Community and Social Development
We’ve been bringing the best storytellers and illustrators from around the world into contact with kids throughout the region since 1999. Our Write On! youth literacy program includes the free in-school and in-library literacy events, along with a series of hands on workshops with acclaimed authors.
In many ways, the workshops, author readings and energetic Q&A sessions with thousands of children each year—many from Ottawa’s most disadvantaged and challenged schools—is perhaps the most important program we offer. As our schools struggle to boost their standings in province-wide comparisons, and with reading showing the least improvement of ‘the three Rs’, our commitment is to intensify our efforts to build on the results we’re seeing from these programs.
Senator Joyce Fairbairn, a champion of the literacy movement in Canada for over 20 years, has referred to the literacy situation in this country as Canada's “hidden shame.”
The costs, both financial and spiritual, of the literacy crisis in Canada are devastating, and it is part of our mandate to develop solutions to the extreme challenges of this situation.
We have worked closely, not only with children, but with the homeless, new Canadians, First Nations, and parolees to create writing and publishing opportunities as well as other basic skills that will enable these citizens to gain self-esteem and to overcome obstacles in achieving their full potential.