Book distribution events

Montreal Salon du livre book fair

Top 10 bookstores collecting funds and books

Do what they do!

Book distribution events

In early May, the Foundation team had the great pleasure of sharing some reading time with some 40 children and 20 parents when they visited two schools in Quebec in underprivileged areas. Once again this year, actress and The Gift of Reading® spokesperson, Marie Turgeon, created some magic moments for the children by reading them a story, followed by a postcard rally and a lively discussion on the pleasures of reading. Her generosity made these visits highly memorable for all the participants, large and small, and for the team, not to mention the fact that the media were there to record the scene.

A recent addition to this event may provide some inspiration to participants in the book distribution. Last year, for the first time, a workshop was offered to parents to discuss ideas on how to encourage children to read and share the pleasure of reading.  This year, parents enjoyed being captivated by a story told especially for them. We're pretty sure they'll want to repeat the experience at home with their kids!


Parents of kindergarten pupils at École Saint-Jean-Baptiste-de-La-Salle answered the invitation in large numbers.


Each year, these activities enable the Foundation to be in direct contact with children benefiting from the project, and allow the team the privilege of presenting the gift of a brand new book to the children in person!


École Saint-Jean-Baptiste-de-La-Salle, Montreal
Wednesday, May 5, 2010   



The kids were delighted to receive their new book with their families.


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Marie Turgeon told stories to a rapt group of kindergarten pupils, provoking gales of laughter.


The children got out their favourite colours for the postcard rally, happy to thank the person who had offered them the gift of a book.

École Maria-Goretti, Sorel-Tracy
Friday, May 7, 2010


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A lively discussion about the pleasures of reading with 4th and 5th grade students who actively manifested their interest in the topics proposed by Marie Turgeon.


Pupils took great pleasure in examining their new books.

The Gift of Reading®at Montreal’s Salon du livre for the 11th year running

From November 18 to 23, 2009, Montreal’s Salon du livre book fair welcomed The Gift of Reading® for the 11th year running. Once again, the Foundation was able to rely on the generosity of visitors, thanks to whom 2,168 brand new children’s books will be given in May 2010 to the same number of underprivileged children. Close to $1,500 was also donated to support the project and enable the Foundation to deliver all the children’s books given by the public across Quebec.

In the wake of the success of the story-reading activity launched at the 10th anniversary of The Gift of Reading®, the Foundation repeated the experience this year, on the theme of “gifts of reading.” This time, we had an official presenter: The purpose of this activity was to raise the awareness of book fair visitors concerning a reality that is ignored or forgotten: in Quebec, thousands of children are still not having stories read to them!

Nineteen artists, authors and public figures joined the fun by offering the gift of a reading to interested visitors. Small people and grown-ups alike were invited to have a story read to them by their favourite stars in a bedroom-like setting.


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Whether they are tiny or grown-up, visitors are captivated by the stories read to them by actor Guillaume Girard (left) and host and actor Jocelyn Blanchard (right).


Once again this year, the activity was a big hit with all involved. Showcasing an ideal situation that unfortunately does not exist in most of the families targeted by The Gift of Reading®, these 19 episodes of reading charmed the small visitors and transported the adults back to their childhood, at the same time raising their awareness of the importance of this project continuing, designed as it is to help keep young people in school and prevent illiteracy.





Reverting to childhood is a pleasure thanks to actor François Bernier, who humorously tells a story for tiny tots to some captivated girls.

The stories told by Dre Nadia delight the small children, who eagerly follow the tales with their tiny fingers.    


The Foundation wishes to thank the 70 volunteers who gave some 407 hours of their time and greatly assisted staff in promoting the project to visitors during the six-day event.

Very special thanks go to the management and board of Montreal’s Salon du livre, who have hosted The Gift of Reading® and made it the book fair’s official cause from the project’s inception.


Grown-ups and children join enthusiastically in the project: a super family activity!

  slm6 Program host Katerine-Lune Rollet explains the project to visitors with energy and good humour, while offering colour tattoos to the little ones.

Congratulations to those bookstores which were particularly conspicuous in collecting books or funds so successfully!

Top 10 bookstores collecting the most books

  1. Coopsco des Laurentides, Saint-Jérôme
  2. Librairie de Verdun, Verdun
  3. Librairie René Martin, Joliette
  4. Librairie Lu-Lu, Mascouche
  5. Coopsco des Laurentides, Sainte-Thérèse
  6. Renaud-Bray, Pointe-Claire branch, Pointe-Claire
  7. Renaud-Bray, Carrefour Laval branch, Laval
  8. Librairie Boyer, Valleyfield
  9. Renaud-Bray, Complexe Desjardins branch, Montreal
  10. Librairie Moderne, Saint-Jean-sur Richelieu

Top 10 bookstores collecting the most funds

  1. Librairie Le Fureteur, Saint-Lambert
  2. Librairie Paulines, Montreal
  3. Coopsco des Laurentides, Saint-Jérôme
  4. Librairie Moderne, Saint-Jean-sur Richelieu
  5. Librairie du Nord, La Sarre
  6. Librairie Archambault, Chicoutimi branch, Chicoutimi
  7. Librairie Archambault, Boucherville branch, Boucherville
  8. Librairie Archambault, Laval branch, Laval
  9. Librairie Archambault, Sherbrooke branch, Sherbrooke
  10. Librairie Archambault, Berri branch, Montreal

List of participating bookstores 2009–2010

Do what they do!

Collaboration and involvement in the Montérégie

The Yves-Saint-Arnaud charitable foundation gave quite a boost to the book collection carried out by the Jacques-Lemoyne-de-Sainte-Marie library this year. In fact, they presented the library with a cheque for $150, allowing it to buy books and considerably increase the total number of books collected for its first participation in The Gift of Reading®. Thanks to Fondation Yves-Saint-Arnaud for their generous gesture!

Successful event for Commission scolaire Marguerite-Bourgeoys

After a successful first participation last year, the Commission scolaire Marguerite-Bourgeoys literacy team along with common core basic education teachers at the school board threw themselves enthusiastically into their second book collection for The Gift of Reading® in November 2009. Through their efforts, they managed to collect 251 brand new children’s books, up 30% from last year.



Congratulations to Lorraine Boucher and Sylvie Roy for their unstinting work, and to all the learners and their teachers for their participation.

Trick or treat?

The education department at the University of Quebec in the Outaouais (UQO) had an original idea for collecting donations for The Gift of Reading®. They invited students and staff at UQO and the public to buy “word candy”—lollipops decorated with unusual words. They also organized a pizza supper in aid of The Gift of Reading®. More than $170 was raised through these great initiatives, representing a considerable increase for the department’s second year of participation.

UQAM mobilizes more than ever

After five years of participation in the project by UQAM, the donations made by students, faculty and staff at the university might have been expected to level off. But these generous donors surprised us once again, since on the occasion of this 11th edition, they collected 399 books, 47 more than last year. Guided masterfully by Lucie Chartrand of the UQAM arts faculty, this collection has become, year by year, one of the most impressive and inspiring for the project. The Gift of Reading®and UQAM, an ongoing love affair!

Emploi-Québec Estrie and Biblairie GGC work together

As part of their book collection, staff in the Estrie office of the provincial employment and social solidarity ministry (MESS) organized a 50-50 raffle and a second-hand book sale as a fundraiser for buying books for The Gift of Reading®. The employees running the collection had the bright idea of going to their local bookstore to buy the books, and as thanks they received a donation of 30 additional books!

Many thanks to Biblairie GGC for this generous donation, and especially to Dany Langlois MESS of Estrie and her colleagues. Through their efforts and support for the cause, they collected a total of 132 new children’s books!

Rouyn-Noranda library makes good use of Web

With a view to publicly promoting the book collection for The Gift of Reading®,

Rouyn-Noranda municipal library made brilliant use of its Web site, which featured a press release and a promotion announcing its support for the project and informing donors that they could leave a book at the library.

Bravo to the whole library team, and special thanks for her commitment to Renée Arseneault, responsible for animation, information and dissemination!

En marge bookstore gets involved

This year, Rouyn-Noranda’s En marge bookstore went the extra mile to promote The Gift of Reading® in its region. In fact, a productive collaboration between author Sonia Cotten and this bookstore led to the implementation of a strategy with several facets: storytelling to families, press release inviting the public in
Abitibi-Témiscamingue to donate new children’s books, and establishment of a regional goal.

Credit for this original initiative and joyful collaboration goes to Stéphane Dupuy, owner of En marge bookstore. Thank you!

Students and teachers at CRIF pay it forward

In December 2009, current and former literacy training students along with teachers from Granby’s Centre régional intégré de formation (CRIF) organized a charity bazaar in aid of The Gift of Reading®. Through this initiative, $280 was collected, and was used to buy 32 brand new children’s books that will be given to children from underprivileged neighbourhoods in the Montérégie.

Thank you to all these generous individuals for doing this! A special mention to Hélène Goasdoué, group leader and literacy teacher, for coordinating this activity.