In 2006, the former Lieutenant-Governor, the Honourable Mr. James Bartleman, made a five-year commitment to support literacy among young First Nation children in Ontarioís remote First Nations communities. The Aboriginal Literacy Initiatives consisted of four components; the Lieutenant Governorís Aboriginal Book Drive, the Aboriginal School Twinning Program, the Aboriginal Summer Literacy Camps, and the Club Amick Book Club. The club served to bridge the gap between camps so that First Nation youth would continue to receive literacy support throughout the year. The current Lieutenant- Governor, the Honourable David C. Onley, continued to support the goal of keeping the literacy light burning among First Nation youth by carrying forward the summer literacy camps, and Club Amick.
Club Amick is a book club for First Nation children attending Grades K-6 in Ontarioís remote communities. Four times a year, club members receive a package addressed in their names. Inside are a childrenís book and an activities-oriented newsletter. Members are encouraged to use the books to create their own home libraries.
To date, Club Amick has received a total of 1.5 million; $325,000 from The Trillium Foundation, $280,000 from the Province of Ontario, and the balance of the monies through donations from over 300 individuals and organizations. We also received in-kind contributions. The Library Services Center donates space for receiving and sorting the books and newsletters for each distribution. Several transportation companies donate or provide reduced shipping cost. These included Gardewine Group Inc., Erb Group of Companies, Bamaji Airways, Air Creebec, and Wasaya Airways.
All aspects of Club Amick are coordinated by Southern Ontario Library Service (SOLS) and Ontario Library Service Ė North (OLS-North). SOLS and OLS-North are transfer payment recipients of the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport providing a wide range of support services to public libraries throughout Ontario.
Club Amick has been well received in the communities it serves. The success of the club can be attributed to a number of reasons. Some of these include:
We thank everyone for their continued interest in helping to address the literacy needs of First Nation children in Club Amick communities. We would also like to thank members of the Club Amick communities for maintaining the Club in the schools. This affirmation of support sends an important message to the children that others care about their well-being. As a community linked by this common interest, we can help to overcome the problems that face these children and ensure that no child is left behind.
While Club Amick was originally a five-year commitment, the literacy needs of First Nation youth still continue. Due to the generosity our primary funders and ongoing donors, Club Amick is now in its seventh year. While existing funds will see us through most of this school year, the Lieutenant-Governorís office is seeking a new lead donor to support the program in future. We welcome donations and look forward to your continued support in providing materials and programming to Club Amick readers.
The Club Amick team and the Lieutenant-Governorís office would like to extend a chi-miigwech to all of those who have being involved in helping to improve readings skills and enhance academic results among Club Amick readers! We look forward to continuing on with the common goal of keeping the literacy light burning among First Nation children.