The Indigo Love of Reading Foundation
The mission of Indigo Love of Reading Foundation is to stem the tide of illiteracy among students in Canadian schools. With a special focus on at-risk communities, the Foundation is dedicated to ensuring that every school has the literacy resources it needs to help students gain critical reading skills. Indigo Love of Reading Foundation hopes to bring about a transformation among Canada’s youth who will develop a life-long love for reading.
The Indigo Foundation believes that if students have access to books that engage their attention, they will develop a love for reading. This love of reading, which builds literacy skills, will set them on a path to academic achievement. The Foundation focuses on at-risk schools because the lack of resources in lower income communities adds another barrier to success. If these kids can succeed in education, they can step out of their limitations and go on to become social and economic peers in their country.
Since its founding in 2004, the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation, the Indigo Corporation, and its customers and employees have raised more than $29 million to launch literacy programs and purchase books for school libraries at more than 3,000 schools across Canada. More than 900,000 students have benefitted from the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation programs.
The Foundation operates two primary funding programs: The Indigo Adopt a School Program and the Indigo Love of Reading Literacy Fund grant.
Indigo Love of Reading Literacy Fund
The Indigo Love of Reading Literacy Fund accepts grant proposals from schools across Canada. Each year, the Foundation awards $1.5 million to support libraries in high-needs schools. The grant is for three years. In the first year, the school receives 10% in the form of cash which can be invested in literacy programs designed by teachers and school administrators. The final 90% of the grant award comes in the form of a draw-down account at Indigo that can be used to purchase books at Indigo, Coles, and Chapters. Prices are reduced by 30% to grantees. Since 2004, the Foundation has provided Indigo Love of Reading Literacy Fund grants to 275 at-risk elementary schools.
Indigo Adopt-a-School Program
The Indigo Adopt-a-School Program is a collaborative fundraising initiative among Indigo employees, corporate communities and customers. Each of the stores within the Indigo umbrella: Indigo, Coles, and Chapters adopts an at-risk elementary school. The team of fundraising volunteers utilizes an online platform located within the stores that enable donors to learn about the schools and hear personal stories that the schools have created.
The 2018 Indigo Love of Reading Adopt-a-School Program provided books for more than 600 high-needs elementary school libraries, reaching more than 200,000 young Canadians. Adopted schools receive 100% of the money raised and are eligible to apply for a matching grant from the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation.
The Foundation's History
The Indigo Love of Reading Foundation was founded in 2004 to confront the problems of literacy and educational failure in Canadian schools. The data was stark. One-third of students in the 3rd grade lacked basic literacy skills. High illiteracy rates were creating a reality of high dropout rates later.
The most impacted were students living in poorer communities. They lacked the financial resources to build up literacy among their student population. Teachers were spending money out of their own pocket for textbooks and other reading materials.
Indigo Books & Music, Inc. decided to tackle the problem head-on by creating a foundation that would ensure access to books and other literacy materials. The focus would be on Canada’s disadvantaged elementary schools.