Future Intended: Read all about it!

Reading and writing can be two of life’s greatest joys. Here in Hamilton, recent research suggests that early childhood literacy rates are steadily rising but there’s still room for improvement. At HCF we understand the importance of education (see our ABACUS initiative) and so we’re proud to support local programs, organizations and festivals that not only help build basic literacy skills but also encourage the appreciation of literary arts. Here are just a few.

Now in its 14th year, the gritLIT Readers and Writers Festival is a celebration of Canadian literature. The theme this year is “A Place to Belong” and includes events that “celebrate, question and challenge the idea of belonging”. GritLIT takes place from April 12 – 15 this year — check out the full schedule here.

This program, a partnership between the Hamilton Public Library and Hamilton-Burlington SPCA, gets reluctant kids to start reading – through the power of puppy love! Trained pet therapy dogs and volunteers help children to read books aloud and further develop their literary skills. The program runs until the end of May 2018.

Actors Colm Feore and Kenneth Branagh are big fans. So is hip-hop artist Drake. And it’s easy to see why. The Shakespearience literacy program demystifies the Elizabethan prose that can perplex young students and gives them the chance to learn Shakespeare from the perspective of actors who perform the Bard’s works. We’re proud to help give hundreds of local students the Shakespearience of a lifetime!

One-on-one tutoring is a great way to help children improve their literacy skills while also building self-confidence. At this Neighbour to Neighbour Centre program  volunteer tutors assist Grades 1-3 students from 14 Hamilton Mountain schools with reading.

This club at Start2Finish helps kids keep their minds and bodies fit. Activities — including “word of the day” character-building, circuit training, journaling, and nutritious snacks — encourage youths to develop healthy lifestyles and literacy aptitude. The program culminates with the Start2Finish 5K Running & Reading Challenge and an awards ceremony that recognizes the kids’ achievements.

Future Intended is an ongoing series that spotlights some of our most recent granting in categories like music, visual art, literacy, STEM and more.