What We Do Matters Section Content 1Regional Community Programs Click on a BLG office location for more information on our local initiatives: Calgary » Montréal » Ottawa » Toronto » Vancouver »Our Firm is doing important work across the country and around the world to help advance social issues such as diversity and inclusion, access to justice and children’s literacy.BLG not only strives to provide our clients with the best service, we also recognize the importance of serving the communities in which we live and work. Through our pro bono work, charitable donations, academic scholarships and BLG Reads to Kids program, we provide our people with an enriching work experience and the opportunity to make important social contributions. BLG Reads to Kids Section Content 2BLG Reads to Kids Committee Jane M. Bachynski Maria Doerksen Catherine Guertin Louise K. Lee Katherine McNeillThe Firm officially launched its national program to support literacy for young children in schools located in economically disadvantaged areas across the country in September 2003.Each school year, BLG Reads to Kids sees over 300 employees in every BLG office reading to children within kindergarten to grade three classes of local schools. In addition, the program has established partnerships with existing organizations including Ottawa Reads, Calgary Reads and several school boards.According to education professionals across Canada, literacy is a number one priority. Experts agree that, if primary students cannot read at an acceptable level before grade 3, a child’s future is challenged in so many ways. BLG recognized the impact such a challenge brings and proactively developed a comprehensive community program that offers worthwhile value and benefit for children in underprivileged areas.Three key points best articulate the cornerstones of BLG Reads to Kids program:We endeavour to instill a love of reading and our goal is to provide reading assistance and support to children. Our commitment is meaningful and sustainable because we recognize that any program with children requires building and maintaining a sincere, stable and dependable relationship with the schools and children involved. For BLG’s program to be truly beneficial for our communities, it must maintain a long-term commitment and focus. To ensure hands-on participation, BLG has committed wholeheartedly to supporting and endorsing this national program and we actively encourage all members of the Firm across the country to participate with the provision of the time necessary for our volunteers. Since the launch of the program in September 2003, the overall program continues to grow and meet with great success and feedback from the community. We work with specific inner-city schools that would benefit most from volunteer readers. BLG partnered with two existing organizations that focus on pairing adult volunteers with schools: Ottawa Reads and Calgary Reads. In Montreal, the BLG Reads to Kids Program is delivered in both French and English languages through the school boards. In Vancouver, the firm partnered with the Vancouver School Board to deliver its reading program in three inner-city schools. In Toronto, BLG partnered with the Toronto District School Board’s Early Years Literacy Project.Studies have shown that many poverty-touched schools and regions are short of books and reading materials. To help foster the spirit of reading, BLG has supplemented the program with book donation drives and other activities to assist our school partners.