Young local readers have their Champion

From Left: Library Manager Isabelle Cramp, Library Employee Rory Turner, and Champion Petfoods CEO Frank Burdzy pose in the children’s section of the Morinville Community Library with a cheque for $1,300 to support the library’s summer reading program. – Morinville News Staff Photo

By Ashley Janes

Morinville – The Morinville Community Library has a lot to be grateful for this week after receiving a generous $1,300 donation from Champion Petfoods. The gifted amount has ensured that their youth Summer Reading Program will take place as planned.

The future of the program was a topic of high debate among the Library Board and staff members after the province discontinued the Student Temporary Employment Program from the 2013 budget. For more than 10 years, the Morinville Summer Reading Program has been a very popular summer-break activity, with up to 90 local children participating each year. However, without provincial funding, the program was likely to undergo major cuts which would have meant many disappointed readers come this July.

In an effort to prevent any program downgrades that might have excluded children from participating, the Library Board decided to reach a hand out to the community for sponsors and it was Champion that returned the gesture. Company president and CEO, Frank Burdzy, expressed that “Every child should have the opportunity to become a great reader. We see the important work the library is doing for Morinville, and we’re honoured to partner with them.” With Champion’s help, the library will be running two 3-week program sessions, one in July and one in August. This will give holidaying families a chance to participate in at least one session.

In addition to the Reading Program donation, Library Board Chairman, Stephen Dafoe, has revealed that Champion will also be making upgrades to the library’s busy program room: “They are sending in IT professionals to install a library movie projector and sound system into the ceiling, allowing the room to house another dozen children and adults for the popular family movie days.”

Because of Champion’s generosity, the library is on track to create the best Summer Reading Program yet and they are thrilled to have been given the opportunity to make it so. Proper funding means all the required materials, staff, and time needed to operate a weeks-long interactive reading program for children – as well as an awesome movie room for the whole community to enjoy.

Library Manager Isabelle Cramp has commented: “I am so very grateful for Champion Petfoods’ support. It allows us to offer the same great program that our patrons are expecting from us without any cut backs. This program is vital in the ongoing literacy development of children and it offers our participants a chance to increase their reading level in a fun, supportive way. I also really appreciate the fact that Champion is providing technical assistance with enhancing the movie program. This is something that has been on our wish list since we started offering this program again in our new space, so we are all very excited about having this wish become reality.”

The theme for this year’s program is GO! The World Champion Tour, a phrase intended to inspire young readers to engage in positive action and experience the world. This is all too fitting considering the dedicated actions taken by the Library Board and Champion towards these little local readers. Every aspect of the 2013 Summer Reading Program, from the organizers to the activities, will motivate children to get on their feet and make good things happen. Parents are encouraged to continue the good example: if you have a young one at home who would like to participate in the fun, then get up and GO! to the Morinville Community Library for registration beginning on June 3rd.

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  1. Thank you Champion Pet Foods for stepping up to the plate and helping out with this program.

    Linda Lyons

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