Reaching even more children

wee read was our opportunity to recruit volunteers 'big time'

Our wee read program matched almost a thousand trained individuals, students, volunteer employee teams and retired couples with two or three kindergarten or Grade 1 children each. The aim: be a reading role model! Read aloud, in school, once a week for 20-30 minutes, for eight weeks, to your same small group. Share tales, your enthusiasm and play games. Help children develop their curiosity, vocabulary and a love of stories, facts—and books!


Our volunteers say it was fun, easy and rewarding. Now, the young students are excited about books and learning to read. (And, some wee read volunteers will go on to train as Calgary Reads Read Up! one-on-one reading tutors – a bigger role with even more potential impact!)

We inspire parents

Reading aloud builds brains and bonds

Increasing the odds

A child's future shouldn't depend on the postal code lottery

We’re working to shore-up potential shortfalls in a child’s life. We get books into the hands of children who have none, or few. We help parents, grandparents and caregivers understand why the first 2000 days  of a child’s life are so important. Why it’s essential to read aloud to babies and children; and, how to help children build language and reading skills.

“ ”

If children have access to quality resources, are immersed in a culture of reading, and are surrounded by engaged adults who have the will and skill to support their learning, they will learn to read with confidence and joy.


- Calgary Reads Theory of Change


Welcome to the Calgary Reads 2014/2015 Report to Community. Here you can learn:

To help children learn to read with confidence and joy, four key strategies guide our work. Watch for the icons below throughout this report to see how these areas of focus emerged in our work in 2014/2015.

Finding your way around:

The dots to the left let you

jump between stories!

Watch out for this symbol

for a video link!

Click the logo in the top left any time to return home

Jump between chapters using the links on the top right

Watch the sidebar for related information, ideas and facts.

Avery's story

We could tell you we make a difference in the lives of children. Instead, Avery will.

Click here to read Chapter 2:

What we do

“My name is Avery and I am in grade 4 at Colonel Walker School in Inglewood. I am a huge fan of Calgary Reads because it has impacted my life so much.


Before I met my volunteer I wasn't a big fan of reading. I thought it was just ‘exercise for my eyes’. To be honest, one of the reasons I didn't like to read very much was because I wasn't that good at it. I thought that sounding out words was kind of hard, and when I read I felt kind of alone.


But then I met my Calgary Reads volunteer. She came into our classroom at Colonel Walker School twice a week to read with me. I didn't feel alone anymore, and I began to

took forward to the times when she would come to visit. Sometimes she brought little presents for me, and she always had a smile ready.


My volunteer was fun to be around. And when she helped me sound out new words, she never got mad at me if I didn't get it right away. Pretty soon I was reading chapter books!


Books are pretty amazing things. They don't look like much on the outside, but inside there are stories that are magical . . . adventures and new friends. Every night before I go to sleep, I read a little. It helps me to relax, and I like it. Sometimes when I'm reading and I get to a hard word, I remember my Calgary Reads’ volunteer. Thank you!"

– Avery


"Calgary Reads gift to my child was by extension—a gift to me. It really was love and kindness in action. It had weight. I was supported. I wish I could say I read with Avery every night, but we’re a busy family. Thank you for reading with Avery. We can’t do this alone. Thank you for supporting her . . . and me. It wasn’t a little thing."

 – Avery's Mom


of Alberta's children arrive at Kindergarten without the strong foundation they need to be successful.

As a part of the revised wee read program


kindergarten children in


schools were read to by


volunteers, including


high school students


of adult Canadians have low literacy skills


Alberta's high school completion rate of

is one of the lowest in Canada.

9,438     hrs


volunteers tutors in the Read Up! Tutor Program provided




Schools benefited directly from Calgary Reads programs in 2014/2015



Change values so that everyone views reading as a priority in homes and schools (and they make time for it).


Increase engagement so schools and families are better connected around reading and literacy . . . and parents are engaged in their children’s learning.

Book access

Increase access to quality literacy resources (including books!) in schools and homes.

Capacity building

Increase the capacity of parents, caregivers, teachers, health care professionals and others – so they know how to help young readers acquire the skills to be proficient, lifelong readers.

Chapter 1

Reading builds brains. From birth to age five, a baby’s brain is growing fast. It will make trillions of connections between billions of neurons. Each time we cuddle up to read to a child, we’re sending a pleasure measure to the child’s brain.

To help parents and caregivers be their child’s first best teacher we share information, resources, and videos.

Check out our resources

Literacy =

positive self-esteem

high school completion rates

ongoing employment

financial resilience

good health

lower crime rates

Join Us

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Pledge to Read

Chapter 3


Chapter 4

a little about WHY we do what we do

We help children learn to read.

It's that simple and that important.