The Indigo Love of Reading Foundation provides support to high-needs elementary school children and communities across Canada. We spoke with Rose Lipton, Executive Director of Indigo Love of Reading Foundation, to find out more about them.
Describe your charity/non-profit in a few sentences.
The Indigo Love of Reading Foundation provides support to high-needs elementary schools and communities across Canada. Since 2014, the foundation has committed $35 million to over 3,000 schools and impacted more than 1 million children.
What problem does it aim to solve?
The Indigo Love of Reading Foundation aims to address educational inequality in Canada by promoting children’s literacy and providing essential literacy resources to communities that would otherwise lack access.
When did you start/join it?
I started with the Foundation in September 2019.
What made you want to get involved?
I was drawn to work with the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation because I believe that the biggest challenges we face in our society today – the literacy crisis of course but also inequality more broadly, discrimination, and climate change – can’t be solved in silos. I was excited about the idea of partnering with Canada’s largest bookseller to raise awareness about the issues that exist in our education system and working together to make a difference.
What was the situation like when you started?
Honestly, I felt as though I joined an organization that knew who it was and why it existed very clearly. The Read Between the Lines documentary had been produced shortly before I joined and it was all about the literacy crisis in Canada with such a clear call to action – I was excited to get on board and do my part.
How has it changed since?
The pandemic disrupted the education system in so many ways and forced us to think and work differently than we ever had before. We started supporting some community organizations that moved mountains to keep kids reading while schools were closed, we created educational resources teachers could use to promote literacy online when classes were happening virtually, and lastly, we spent a lot of time looking inward and thinking about how we could promote diversity, equity, inclusion and reconciliation across all of our programs. Now that things are back to somewhat normal, we are returning to the core work we’ve always done but not without integrating the learnings and new initiatives we started over the past few years. I believe – and the feedback we are getting from schools and partners reinforces this – that we’ve been able to deepen our impacts substantially.
What more needs to be done?
The past few years have been really hard on all of us, but I am particularly worried about the long-term educational impacts of all the disruptions kids faced and I’m worried about the ones who were already struggling and falling further behind. At the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation, we know reading is at the core of high-quality education and access to books makes all the difference in a child’s literacy journey. Yesterday, the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation announced our goal of raising $25-Million over the next ten years with Indigo taking a big role in helping us to get us there. I’m so excited about the role we can play in helping to build the next generation of Canadian readers and leaders!
How can our readers help?
I think educating yourself about inequalities that exist here in Canada and specifically about the critical importance of literacy is a great first step. Beyond that, every dollar we raise helps us put another book into a child’s hand and takes us one step closer to reaching our ambitious goal! Donations are always welcome at all Indigo, Chapters, and Cole stores, as well as online.
Do you have any events coming up?
To stay updated on our activities, head to our website or social platforms.
Where can we follow you?
PAY IT FORWARD: What is an awesome local charity that you love?
There are so many great literacy organizations out there! We love the work done by:
Too many amazing organizations out there to list!