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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 16, 2017
Calgary, AB — Calgary’s youngest citizens gathered at Saddletowne Library today to celebrate the opening of the first of four new Calgary Foundation Early Learning Centres, vibrant and interactive Library spaces for children age zero to five to engage in play-based learning. These new spaces are one of five pillars of the Library’s vision to create a world-leading public library model for early childhood learning.
“Education is a key to success that opens doors for all,” said Eva Friesen, President & CEO, Calgary Foundation. “To ensure the health and well-being of the next generation, we’re pleased to support these Early Learning Centres, which will have a transformational impact on youth at a critical stage in their development.”
The $1 million investment from the Calgary Foundation and an anonymous donor will establish Calgary Foundation Early Learning Centres (ELCs) at Saddletowne, Signal Hill, Forest Lawn and Crowfoot Libraries, increasing the Library’s number of ELCs from five to 10 by the end of the year. Funding from the Major & Signature Grant also enhanced training for staff and volunteers, providing them with tools to support children and families in our city.
“Reaching children aged birth to five sets the course for their future,” said Paul McIntyre Royston, President & CEO of the Calgary Public Library Foundation. “Libraries have always been huge proponents of early learning, and the Calgary Foundation’s investment will help the Library support families and children across our city—building an even stronger Calgary.”
Early Learning Centres are one piece of the Library’s Early Learning Strategy, a comprehensive and transformative model for early childhood learning based on five areas of focus: spaces, people, collections, programs, and research. Guided by existing research and collaboration with various academic and community partners, the strategy aims to support local families and prepare children for lifelong learning and success. The strategy envisions the Library as a global leader in early learning research. View the full Early Learning Strategy at calgarylibrary.ca/publications.
The Calgary Foundation is a Founding Partner of Add In—the Campaign for Calgary’s Library. Through the Library Foundation, the Library is seeking $20 million of philanthropic investment in early learning as part of the Add In campaign. To support early learning at the Library, visit addin.ca/early-learning.
Calgary Public Library, with 600,000+ members, has been inspiring the life stories of Calgarians for more than 100 years. It is currently the second largest library system in Canada and the sixth largest municipal library system in North America, with Calgarians borrowing more than 15.8 million physical and digital items and with 6.7 million in-person visits last year. Preparations are underway for the awe-inspiring 240,000 sq. ft. New Central Library, to open in late 2018.
Add In—the Campaign for Calgary’s Library, is the largest public campaign for a public library in Canadian history. The $350 million campaign will enhance and support a system of community libraries across Calgary and is inspired by the New Central Library, which will open its doors to the world in 2018. To learn more about Add In and the Calgary Public Library’s vision to create the best public library in the world for Calgarians, visit www.addin.ca.
Since 1955, Calgary Foundation has been nurturing a healthy, vibrant, giving and caring community that values diversity and supports all people. We build a community where citizens are engaged, and where a strong and sustainable charitable sector serves the current and emerging needs of Calgary and area.
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Manager of Communications
Calgary Public Library Foundation
C: 403.542. 8445
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