Syncrude donates $300,000 to literacy program

A literacy project wants to ship books to preschoolers throughout Wood Buffalo because it believes children are never too young to enjoy a good book.

Syncrude has agreed to donate $300,000 to the Wood Buffalo Dolly Parton Imagination Library because it wants to make sure the more than 5,000 children under the age of five in the region are able to sign up for the program.

The Imagination Library fosters a love of reading among preschool children by providing them with a free book every month from birth to the age of five. Started in 1996 by country music star Dolly Parton, the program operates in more than 900 communities across Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom.

“After the Rotary Club of Fort McMurray first announced the Imagination Library was coming to the region last year, Syncrude was interested in becoming involved because we saw it as an excellent way to support early literacy,” said Syncrude President and CEO Scott Sullivan. “When Syncrude heard how popular the Imagination Library was doing in the rural communities of the region, we decided to fast track our investment so families in the city of Fort McMurray could enroll their children in the program.”

The Rotary Club of Fort McMurray will provide access to the program for all preschool children in Wood Buffalo by promoting the program and registering children with the Imagination Library. Syncrude’s donation will pay for the books and mailing costs. 

“We are so excited to launch this program,” said Julianne North Bourque, President of the Rotary Club of Fort McMurray. “With Syncrude’s support, we are able to make this the largest Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program in Canada, with more than 5,000 preschool children eligible to receive one book per month at no charge. As a parent, I am a proud to live in a community that offers such amazing opportunities for our children.”

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