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January 22, 2009
City of Toronto joins Family Literacy Day World Record Attempt
The City of Toronto will join the attempt to break the Guinness World Record for “Most Children Reading with an Adult, Multiple Locations” on Friday, January 23, to recognize Family Literacy Day established in 1999 by ABC CANADA Literacy Foundation and Honda Canada.

“Being able to read and write enables everyone to participate in the social, cultural and economic life of our great city, and I urge all Torontonians and Canadians to help us set a new world record,” said Mayor David Miller. “Toronto is committed to the world-wide campaign established by the United Nations to eradicate illiteracy and we are pleased to work with ABC CANADA Literacy Foundation, its partners and other literacy organizations to advocate for literacy and to celebrate the joy of reading.”

Toronto City Hall is the kick-off site for the national bilingual challenge during which adults and children will spend at least 30 minutes reading together during the 24-hour period that begins at 2 p.m. EST on Friday, January 23. This record-breaking attempt will follow an announcement on Friday, January 23 at 1 p.m. in Toronto City Hall’s Members’ Lounge, by City of Toronto, ABC CANADA Literacy Foundation, Honda Canada, and Oxford Learning officials.

More than 150 children from Orde Street, Ryerson and Jesse Ketchum schools (Toronto District School Board), teachers and parents will participate in the event where stories from Robert Munsch’s “Munschworks 2” will be read by Councillor Janet Davis (Ward 31 Beaches-East York), Councillor Adam Vaughan (Ward 20 Trinity-Spadina), Breakfast TV’s Jennifer Valentyne, Canadian Idol’s Jake Gold, and Robert Munsch, Honorary Chair of Family Literacy Day.

“We are delighted to have the City of Toronto join us in this special celebration of literacy and learning,” said Margaret Eaton, President, ABC CANADA Literacy Foundation. “A few minutes of family reading a day helps both the parent and child in a very big way. It prepares children for challenges ahead, encourages a lifetime of reading enjoyment, and sharpens an adult’s literacy skills.”

Events are taking place in more than 150 locations across Toronto including schools, libraries, recreation centres, child care centres, Oxford Learning Centres, YMCAs, literacy organizations, and homes. To date, more than 1,000 events and 175,933 participants across Canada have already registered. The current record to beat is 78,791, which was set in the United States in 2006.

The five classic Robert Munsch stories to be read during the Family Literacy Day World Record Attempt will be available online in both English and French, from January 21 to January 24, making it more accessible for those who want to participate. For more information about community events, or to register, visit, e-mail, or call 416-218-0010 or 1-800-303-1004.

Toronto is Canada’s largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. In the past three years, Toronto has won numerous awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. Toronto’s government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

Media contacts:
Ceta Ramkhalawansingh, Manager, Diversity Management and Community Engagement, City Manager’s Office, 416-392-6824,;

Juanita Christmas, Communications Advisor, Strategic Communications, City Manager’s Office, 416-392-7346,;

Karen Benner, Manager, Corporate Communications, ABC CANADA Literacy Foundation, 1-800-303-1004, ext. 122,



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