inspire a love of reading and foster literacy in Toronto's youthThe Word On The Street Toronto


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  • To foster a love of reading and encourage literacy in Toronto youth
  • To connect Toronto youth with Canada's finest children's authors
  • To bring Canadian authors and books in to Toronto’s classrooms

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The Word On The Street is a free, annual, public festival that celebrates the written word and champions literacy. We strive to connect readers with their favourite authors and books in order to cultivate a lasting relationship essential for the continued growth of a literate community. 

We are a one-day festival with the hopes of increasing our presence in the community by bringing authors to Toronto schools in the month leading up to the festival and in subsequent weeks. 

Every year, we host programming tents where Canada’s best children’s authors read from their books and host activities just for kids. With the Pepsi Refresh Project grant, we plan to bring our festival’s children’s authors to a number of Toronto schools to provide free, fun and interactive presentations. By reaching out to school children, we hope to have a positive impact on literacy by fostering a love of reading that will continue to develop as they grow into adulthood.

Community Benefit

Literacy is an essential skill necessary for all in order to function successfully at home, at work and in the community. We believe the more emphasis placed on developing literacy skills at a young age the better prepared these children will be as they enter adulthood. By bringing Canadian children’s authors to schools to meet their potential readers, we are providing that personal connection between author and reader that is integral in developing a love of reading, and ultimately increasing literacy in our community. We hope that meeting and engaging with our authors will encourage youths to pursue reading and as a result improve their general literacy skills and quality of life. With this grant, we will not only be given the chance to showcase the vibrancy of Canada’s children’s publishing industry, but also to show the joy of reading to Toronto youth through fun, interactive presentations and readings. We will also be donating copies of the books presented to school libraries.

How will the $25K be used?

$ 10,000 Author honorariums/travel costs/accommodations
$ 5,000 Salary for project organizer and staff
$ 7,000 Donation of books to school libraries
$ 1,000 Transportation to and from schools
$ 2,000 Activity/crafting materials

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