The Children's Reading Place

By Calgary Reads

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We believe in the power of reading to move absolutely everything in our lives imaginatively, passionately forward. So we will inspire, compel and connect those who share our beliefs, and even those who don’t yet, to join forces to make our world one big, joyous reading place.


The ability to read well is critically linked to success in life. Strong reading skills can lead to positive self-esteem, school completion and higher education, ongoing employment, financial resilience, good health, and social skills. In essence, the ability to read well is a building block for self-sufficiency and full engagement in family and community life in adulthood. And yet, almost half of Canadians can’t read well enough to fully participate in society and the workforce.

Children learn to read with confidence and joy when they:

  1. have access to quality resources;
  2. are immersed in a culture of reading; and
  3. are surrounded by engaged adults who have the will, skill and thrill to support their learning.

Literacy is every child’s right; low literacy is the root cause of many of society’s most significant challenges – crime, homelessness, job insecurity, food insecurity and low levels of education. Stats Canada estimates a 1% increase in literacy rates would boost the national income by as much as $32 billion.

Book ownership is strongly linked to becoming a successful reader and contributes to the number of years students stay in school.

Calgary Reads works to get books into the hands of children who would otherwise have none. In lower-income neighbourhoods, research shows that there is just one book for every 300 children, compared to higher income neighbourhoods that average 13 books per child. Even 20 books in a home can have a significant impact on propelling a child to a higher level of education, and the more books you add, the higher the benefit, especially for those in low-income homes.

The Book Bank is located at the Children’s Reading Place. Here, we collect and store the tens of thousands of new and gently used books that we give to children throughout the year.

Spotlight on the Children's Reading Place:


"You mean I get to keep it for my very own?" Five-year-old Madihah (name changed) could not believe that after visiting the Children's Reading Place, she was able to pick a book to keep. Her mom, Salma (named changed), moved to Canada six years prior and is a single mom attending school full-time. She knows reading to Madihah is important and can't believe how having her own books at home has helped inspire Madihah to want to read. As a student, Salma's resources are limited and buying books is not possible.


“We aren’t a family that uses the Food Bank, but we are not far off. We can just barely pay the bills. So, coming [to the Children's Reading Place] allows [my daughter] to get the books we could never afford.”


A grandfather approached the table looking for books for his infant grandchild who is only a few months old. A volunteer selected a wonderful board book and presented it for consideration to the grandfather. He exclaimed, "Oh no my grandchild can't read that yet."

The volunteer explained that it was intended to be read to the infant by an adult. The grandfather claimed that the adults in that child's life could not read well and that they had never attended college. He went on to explain that it was so important that this child learns to read well because he recognized the limitations of low levels of literacy.


Book a visit to the Children's Reading Place to experience the magic for yourself!



How the Funds will be Used:


Your Impact:


$25 - A family receives key messaging, free books, and an amazing experience from a Support Worker at the Children's Reading Place.

$50 - Five children whose families are accessing the Food Bank can choose beautiful books for their very own.

$100 - Sustains our programming with our partner organizations to benefit those families furthest from opportunity.

$250 - Places 25 quality children's books in the homes of families who need them most.

$500 - Provides 50 babies with a new book along with resources for their parents at their first immunization visit.

$1,000 - Supports struggling young readers to access literacy resources & books, and subsidizes school classes to visit the Children's Reading Place.



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Team Members

Calgary Reads

Alex May

Dawn Cruickshank

Joan Green

Monica Mochoruk

Steacy Pinney

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