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Bringing the joy of literature to the children of Alfred-Plantagenet

Littéracie Alfred-Plantagenet Literacy’s (LAPL) initiative, La lecture en cadeau!, is in its second year.  The initiative, aimed at bolstering children’s love of reading, does so by giving students of the Township of Alfred-Plantagenet’s three elementary schools a brand new book to take home, three times a year.

“A child’s love of reading is born at home,” says Louise Lépine, member of the Board for LAPL.”A love that, if nurtured, increases a child’s potential for academic success as well as self-esteem.” Indeed, the small non-profit organisation’s goal is to increase children’s literacy skills in the Township of Alfred-Plantagenet.

The initiative is entirely driven by donations from citizens, businesses, groups and organisations. “Every amount donated goes toward purchasing books for kids attending pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and first grade,” confirms Leonard Samek, President of LAPL.

Last year, La lecture en cadeau! handed out over 750 books. Motivated by this success, LAPL is confident that it can increase that number to at least 800 for the 2017-2018 school year. “A likely event,” says Samek, “since 263 books were already handed out on September 29 of this year.”

Two more donations are scheduled for this school year, the next being around Family Day, in February. “We choose dates that will make the gift feel more valuable,” explains Lépine. For the time being, the initiative focuses on three elementary schools: Saint-Victor (Alfred), Saint-Paul (Plantagenet) and Saint-Joseph (Wendover).

The books are bought at Le coin du livre, a francophone bookstore located in Ottawa. With the help of the store’s co-owner, Nathalie Savard, the books are chosen through certain criteria that will appeal to the children. “We choose books appropriate for the students’ age groups. We look for illustrations and content inspired by contemporary, modern themes,” says Lépine. To get the most out of every donation, every book chosen has a ten-dollar value.

This fall, in an effort to reach out to new potential donors, LAPL launched a fundraising campaign through gofundme, an online crowdfunding service (https://www.gofundme.com/lecture-en-cadeau). For the time being, their goal is to amass $1000 through this new medium. “In a perfect world, donations are sent directly,” confirm both Lépine and Samek. Nevertheless, LAPL hopes that this online tool will expand their reach and contribute to their continued efforts in bringing the joy of reading to the children of their community.

To know more about Littéracie Alfred-Plantagenet Literacy and the La lecture en cadeau! initiative, you may visit the organization’s Facebook page.

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