“Thanks to an exciting partnership with The Toronto Children’s Book Bank, Macaulay has been providing children the opportunity to own their own books, free of charge! The initiative is known as “The Book Nook”. For the past five years, Macaulay has been distributing 1,000 books a month to our young clients, throughout all of the Macaulay program sites: Ontario Early Years Centres, Child Care Centres, Homework Clubs, home visiting program etc.
This initiative has reached thousands of families in the north/west region of the city. In 2014, Macaulay served more than 7,000 children and youth, and their families and caregivers. 35% of these children had a significant special need or were considered at risk due to environmental factors such as poverty and neighbourhood violence. 23% of these families had an income below $15,000. Therefore they would not likely be able to buy their own books.
Giving families quality books to keep is a powerful tool to support the literacy message. We encourage families to read with their children every day, and to regularly visit their local libraries. When children have books of their own, they have a greater likelihood of becoming stronger and enthusiastic readers later in life.
In 2015, we received this letter from a parent whose children were receiving Speech and Language services from Macaulay and were therefore able to access the books from The Children’s Book Bank:
‘My own three children have been blessed to receive Speech therapy…., and we have many a book from the Macaulay Book Nook. The kids are always excited to rush in and pick out a new “friend”, and are always sad when a therapy block ends, and their visits to the Book Nook are over.'”
Early Literacy Specialist
Ontario Early Years
Macaulay Child Development Centre