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“Keep reading. It's one of the most marvelous adventures that anyone can have.”

- Lloyd Alexander

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Our Story

The Children’s Book Bank was founded by a small group of dedicated individuals who saw the importance of ensuring that all children have access to books. Since 2008, the Book Bank has grown and reached more families as a result of the generosity of individuals, corporations and foundations who have donated funds, books and their time.

The Children’s Book Bank is grateful to Jocelyn Barford, Kim Beatty, Willa Black, Joanne Browne, Jane Crist, Nancy Evans, Janet MacPhail, Kathy Martin, Janet Newlands, Diane Rhind, Nora Spence, and Louise Sugar and acknowledges the advice and support of Carol McCabe and Nora Spence, founders of the Bookshare Program.

Our Impact

“We have been coming to the Book Bank since July of 2008. The Book Bank is the reason my children are great readers. Thank you!”

“It is a great place, they are encouraging little children to read and build their imagination. The staff is always polite. Such great work and positivity all around! Thank you so much.”

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“Thank you for your wonderful support. We will distribute these books to our newcomer children. Keep children reading is helping children learn and feel safe during the coronavirus pandemic, you’re doing such a meaningful job!”

Tracy Yu, Settlement Team Lead

Newcomers' Centre Agincourt Community Services Association Dorset Park Community Hub

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“My kids (3 and 5 years old) love The Children’s Book Bank! It is an amazing place! We come here after school and they are so excited to pick their own books. Since we came here, we read more and more every day!”

Simona

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“I want to again thank you and the Children's Book Bank for the generous donation of books. Since Friday, we delivered over 75 backpacks to the children we serve and for the first time, with this donation, we were able to include story books.”

Derek Reid
Executive Director of Operations,
KIP (Kids with Incarcerated Parents)

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"Just wanted to thank you for the support you have given Syme Woolner with the children’s books.  We have been distributing these via our food bank, so that all families who come for a food hamper also receives a few books."

Sharmini Fernando, Executive Director

Syme Woolner Neighbourhood and Family Centre

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Why we matter

The Book Bank supports literacy development in low income communities because increased literacy rates are linked to poverty reduction.   

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“Higher literacy can boost the economic and financial success of individuals and the economy as a whole. It can reduce poverty, improve health, lift community engagement and lead to a higher standard of living. In fact, it is hard to identify any other single issue that can have such a large payoff to individuals, the economy and society.” ​

“Print books are appreciated for their physicality: parents like the feel of print, even the smell of it. And they like the look of books – aesthetically pleasing, books bring a homely feel and the impression of an intellectual household. Print is part of the bedtime routine and the physical book prompts bonding and cuddling.”

When children can choose their own books and can take them home to keep that they are more likely to stay in school longer and have improved economic, health and social outcomes.

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“After examining statistics from 27 nations, a group of researchers found the presence of book-lined shelves in the home — and the intellectual environment those volumes reflect — gives children an enormous advantage in school.”

“Research shows that children have much to gain, even beyond literacy, from having lots and lots of books at home.”

“Whether rich or poor, residents of the United States or China, illiterate or college graduates, parents who have books in the home increase the level of education their children will attain.”

The Book Bank is part of the circular economy by reusing a precious resource – books!

“The amount of solid waste generated by economic activity is rising in line with growing consumption of material resources. Many valuable materials are disposed of as waste and, if not recovered, are lost to the economy.”

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Take a Tour

The Children’s Book Bank has a large inventory of beautiful books suitable for children from birth to age 12, and more recently a new Teen Book Bank has been added to our storefront space. Families are welcome to visit as often as they wish and every child (and accompanying caregiver) can take and keep one book every day. The Children’s Book Bank is staffed by child literacy experts who assist the customers in selecting appropriate books and to provide advice.

Watch our beautiful new storefront come to life.

 

Reporting

With support from hundreds of donors, The Children’s Book Bank is able to provide books and literacy support to many of our city’s most vulnerable community members.

We are grateful to our many generous supporters and funders.

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