The Indigo Love Of Reading Community Response Fund: Phase Two

The Indigo Love Of Reading Community Response Fund: Phase Two


The Indigo Love of Reading Foundation believes that all Canadian children deserve access to books and the opportunity to fall in love of reading. During the Covid-19 pandemic, children across Canada are facing greater barriers to literacy than ever before, particularly when they lack access to books in the home. The $1,000,000.00 Indigo Love of Reading Community Response Fund was launched to support children and families in need across Canada by filling that gap.

The first phase of this funding focused on nonprofit agencies serving children during the national school closures. We received applications from a wide variety of organizations, school districts, as well as schools. We also worked with three national organizations (Jays Care Foundation, Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada, and the Martin Family Initiative) to help distribute these funds to communities across Canada. Thus far we have distributed over 80,000 books to families in 150+ communities nation-wide.

This second phase of this funding will continue to focus on families, by supporting Canadian elementary schools to build out home and blended learning programs for their students.

Indigo Love of Reading Community Response Fund: Phase Two

“As the 2020-21 school year commences, publicly funded school districts across Canada are under extreme pressure to provide equitable access to quality educational experiences for all students, including options for in-school and remote online learning. Recognizing that there are very difficult choices to make under these circumstances, Canadian School Libraries (CSL) is extremely concerned that some districts have chosen to reassign school library staff, restrict access to library resources, and in some cases completely close the library and shut down associated programs and services.” – Canadian School Libraries, Sept 2020 (Statement on the Role of School Libraries During the Pandemic)

Even before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, many Canadian children have been living under conditions that are less than resilient. It has been estimated that 1 in 5 children and youth in Canada live in poverty and 1 in 3 lack basic proficiency in reading in math by the age of 15.* The pandemic has only deepened these negative effects for communities and families most marginalized in this country.

*UNICEF Canada, April 2020 (The impact of COVID-19 on children in Canada: short, medium and long term mitigation strategies)

Through Phase 2 of the Indigo Love of Reading Community Response Fund, our hope is to provide supplementary assistance to enhance schools’ capacity to support families and students by enabling them to build their home libraries.

Program Details

Who is eligible for funding through phase two of the Community Response Program?

Publicly-funded elementary schools and school boards, and First Nation education authorities that have the capacity to build out a home library program for families most in need within their school network.

For non-profit organizations interested in participating in this program: we encourage them to find a local school or school board to partner with and co-author the application to describe how they will work together. Schools or boards applying for funding will be able to identify within the body of the application the local organization they are partnering with and their contact details.

What is my school eligible to receive?

Funding in the form of an Indigo Corporate Account for the purchase of books and literacy resources for the benefit of student home reading. Grant amounts will be based on three-tiered levels based on student population. Final grant amounts will be calculated based on $25 allocated per student in your school

  • 100-250 students ($2500.00-$6,250.00)
  • 250-500 students ($6,250.00-$12,500.00)
  • 500-1000+ students ($12,500.00-$25,000.00)*

* Special considerations may be made for school boards that apply that are looking for funding to multiple school locations with a robust plan to execute book distribution.

All books and literacy resources will be offered at a discount of 30% at any Indigo, Coles, Chapters, Indigospirit store location or through ordering via Indigo’s Corporate Sales channel. Schools will be encouraged to partner with a store in their community who will be able to assist with curation support for their purchasing needs.

How does this program differ from the Indigo Love of Reading Literacy Fund Grant Program or Adopt A School?

The Indigo Love of Reading Literacy Fund Grant and Adopt A School programs exist for the purpose of re-vitalizing school and classroom libraries to help raise literacy levels in high-needs elementary schools across Canada.  Through the Indigo Love of Reading Community Response fund, our goal is to direct book and literacy resources to the homes of families and students most disproportionately affected by the mental, physical, and financial strain of the global pandemic.  Through these resources, our hope is that students will be able to maintain learning at home and engagement with reading.

How long do I have to apply for funding?

  • We will be accepting applications till Friday November 13th, 2020 (11:59 pm ET)

If successful in my application, how will the literacy resources be allocated to my school?

  • Funds will be allocated in the form of an Indigo Corporate account specific to your school for the purchase of books and literacy resources for home use
  • Up to three designated authorized representatives from your school will be able to make purchases off the Corporate account in-store or via email through Indigo’s Corporate Sales channel

Successful applicants will be provided with literacy funding in December

Application Process

  • To view the complete list of Community Response Fund grant application questions, please download the Application worksheet (Please use the download option in the top right-hand corner)
    Please note:  This worksheet cannot be uploaded to the online portal, nor emailed to us as an official application. All responses must be entered directly into the online application form in one sitting. 

Step 1: Please download and review the application rubric which will be used to assess your application by our judging panel (please use the download option in the top right-hand corner)

Step 2: Complete this application

Step 3: You will be notified in the coming weeks as to the status of your application

Step 4: In the event your application is approved, your school will receive a one-time donation for literacy resources in December

Selection Criteria

Successful school applicants will be chosen based on:

  • Depth of demonstrated need and resilience in the face of challenges posed by Covid-19 in their school community
  • Capacity to execute a realistic and robust plan for the safe distribution of books to families in their school network
  • Plan for assessing and measuring the impact of the Community Response fund through both student literacy achievement and community engagement

The application window for the Indigo Love of Reading Community Response Fund- Phase 2 is now closed.