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Press release from CNW Group

INDIGO LOVE OF READING FOUNDATION TAKES AIM AT ENDING CANADA'S LITERACY CRISIS

Monday, September 13, 2010

INDIGO LOVE OF READING FOUNDATION TAKES AIM AT ENDING CANADA'S LITERACY CRISIS10:54 EDT Monday, September 13, 2010 New Adopt a School program strives to put 38,000 books into the hands of Canadian children TORONTO, Sept. 13 /CNW/ - The Indigo Love of Reading Foundation aims to expand its positive impact on Canada's public school libraries with its second annual Adopt a School program.  From September 12(th) to October 2(nd), Indigo, Chapters and Coles stores across Canada will "adopt" public schools in their communities.  Through the generous donations of customers, the fundraising drive hopes to rejuvenate the libraries at more than 132 public elementary schools from coast-to-coast through in-store activities and at loveofreading.org/adoptaschool.  Schools will have the opportunity to refresh their libraries with new books and learning materials to encourage student literacy with funds raised.  "For a second consecutive year, Canadian booklovers will have the opportunity to support early literacy in their communities and help put new books into the hands of children," says Jennifer Gay, Director, Indigo Love of Reading Foundation.   "With 42% of Canadian adults lacking basic literacy skills, it is critical to impact childhood literacy by improving public school libraries and enhancing resources. The passionate support of Canadian booklovers and our staff in communities across Canada is incredibly encouraging for our adopted schools." Build Canada's Bookshelves Canadians from coast-to-coast can help change the lives of children across the country.  For three weeks, Canadians can: 1. Go online. Visit loveofreading.org/adoptaschool to adopt a school in their community, donate, follow fundraising successes and share the school page with friends and family. Canadians can also learn more about each school and their efforts to improve libraries and enhance literacy skills. 2. Get in store. Visit their local Indigo, Chapters or Coles to contribute to local fundraising efforts by making a donation. With children back in classrooms across the country, visits to the school library will once again result in books coming home for children to enjoy.  A recent survey by Ipsos Reid commissioned by the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation reveals that 60% of parents say their child brings home books from their school's library at least once a week, but the survey also reveals that keeping libraries stocked with fresh books to feed hungry minds is a challenge.  With reductions in library funding, 72% of surveyed parents shared that their school fundraises to support their library and the majority of Canadian parents agree that more support is needed for public school libraries.  Meanwhile, teachers and principals spent approximately $140-million of their own money to buy books and learning materials for their students this year alone.* The chronic underfunding of public school libraries and its impact on students has not gone unnoticed, nor is it something that bake sales and other school fundraisers will remedy.  The majority (84%) of surveyed parents agreed that the private sector should do more to help public school libraries.  The Indigo Love of Reading Foundation is listening and, since 2004, has committed grants to high-needs elementary schools so they can transform their libraries with the purchase of new books and education resources.  Last year's inaugural Adopt a School fundraising drive had more than 200 Indigo, Chapters, Coles stores raise more than $210,000 to help rejuvenate the libraries at 150 public elementary schools across Canada.  This year, help Indigo Love of Reading Foundation make a difference by raising $450,000 for 138 schools from coast-to-coast. The Indigo Love of Reading Foundation is thankful to all Canadian book lovers that make a difference in children's lives.  Adding to the excitement, this year Random House of Canada has jumped on board to make an even bigger impact.  Through the Random House Book Package Reward, new books will be committed to schools who reach 25% of their fundraising goal. About the Love of Reading Foundation and Indigo Books & Music Inc. Indigo Books & Music Inc. founded the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation in 2004 to address the under resourcing of public elementary school libraries and the resulting literacy crisis.  Every year the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation commits $1.5 million to high-needs elementary schools so they can rebuild their libraries with the purchase of new books and education resources.  To date the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation has committed more than $9 million to 90 schools nationally. Indigo is a publicly traded Canadian company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (IDG). As the largest book and specialty retailer in Canada, Indigo operates in all provinces under different banners including Indigo Books & Music; Indigo Books, Gifts, Kids; IndigoSpirit, Chapters, The World's Biggest Bookstore, and Coles. The online division, www.chapters.indigo.ca, features books, eBooks, toys, music and DVDs, and hosts the award winning Indigo Online Community. Chapters and Indigo are rated as the number one and number two retailers in Canada by the Kubas Major Market Retail Report, and have been on that list since 2000. For more information about the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation, visit www.loveofreading.org. About the Survey These are the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted between August 11 and 16, 2010, on behalf of the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation. For this survey, a sample of 1,007 adults with kids age 4 to 18 from Ipsos' Canadian online panel was interviewed online. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. A survey with an unweighted probability sample of this size and a 100% response rate would have an estimated margin of error of +/-3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what the results would have been had the entire population of parents in Canada been polled. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error. *Source: 2010 survey by the Canadian Teachers' Federation For further information: <p><b>For more information about the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation and the Adopt-a-School program please contact:</b></p> <table><tr valign="top"><td align="left">Celine Rouzaud<br/>MS&L<br/>416-847-1311 /<br/><a href="mailto:celine.rouzaud@mslworldwide.com">celine.rouzaud@mslworldwide.com</a></td> <td align="right">    </td> <td valign="top" align="left">Mary Attard<br/>MS&L<br/>416-847-1343 /<br/><a href="mailto:natasha.newell-vieira@mslworldwide.com">mary.attard@mslworldwide.com</a> </td></tr></table>