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Community Response Fund - Phase 2

See below on how we are supporting public schools in high-needs communities across Canada this Fall


The Indigo Love of Reading Foundation has committed $1,000,000.00 in funding for books and educational resources in 2020 to support Canadian schools and families with disproportionate needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. The new Indigo Love of Reading Community Response Fund is part of the Foundation’s continued efforts to support literacy in high-needs communities across Canada.

“As the 2020-21 school year commences, publicly-funded school districts across Canada are under extreme pressure to provide equitable access to quality educational experiences for all students, including options for in-school and remote online learning. Recognizing that there are very difficult choices to make under these circumstances, Canadian School Libraries (CSL) is extremely concerned that some districts have chosen to reassign school library staff, restrict access to library resources, and in some cases completely close the library and shut down associated programs and services.” – Canadian School Libraries, Sept 2020 (Statement on the Role of School Libraries During the Pandemic)

Even before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, many Canadian children have been living under conditions that are less than resilient. It has been estimated that 1 in 5 children and youth in Canada live in poverty and 1 in 3 lack basic proficiency in reading in math by the age of 15.* The pandemic has only deepened these negative effects for communities and families most marginalized in this country.

*Unicef Canada, April 2020 (The impact of COVID-19 on children in Canada: short, medium and long term mitigation strategies)

Through Phase 2 of the Indigo Love of Reading Community Response Fund, our hope is to provide supplementary assistance to high-needs public elementary schools nationwide that are looking to amplify their adapted learning models and literacy programs through student home reading libraries.

This past summer witnessed an unprecedented summer slide for students nationwide. The Foundation wishes to support those students most need in schools across Canada who require books at home to ensure continuity of learning during this crucial time where classroom and school libraries may have limited accessibility.

Please see the progress of Phase One of our Community Response Programming and details on the funding opportunity of Phase Two in support of schools:

First Phase of Funding (April – September 2020)

In our first round of funding which launched in April 2020, we accepted applications from nonprofit organizations across Canada with the capacity to implement during the unprecedented school closures. We received applications from a wide variety of organizations, school districts, schools and We also worked with three national partners to help distribute these funds to communities across Canada. Thus far we have distributed over 80,000 books to families in 150+ communities nation-wide.

Second Phase of Funding (beginning November 2020)

In this second phase of funding, we are focusing on supporting schools to promote home and blended learning programs by making them more inclusive of low socio-economic families. We recognize that low socio-economic families have been disproportionately impacted by the physical, mental and economic impacts of this pandemic. Through this second phase of funding, we hope to enhance schools’ capacity to support families and students by enabling them to build their home libraries.

Program Details

Who is eligible for funding through phase two of the Community Response Program?

Publicly-funded elementary schools and school boards, and First Nation education authorities that have the capacity to build out a home library program for families most in need within their school network by the end of the 2020 calendar year. For non-profit organizations interested in participating in this program, we encourage you to find a local school/school board to partner with for this project and encourage them to apply.

What is my school eligible to receive?

Funding in the form of an Indigo Corporate Account for the purchase of books and literacy resources for the benefit of student home reading. Grant amounts will have three tiered levels based on student population. Final grant amounts will be calculated based on $25 allocated per student in your school.

  • 100-250 students ($2500.00-$6,250.00)
  • 250-500 students ($6,250.00-$12,500.00)
  • 500-1000+ students ($12,500.00-$25,000.00)*

* Special considerations may be made for school boards that apply that are looking for funding to multiple school locations with a robust plan to execute book distribution.

All books and literacy resources will be offered at a discount of 30% at any Indigo, Chapters, Indigospirit store location or through ordering via Indigo’s Corporate Sales channel. Schools will be encouraged to partner with a store in their community who will be able to assist with curation support for their purchasing needs.

How long do I have to apply for funding?

  • We will be accepting applications between Tuesday October 15th, 2020 – Friday October 30th, 2020 (11:59pm ET)

If successful in my application, how will the literacy resources be allocated to my school?

  • Funds will be allocated in the form of an Indigo Corporate account specific to your school
  • Up to three designated authorized representatives from your school will be able to make purchases off the Corporate account in-store or via email through Indigo’s Corporate Sales channel
  • Successful applicants will be provided with literacy funding in November

Application Process

Step 1: Complete this application

Step 2: You will be notified in the coming weeks if your application has been approved.

Step 3: In the event your application is approved, your school will receive a one-time donation for literacy resources in November

Step 4: Recipient schools will be responsible for the submission of a brief impact report to be completed and sent to the Foundation after book distribution is complete.  We will also encourage the use of a social media hashtag to share impact stories throughout the program.

Selection Criteria

We have created this portal and worked to create a simple application form to ensure schools can complete this quickly and easily.

Successful school applicants will be chosen based on:

  • Depth of demonstrated need and resilience in the face of challenges posed by Covid-19 in their school community
  • Capacity to execute a realistic and robust plan for the safe distribution of books to families in their school network
  • Plan for assessing and measuring the impact of the Community Response fund through both student literacy achievement and community engagement
  • Beneficiary groups served (we will look to serve families from a diverse range of demographic groups)
  • Regional Distribution (we will look to include schools from across Canada)

Apply Now