That too many children in Canada are not developing the strong reading skills they’ll need to reach their full potential was clear to Heather Reisman, the founder and CEO of Indigo and the Chair of the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation, and Heather Munroe-Blum, Principal and Vice-Chancellor Emerita of McGill University and Chairperson of the Canada Plan Pension Investment Board. They knew it from academic research, from working with dedicated literacy practitioners with knowledge of the “facts on the ground,” particularly in high-needs communities, and from their other experiences related to reading and development.
The friends agreed that solving this problem would require bold action: bringing together Canada’s child literacy-focused stakeholders into one powerful movement. From those discussions emerged the idea for the Canadian Children’s Literacy Foundation/Fondation pour l’alphabétisation des enfants canadiens and its goal: to enable Canada’s children to become the most literate in the world.
In May 2017, in honour of Canada’s 150th birthday, Reisman and Munroe-Blum, together with Col. Chris Hadfield, Canadian astronaut and author, along with other community leaders, announced the launch of the Foundation. The announcement was made at an event hosting education, health, business and other literacy stakeholders and featured the documentary Read Between The Lines, produced by the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation.
In May 2018, their vision was realized when Julia Deans joined as the Foundation’s founding CEO and the organization became operational.
2017 Launch Event Documentary
The Foundation was announced at an event which featured the release of Read Between the Lines, a documentary about the challenges facing under-resourced school libraries. The film was produced by Indigo’s Love of Reading Foundation.