• Give the Gift of Reading to Ottawa Kids

    As the holiday season begins, we know many people are making their year-end financial contributions to the charities near to their hearts. Twice Upon a Time provides free books to children to support early literacy skills and foster a love of reading through book ownership, made possible through the generosity of our donors.

    We are pleased to provide you with a few key updates about our work this year:

    • Since opening our first location four years ago, we have given away more than 22,000 free books to children in Ottawa!
    • This year alone, we have given away over 5,000 books (and our statistics are still rolling in).
    • We welcomed new partnerships such as Somerset West Community Health Centre and expanded on long-standing partnerships with the Boys and Girls Club, Overbrook Community Centre, the Taggart Family YMCA-YWCA and Heartwood House.

    Our 2019 Campaign: Joie de livre! French Books for Ottawa Kids

    Starting on Canada’s National Day of Giving, Tuesday, November 27, 2018, we launched our newest annual Development Appeal Campaign –  Joie de livre! French Books for Ottawa Kids! The campaign initiates our 2019 major project of building capacity to meet the urgent demand for French language materials.

    In 2017, 28% of the books chosen by children at our locations were in French; at present, fewer than 15% of the donations received are in French, and much of the material donated is out of date, of poor quality, or not representative of the community. This means we often have to supplement French material by purchasing books, at bulk discounts through partner wholesalers and local bookstores, in order to offer adequate and appropriate material for the children who visit our sites. We live in a bilingual city and want to share the richness of this bilingual experience with all children in our locations. We are excited to launch this project, and bring even more French books to Ottawa kids! Donations can be made directly to this fund on our Canada Helps Page.

    As 2018 wraps up, we are capping off our two-year Indigenous Materials Project, supporting specific recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report. We are thrilled to report that thanks to the generosity of donors such as yourself, we raised over $2,000 for this project, allowing us to purchase more than 200 books featuring Indigenous authors, illustrators and/or content. These books are making a difference. One of our young Inuit readers came across the book An Inukshuk Means Welcome by Mary Wallace. When she saw the inukshuk on the cover she immediately exclaimed “That’s my country!” Donations to this initiative are still gratefully accepted.

    But we know there is still so much more to do! By making a financial donation to Twice Upon a Time, you are ensuring families read and treasure excellent books together.

    How your donation makes a difference:

    • $25 allows us to buy three brand new, un-chewed, board books for our very youngest readers
    • $50 allows us to buy four books for either one of our two initiatives:
      our new Joie de livres | French Language Materials Project or our Indigenous Materials Project
    • $100 helps us to produce professional promotional material for our outreach activities
    • $175 pays our storage costs for one month

    Why we do what we do

    As many of you know, reading, and being read to, helps children learn new words even before talking. Being read to helps children develop early literacy skills, and those skills are a strong predictor of positive life outcomes. One in every four children in Canada begins kindergarten without the skills needed to learn how to read, according to the Parent Resource Centre. In Ottawa, 25% of children are at risk of poor educational outcomes; in Vanier, that number rises to 43%; in Overbrook, it rises again to 56%. We want to help change that.

    Reading is so important to our young clients. Here’s an observation from one of our site volunteers: “We have a young girl at the Boys and Girls Club who regularly decides to choose a book for her 3 year old sister rather than take one for herself.”

    Help us continue to provide a positive reading experience for Ottawa families in need, by contributing to our year-end 2018 Development Appeal Campaign.

    As always, thank you for your support for Twice Upon a Time and remember, you can direct any donation to special project initiatives or to “where most needed.”

    Donate now via Canada Helps

    To make an online donation, please visit our Canada Helps page! Other donation options can be found here.

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