May Community Corner
From the Shelf of the CEO
Appropriately, this month, Steacy writes for us about HOPE...

Keeping Our "Book Pipeline" Flowing
With the closure of schools and libraries during the COVID-19 pandemic, our team has been quickly mobilizing resources to provide books to Calgary children in families who are furthest from opportunity.

At our request, community agencies and local schools have identified hundreds of families in need and we are responding by safely packing and providing book bags. We have mobilized volunteers to deliver the bags to schools and doorsteps as soon as possible. We are referring to the rapid provision of books to hundreds of children in our community as the "books+ pipeline” and we want to keep it flowing.

If you have donations of new or “like new” children’s books, we have drop off locations and can also arrange to pick up. For more information, email us at
CBC Calgary Reads Big Book Sale
This week, we would typically be in full gear for our CBC Calgary Reads Big Book Sale. We have had to postpone the Book Sale. Thanks to dedicated donors and our committed volunteers, we have pivoted and are still able to get books delivered to the homes of children who most need them.

We will soon be teaching you about the ABCs of HOME book sorting so that you can continue to support our cause with your book donations.

We ask you to stay tuned for some exciting opportunities to get the quality books you love at great prices to help young readers in our community. We are working on creating future popup book shops in Banker’s Hall and at our office in the Kahanoff Building. Online book shopping in partnership with Pages will also be available in the near future. Soon, you will be able to invest in a child’s future by purchasing Calgary Reads “Book Bucks” to spend at the 2021 sale or in our popup shops.

This weekend, as you celebrate Mother’s Day, and wonder how to fill the time you would have spent at the sale enjoying big smiles, great music and fabulous books, we want you to know we miss you and need you now, more than ever.

Screen Free Week

With COVID-19 disrupting in-person events this year, the annual recognition of Screen Free Week has instead become Screen Free Saturdays.

Going screen free has many benefits, among them; improved quality of relationships, increased mindfulness, reduced stress and more opportunities for physical activity.

It has never been clearer that technology brings amazing things to our lives, and it's also never been clearer that we need to find a healthy balance between the online world and the off! Choosing any day of the week to commit to going "screen free" for awhile is a meaningful opportunity to unplug in chaotic times. We encourage you to include a great family read aloud while you're "screen-free".

Children's Books related to going Screen-Free
hello! hello! by Matthew Cordell

Lydia says hello to everyone, but her family members are absorbed in their gadgets. Feeling restless, she ventures outside where there are so many things in nature to say hello to -- rocks, leaves, flowers, and more.
Appropriate for children ages 3-6.
Unplugged by Steve Antony

Blip loves being plugged into her computer but when there's a blackout, Blip trips and tumbles outside. Suddenly, Blip's world is filled with colour and excitement. She makes new friends and has adventures all day long. When Blip finally returns home, she realizes that the world can be even brighter when you unplug.
Appropriate for children ages 3-8.
You’re Missing It! by Brady Smith & Tiffani Thiessen

At the neighborhood park birds are singing, squirrels are frolicking, dogs are causing a commotion, and wide-eyed children are enthralled by it all -- but the parents are missing everything! It will take something enormous to get them to put down their phones.
Appropriate for children ages 3-7.
Children's Book Week

Children's Book Week is May 4-10, 2020. The celebration of Children's Book Week began over a century ago and is based on the idea that children's books and literacy changes lives.

Reading experiences with great children’s books provide opportunities for a child to get hooked on reading. Books can help a child to develop an appreciation of themselves and others, develop emotional intelligence and creativity and nurture, grow and impact a child's personality and empathy. In her book, The Enchanted Hour, Meghan Cox Gurdon reminds us that a "...recorded story does not spring to life in the moment, in that unpredictable, fugitive communion of voice, ears, and text. The machine won’t stop to ask questions or to raise comparisons or engage you in any way." (p.37) There truly is no app to replace your lap!
Valued Partner Spotlight - Nipper Guest
This month, we want to express our gratitude to Nipper Guest, founder and former President of Calgary-based Spartan Controls former President of the Bearspaw Benevolent Foundation .

A highlight of our conversation with Nipper was his recollection of the gift of a book given to all babies born into the families of Spartan Controls' employees. An excerpt from the letter written to the newborn baby from Nipper, demonstrates Nipper's leadership by example and deep understanding of the importance of literacy in our lives...