University of Calgary

Family Literacy Day

January 23, 2009


Children mark Family Literacy Day at City Hall

Children from a northeast Calgary elementary school will join Calgary Lougheed MLA Dave Rodney and Deputy Mayor Joe Ceci at City Hall to celebrate Family Literacy Day on Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2009.

The event, co-sponsored by Calgary Reads and the Calgary Public Library, involves children from Cappy Smart School. Participating children have signed photo release forms.

“Family Literacy Day is a day to show young children how exciting reading can be,” said Dariel Bateman, executive director, Calgary Reads, a non-profit organization that promotes and supports early literacy ( “Family literacy is critical to the development of young children. When parents talk with their children, read stories aloud, or even just role model reading, children tend to become readers without too much difficulty.”

Tuesday’s event will also involve volunteers from Borden Ladner Gervais, a Calgary law firm that has been a longtime supporter and donor of literacy initiatives in the city.

The event begins at 10:30 a.m. at the Atrium of City Hall. Rodney, a longtime educator and the only Canadian to twice summit Mount Everest, and Ceci, alderman for Ward 9, will read their favourite books to the children. Borden Ladner Gervais LLP employees, as well as library and Calgary Reads staff and volunteers, will also read to the children in small groups, and have the children read aloud their favourite books.

At 11:30 a.m., the children will cross the street to the downtown Calgary Public Library for lunch, followed by a literacy carnival.

“Having prominent Calgarians share their love of reading shows kids that reading opens a world of exploration and discovery,” said Diana Villeneuve, Early Literacy Advocate, at the Calgary Public Library ( “We know from experience that when children are excited about learning to read and when they see adults around them reading for pleasure they are much more successful in developing their own literacy skills.”

Celebration of Family Literacy Day

Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2009 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Grade 2 students from Cappy Smart School, celebrity readers MLA Dave Rodney and Deputy Mayor Joe Ceci, and employees of the law firm Borden Ladner Gervais LLP.

Atrium of City Hall and W.R. Castell Library

For more information, contact Dariel Bateman, executive director, Calgary Reads at 403.850.3375.

Calgary Reads was formed as a charity in 2001. The program began with 25 tutors working with 40 students and now has more than 325 tutors working with 450+ students in 65 schools in Calgary and surrounding communities. Calgary Reads supports early intervention with struggling readers in Grade 2. Programs include: Calgary Reads@School, Calgary Reads@Home, a project that involves and supports the families of Calgary Reads children, Together Events where celebrity readers share their passion for books in local schools, and children whose home language is not English. These reading programs are made possible because of hundreds of Calgary Reads volunteers.

Borden Ladner Gervais LLP is a longtime supporter and donor to Calgary Reads. Employees frequently read to children involved in Calgary Reads programs, as well as volunteer their time at the annual Calgary Reads booksale, being held this spring the evening of May 1, and all day May 2 and 3 at the Triwood Arena.