At OttawaReads we truly appreciate your gift of time to support students and teachers in Ottawa schools! The longevity of the OttawaReads program, which began in 2003 is a testament to your commitment. Many of our volunteers have given their time and energy to schools year after year. Thank you to our long-time volunteers and to those just starting on their volunteer journey!
OttawaReads is proud to honour all our volunteers during National Volunteer Week (NVW) held annually in April. NVW pays tribute to the millions of Canadians who graciously donate their time and talents. It is Canada's largest celebration of volunteers, volunteerism, and civic participation. For more information visit nationalvolunteerweek.ca and visit Our Volunteers page to read about our volunteers.
BLG was the recipient of the Ottawa Child & Youth Friendly Growing Up Great Business Award in 2012. BLG currently has 25 active volunteers reading at Queen Elizabeth Public School. David W. Scott is Co-Chairperson of the Ottawa office of Borden Ladner Gervais (BLG). When the firm became national, David was the inspirational force behind the idea to create a national philanthropic program, and because of David’s initiative, BLG Reads to Kids was created in September 2003. BLG launched the program to support literacy for young children in schools located in economically disadvantaged areas across the country. In Ottawa, the regional office established a partnership with ONFE’s OttawaReads corporate volunteer early literacy program to deliver a reading program at Queen Elizabeth Public School. The goal of the program is to make a difference in children's lives by encouraging them to develop a love for reading and to enhance early literacy skills.
As a result of David Scott’s vision, since 2003, approximately 750 young students at Queen Elizabeth School have been read to 27,000 times by over 100 caring BLG volunteers reading an estimated 4,000 hours one-on-one with students who typically are just learning English. BLG employees have fundraised and donated over 1,200 books (an approximate value $10,000), to individual students so they could own books to take home to read. Building on David’s example in 2010, Jane Bachynski and Karen Thompson, from BLG and Sheila Jenkins, former OttawaReads program manager, created Give Back to School Day. OttawaReads readers volunteer one day per year to help beautify Queen Elizabeth School—painting murals, gardening, building shelves, etc. building school pride.
The Ottawa Police Service officers and civilians read weekly one-to-one with Grade 3 students in five Ottawa schools. As emergency service providers in our City, the Ottawa Police Service not only ensures public safety, they are leaders and role models with respect to helping the most vulnerable people in our community. Ottawa Police Service has participated in OttawaReads program since 2008 and is one of our largest partnerships with 20-25 volunteers reading at five local schools with a commitment of one hour each week.
ENCON employees have been reading at Carson Grove Elementary School since 2004! Carson Grove has over 100 Syrian refugee children--that's 1/3 of the school population. Thank you, Kat and your team of volunteers for taking the time out of your busy day to read to children!
Congratulations to Janice Bailey, a recent retiree from Bell Canada, who has been volunteering with the OttawaReads program as long as the program has been in existence! Janice read to children in Carolyn McEwen’s class at York Street Public School for 12 years and now, as a retiree reads with students at Briargreen in Barrhaven.
When asked what she liked about OttawaReads, Janice said that “It’s all about the children. It is great seeing how they love hearing the stories and how they interact with me when we are reading. At first, they are shy; however, as we read the books they start to participate. The children love having the opportunity to put their own spin on the stories”.
Janice has kept coming back to read each year because it is so satisfying for her to see the progress the children make as they engage in the stories. She has enjoyed being in the same classroom as it gives her an opportunity to build a relationship with the teacher and learn how to support her style of teaching while reading to the children. This helps her to understand the needs of each individual child.For Janice, the highlight of her reading years has been seeing how the children progress through the year and gain self-confidence as their reading ability and enjoyment increases. Thanks to Janice for the dedication and enthusiasm that she has given to the children of York Street Public School through OttawaReads
Andre Scott works in the Admissions Office at Carleton University and with his warm smile and engaging personality, he must be a welcome face for many students. He is certainly welcomed when he goes to his volunteer work at Carleton Heights Public School where he volunteers as part of Carleton’s OttawaReads team. Andre volunteers once a week in the kindergarten class and on a recent visit was surrounded by cries of “Andre! Andre!” as the children walked down the hall to their class. They all wanted to read with him! Andre loves the children and loves giving back to the community through his reading with them. Thank you, Andre!
Lee-Ann Scott, CVA
Director, Volunteer Programs
Phone: 613.366.3085 ext. 253