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Magazines Deliver Holiday Gift of Literacy to Arctic Children and Families

    

Owlkids, Condé Nast answer Canadian family’s wish to deliver thousands of magazines to Inuit readers at the top of the world.

Nunavut, Canada — While Santa’s helpers ready good cheer for the globe, “Team Duffy” – Beth, Dan, and their two children Rachel and Eddie in Ontario, Canada have marshalled a continental response to airlift over 3,000 magazines and comics to Inuit children and families north of the Arctic Circle in Nunavut, Canada for literacy.

Answering a request received by MagazineLiteracy.org from Nunavut schools, the Duffy family and their school – Villanova College of King City, Ontario – joined forces with Dan’s firm, Mid-Range Computer Group, and Owlkids, publishers of Owl, Chirp, and Chickadee magazines – to send magazines this week to readers in the Kugluktuk, Taloyoak, Gjoa Haven, Kugaaruk and Cambridge Bay communities in northern Canada. Comics collected in the United States by Comics For Heroes and Reading with Pictures, and magazines from Condé Nast, including Condé Nast Traveler will also be sent to the Inuit readers.

“With stories for every age and interest, magazines and comics are especially powerful reading resources,” said John Mennell, founder of MagazineLiteracy.org.  “We all love to read and share magazines.  This project celebrates the power of magazines for literacy, and inspires citizens of the world to put magazine gifts into the hands, homes, and hearts of those who want to learn and love to read.  The Inuit readers reside in villages that are among the nearest places on Earth to the North Pole. The Duffy’s showed true grit meeting the immense challenges of this Arctic adventure, inspiring others and demonstrating that we can get generous magazine gifts from anywhere to anywhere in the world for literacy,” he added.

“Our goal has always been to instill a love of reading and learning in all Canadian children, and we’re so pleased to be a part of this endeavor to do just that for children living in the most remote villages in our country,” says Owlkids Group Publisher, Jennifer Canham.

“As a family we responded to the call to send magazines from a fellow Canadian citizen from Nunavut to help Canadian children there,” said Beth Duffy. “Our success was made possible by generous business support from Suzanne Spino, President of Bayard Canada in Montreal and Jennifer Canham, Group Publisher at Owlkids in Toronto, as well as logistical support from the Mid-Range Computer Group in Markham. May we all celebrate together this accomplishment of sending magazines to eager young readers in Nunavut during this season of magic, love and  hope. May we all also treasure the thought that wonderful acts of kindness like this can still happen if we believe, work hard, and work together,” she added.

The Duffy’s began their magazine collections at work and at Villanova College, with leadership from school President Paul Paradiso, then reached out to Owlkids who teamed to deliver thousands of children’s magazines to the remote Inuit communities.  Condé Nast Traveler  has added their magazines, and collections at comic book stores were spearheaded in the United States by Comics for Heroes and Reading with Pictures.

The Inuit Population of the Canadian Arctic, totaling over 30,000, have inhabited their land for thousands of years, and, along with a very rich oral tradition, are very artistic. The official languages of the Inuit are Inuktitut, Inuinaqtunn and English. The magazines and comics were requested by school leaders to promote literacy for young people in remote regions where it is difficult to acquire reading materials.

Team Duffy will extend their literacy impact by setting up an exchange program between Inuit schools and schools in other parts of Canada and the United States with the magazines and comics as the foundation for knowledge translation and transfer between school children.

MagazineLiteracy.org is the first and only global, magazine industry-wide literacy campaign for at-risk children and families.  The organization gets new and recycled magazines to readers via literacy programs and coordinates support from community volunteers, consumers, and businesses via an online Magazine Literacy Marketplace.

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