Shomporko Online News Desk: How can Quebec authors flourish while instilling a love of reading and dreaming in children from low-income families? It’s possible this year because two approaches have come together: the “August 12, I buy a Quebec book” movement and the “Reading as a Gift” initiative.
“Two birds with one stone,” said actress Salomé Corbo, who was appointed as the Literacy Foundation’s spokeswoman for Reading as a gift.
The Foundation and its partners, Archambault, the Association of Public Libraries of Quebec, the Association of Libraries of Quebec, Coopsco, Les Libraries, and Renaud-Bray, have collaborated on this “reading alliance.”
The August 12 movement has rallied the population of Quebec in recent years: so why not take the opportunity of all these people who come to bookstores that day to suggest that they buy a book for a young person at the same time? ‘a disadvantaged environment? asks Mrs. Corbo.
“We have such a bubbly and great pool of authors” in Quebec and this is also the case for those who write children’s literature.
Normally, the “Reading as a Gift” initiative takes place in the fall. But this year, as COVID-19 still casts a veil of uncertainty, the Foundation believes it makes sense to get ahead of it, as bookstores are open and donation boxes are there. “Let’s take advantage of it”.
Salomé Corbo, who became known to the public in particular with her character of Caroline in Unit 9, has been the spokesperson for “Reading as a gift” for several years. She had the opportunity to see children from 0 to 12 years old receive a book, which they look at as we do with a precious object, she said.
“First, it’s a new item. And they don’t have a lot of new items. Most kids say, ‘Is it for me? To keep?”.
They are very moved, very touched to receive a gift from a stranger, she said. Then “comes the stimulus of curiosity”.
“It’s nice to see their interests arise thanks to a book. We want to become Nadia Comaneci. We want to become a geologist,” launches the actress in a cheerful tone.
It is important to sow the seed of literacy very, very early, she says. It encourages donors not to forget the 0 to 5-year-olds who can also benefit from it.
How many books does the Foundation want to collect? “I wish there were … more than 100,000!” She exclaims, laughing. But becoming more serious again, she stresses that the books received are not sufficient for the demand formulated by educators and teachers. And since the pandemic, there are even more children in need, she adds.
According to the Foundation, the initiative has delivered more than 860,000 books throughout the years, assisting in the prevention of reading and writing issues that could lead to dropping out of school and eventually illiteracy.
Participating bookshops and several municipal libraries already have donation boxes. The kids also get a postcard to send to the person who gave them the Quebec reading as a present.
Throughout the fall, you can donate a book or money to the Gift of Reading program, and the collection boxes will stay in place, much like other forms of collection, following August 12.
Source_ The Canadian Press