Red Deer Public School District

33,978 Smiles For Reading College

There were SMILES all around as local Tim Hortons owners presented the Foundation for Red Deer Public Schools with a cheque for $33,978.00 to support our Reading College program which inspires kids to read and write.

The money was raised as part of the SMILE Cookie Campaign in September when the Red Deer community bought lots and lots of cookies, 33,978 to be exact.

"Once again, we are grateful for how our community showed their support for kids and the Optimist Reading College program," said Bruce Buruma, Executive Director for the Foundation. "Reading College has a huge impact each year for 60 kids who at the end of the grade two are struggling with reading. For the month of July, the students received intensive literacy supports to improve their skills, but more importantly, to increase their interest and motivation to read and write. But they also have a lot of fun with different activities and events around Red Deer College. We strive to make it their best summer ever! At the end of the day this improves life chances for students."

The cheque presentation was hosted at Tim Hortons at 6802 Gaetz Ave. Restaurant owners Harpreet Sraon and Gurjunt Dhaliwai were joined by other owners of Tim Horton locations in the city. Sraon commented the SMILE Cookie campaign is one of their best fundraising events to support the community and that anything that benefits kids creates lots of interest and excitement. The owners group appreciates working with the Foundation and was excited to choose Reading College as the recipient. They know the program has a powerful impact on students and is a great community investment.

"We know from talking with parents, as well as, teachers that Reading College has a profound impact on students. Students become more confident in their abilities which in turn makes them more excited to read and write", said Elvy Goring, Program Coordinator. "It was so good connecting with some of our grads today and hearing the real progress they've made in grade three jumping two, three and even six levels in their reading. Now that's success!"

Reading College is a program of the Foundation for Red Deer Public Schools. The program is made possible through donations from the community. The Optimist Clubs of Central Alberta have been a key and founding partner in this initiative along with Red Deer College, Prairie Bus Lines, Chartwells, Chapman Literacy Endowment Fund, Turple Family Fund and other donors. We are excited to welcome Tim Hortons in the SMILE Cookie Campaign as new supporters.

For more information on Reading College and the Foundation for Red Deer Public Schools, please contact:

Bruce Buruma, Executive Director

403-342-3708

bruce.buruma@rdpsd.ab.ca