How the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation Began

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From reading about adventures in story books, learning about history and science, and experiencing theatre and dance performances – the Love of Reading Foundation has given our students the confidence and skills they need for success in their futures.

Judy Gillis, Principal,
Church Street Elementary School,
Toronto, Ontario

The Indigo Love of Reading Foundation was born in a small, urban school in downtown Toronto.

Church Street Elementary School taught a diverse group of students. Many were born outside Canada and spoke English as a second language, or had learning difficulties. With a threadbare budget, teachers couldn’t afford basic resources to support and inspire their students. When Heather Reisman, CEO and chief booklover of Indigo, was invited to see what was going on, she couldn’t believe her eyes: “The library was literally empty. There was this big room with about eight cardboard boxes.”

“I was struck by the difference between what the teachers had to work with and the obvious caring and inspiration that this principal and these teachers were putting into these students,” Heather recalls. “It caught me.”

With Indigo’s help, the school has been transformed in just four years. The library is an accessible, friendly place with 5,000 additional books. Outdated materials have been weeded out and replaced with titles that are relevant to the students. The school also sponsors reading programs and cultural experiences such as guest speakers and artists. And the students take out about five books each month.

“Since becoming an Indigo Love of Reading school, we’ve seen a positive and tangible difference in our students,” says Dr. Judy Gillis, Principal. “We’ve seen an upward trend in standardized test scores, and they have become excited about learning and reading.”

Help transform more schools into Love of Reading schools. Make a donation to Love of Reading online or purchase special Love of Reading merchandise net proceeds going to the Foundation. And tell your local government how you feel about the importance of literacy in our schools.

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The Indigo Love of Reading Foundation is a registered charitable organization established in 2004
to help provide new books and learning materials to Canadian elementary schools in need.