Sparking the Love of Reading

There’s a chill in the air, the days are getting shorter and schools are bustling with students again. For The Educational Partnership Foundation that means the launch of our longest running and well-loved literacy program, Reading… Give it a Shot! to communities across Alberta.

Since 1991, or 28 years, this program has been used to spark the love of reading by using incentives to increase in-school and home reading. Students simply track their reading time and are rewarded with Calgary Flames or Canadian Wildlife Collector cards.

It was just last year that TEPF expanded the program from Calgary and area to offer it across Alberta.

“We had an excellent response to the program from schools all over the province,” says, Barb Simic, President and CEO of TEPF. “We also have community organizations, like Sonshine Children’s Centre and Boys and Girls Clubs, using the program.”

The yearly survey of teachers that utilize Reading… Give it Shot! confirms how effective this literacy program is. In fact, over 95% of teachers agreed that the program is a valuable literacy tool and that the program supports literacy goals of teachers and school districts. These stats speak volumes, however it’s the testimonials that give insight into how the program is changing lives. Here’s a few from teachers surveyed last year:

 “I had a very reluctant reader in my class and it was a struggle to get him to read anything… Once we started this program he was super motivated to earn the cards and began reading at school AND every night at home. This was exactly what he needed to spark a love of reading in him.”

 “I had a non-verbal child that became so excited with the animal cards and started using language!!!!!”

 “One of my students fell in love with reading while collecting hockey cards. She has collected them all and continues to get lost in books at school and at home. Thank you!!”

Last year, the program was delivered to over 25,000 students and in the 2019/20 school year we expect to exceed this. The great part is knowing that after 28 years, some teachers collected cards as students and remember the fun they had reading and collecting cards.

Stay tuned, we plan to launch a new edition of collector cards, Species at Risk very soon!

We couldn’t deliver this valuable program without the support of our partners,  ConocoPhillips, The Calgary Flames Foundation, The Calgary Zoo, Data Communications Management and One Transport. Thank you for making it possible to deliver this amazing program across Alberta!

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