Research on Childhood Literacy

Funding: A gift from the Gerald Schwartz and Heather Reisman Foundation

Time frame: 2016-2019

Description: The Indigo Love of Reading Foundation is a charitable organization founded in 2004 to promote the literacy of Canadian youth by providing books and other resources to elementary schools in need across the country. In the spring of 2015, the Love of Reading Foundation connected with researchers at the Centre for Research on Children and Families to create a partnership on literacy research and programming targeting at-risk communities. The double aim of this new partnership is to evaluate the Foundation’s Literacy Fund grant application and implementation process in Canadian elementary schools as well as to explore the best research findings and thinking on childhood literacy enhancement for children in vulnerable contexts. Our newly-formed literacy research team aims to provide evidence-based research that will inform and strengthen the Love of Reading Foundation’s literacy-enhancing endeavors. The funding received for this project allowed for the creation of a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Research on Childhood Literacy. In May, 2016, Melissa Van Wert, MSW, PhD, joined the CRCF as the recipient of this postdoctoral fellowship. Through this postdoctoral fellowship, Dr. Van Wert is contributing to the Love of Reading project while also further developing her program of research focusing on developmental outcomes of children and youth who are involved in the child welfare system, in particular those who enter out-of-home care.


Current Research: Exploring the implementation of the Love of Reading Foundation Literacy Fund initiative

Time frame: November, 2016-June, 2017

Principal Investigator: Delphine Collin-Vézina

Co- Investigators:

Dr. Nico Trocmé, Full Professor, McGill University

Dr. Catherine Roy, Academic Associate, McGill University

Dr. Melissa Van Wert, Postdoctoral Fellow, McGill University

Project Description:

One of the projects currently undertaken by the childhood literacy team is an exploration of the implementation of the Love of Reading Foundation Literacy Fund grant at Canadian recipient schools. The objective of this project is twofold. First, the project aims to explore the ways in which recipient elementary schools across Canada implement the grants they received from the Love of Reading Foundation for improving their library collections and literacy programming. A second objective is to document the perspectives of school personnel on the factors that either challenged or facilitated the grant implementation process in their school’s unique setting. In order to gather this information, key informant interviews are being conducted with teachers, teacher-librarians, and administrative staff at a selection of elementary schools across Canada who applied for and received a grant from the Love of Reading Foundation Literacy Fund from 2012 to 2016. Findings will inform the creation of recommendations on potential ways in which the Love of Reading Foundation can improve their grant program and better support Canadian elementary schools and the promotion of childhood literacy.

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