughout February and March with seven reading celebrations at high needs elementary schools across the country. Students will enjoy presentations from children’s authors and illustrators, and have the opportunity to read with Kumon Canada instructors and associates. Each student will also receive a signed copy of the author or illustrator’s book to take home and keep.

“We are very excited to have this new partnership with Kumon Canada as their programs help children of all ages become eager, independent self-learners,” said Tom Best, Executive Director at First Book Canada. “Kumon Canada recognizes that not all children have access to new books and those from low-income families often do not have books of their own to read at home. This partnership is a great way for us to provide access to new books for children in need and have a positive impact on their future.”

In March, for every child enrolled in a Kumon Reading Program, $10 will be donated to First Book Canada. This will allow First Book Canada to distribute more new books to children in need.

About First Book Canada

First Book Canada provides new books to children in need addressing one of the most important factors affecting literacy – access to books. By making new, high quality books available on an ongoing basis, First Book Canada is transforming the lives of children and elevating the quality of education in the country. In 2014, First Book Canada distributed over 825,000 new books to children in need across Canada. All funds raised in Canada go to programs serving Canadian children from low-income families. For more information, or to sign up to get books, visit us at www.firstbookcanada.org and follow our latest news Twitter and Facebook.

About Kumon

Kumon is an after-school math and reading enrichment program that unlocks the potential of children so they can achieve more on their own. Founded in Japan in 1958, the learning method uses an individualized approach that helps children develop a solid command of math and reading skills. Through daily practice and mastery of materials, students increase confidence, improve concentration and develop better study skills. Kumon has 26,000 centres in 48 countries and more than four millions students studying worldwide. Kumon Canada’s head office is in Vaughan, Ontario. Visit www.kumon.ca to learn more.

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