|Zack Stortini reads a story to grade four students at St. Alphonsus School (photo: Andy Devlin / Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club)
On Friday, October 9th, the grade one students at St. Alphonsus school had a surprise visit from Oilers Zack Stortini to kick off the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation’s (EOCF) Share-A-Book program for the 2009-10 season.
Three years ago, the EOCF launched Share-a-Book with the funds raised through The Edmonton Journal’s Raise-a-Reader program. This year, 4400 books were purchased to create 2200 book bags for children throughout northern Alberta who might otherwise not have the means to start a library at home.
“We’re delighted to launch the Share-A-Book program today at St. Alphonsus school,” said Natalie Minckler, EOCF’s Executive Director. “The Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation is an avid supporter of literacy programs, in fact we support them to the tune of $250,000 annually. Literacy is something that’s fundamental to every child’s development and our players are pleased to support these programs.”
The EOCF team joined forces with the grade four students at St. Alphonsus school to pack the book bags. This year students will receive two books: Robert Munsch’s Just one goal and Nick Bland’s A monster wrote me a letter.
“Reading is for everyone, it’s always great to learn new things and indulge yourself in different interests through reading,” said Edmonton Oilers Zack Stortini. “Today I read a hockey story to the class, it was really fun.”
The EOCF raises its funds through a variety of fundraising initiatives that take place during Oilers home games along with the generous contributions of Oilers fans and friends. With the funds raised, the EOCF gives back to Oil Country in excess of $1 million dollars annually to charitable organizations and programs focused on educational initiatives, health and wellness, and youth programs.