(Edmonton, AB) - The Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation (EOCF) launched its annual Share A Book program earlier today, with 5,000 books gifted to 2,500 Grade 1 students throughout Northern Alberta, ensuring the joy of reading is not limited by a student's financial means.
With a focus on programs that support education and health and wellness for youth, the EOCF is deeply committed to enriching lives while finding long-term solutions to improve our home where we live, work and play, making the Share A Book program a perfect complement to this mandate.
"Literacy is an incredibly important skill for every stage of life and the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation is delighted to gift books to Grade 1 students across Northern Alberta," said EOCF Executive Director Natalie Minckler. "No child should be without books or opportunities to learn and grow. Receiving books is a special experience for many children and we're extremely proud of the Share A Book program."
This year, Grade 1 students in Northern Alberta will be receiving Puckster's First Hockey Game by Lorna Schultz Nicholson and The HOME Team Edmonton Oilers by Holly Preston to promote their literacy and love of reading.
To celebrate this year's launch, the Grade 1 students at Princeton School were treated to a special guest reader as renowned children's and young adult author Lorna Schultz Nicholson shared the joy of reading with students. The author read her book, Puckster's First Hockey Game, in support of the EOCF Share A Book program.
"Literacy can be taken for granted which makes the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation's Share A Book program incredibly important because not all kids are fortunate enough to receive books. Now thousands of Grade 1 students have two books to add to their library for them to enjoy, explore, love and learn from," added Author Schultz Nicholson.
Since the Share A Book program's inception in 2007, the Oilers Foundation has distributed more than 33,400 new books and book bags to 16,700 students across Oil Country - making literacy more accessible to many in our community.
"Literacy is vital. Our school is located in an area of Edmonton where not everyone has books or the means to receive books so Share A Book is truly making a difference in our students' lives," said Princeton School Grade 1 Teacher Ines Knezevic. "We read every day for 30 minutes in the classroom and we encourage our kids to read at home. When students have books to call their own, it makes them feel special and helps make them excited about reading."