Grins galore at Smile Cookies fundraising tally

By Josh Hall (Twitter: @Vancan19)
November 14, 2017 - 1:16pm

Many more thousands of dollars were announced Tuesday for Red Deer Public Schools' summer-time Reading College program.

Exactly $33,978 was raised through the sale of $1 Smile Cookies, sold during September at Red Deer Tim Horton's locations.

Bruce Buruma, Executive Director with the Red Deer Public Schools Foundation said the support for and the success of the program was born out of a meeting six years ago with the Central Alberta Optimist Club.

"We met in the library at Fairview Elementary and we talked to them about a dream," he said. "We talked to them about the possibility of increasing interest and motivation of kids reading and we said we need some help. This program does not happen without the help of the community."

Program Coordinator Elvy Goring reiterated the 20 days students spend at Reading College goes a long way.

"It is very intense with a focus on literacy. What we're trying to do is build a foundation for success for these students -- not just for grade three, but beyond," she says. "We're trying to catch them at a critical stage in their literacy development, give them that boost going into grade three to become a more independent learner and ultimately our goal is that they'll develop strong literacy skills that they can use to be successful throughout their lives."

One of several local Tim Horton's owners, Tanya Doucette added the partnership with the foundation and Reading College remains a brilliant one. 

"Reading College is such an incredible initiative. Our guests and our team members are able to contribute to this excellent program that's helping children to get a brilliant start to their education, helping them to learn to love reading, a skillset they'll enjoy for the rest of their lives and will only help to further their success."

This is the second year local Tim Horton's have raised money through Smile Cookies for the Reading College program. Last year, just over $40,000 was raised.

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