Wednesday, June 04, 2003
Minister signs proclamation with Aliant Pioneer Volunteers endorsing the “A Book About ME” program
St. John's, NL –
Education Minister, Gerry Reid was joined by Anna Ebsary, Aliant Pioneer President, Newfoundland & Labrador Chapter 105 in the signing of the official proclamation endorsing the department’s ongoing support for the Aliant Pioneer’s “A Book About ME” program.
Designed to help foster a positive self-concept and instill a love of reading in Kindergarten-age children, the special “A Book About ME” readers contain personalized statements mentioning the young owner by name, as well as their friends, teacher, school and community. The personalized nature of the program motivates students to learn to read and also encourages healthy behaviour. A guide for teacher/parent and child interaction is also provided for teachers’ convenience.
During this school year, the Aliant Pioneer Volunteers have delivered their program to 99 schools reaching 2300 kindergarten students in 162 classrooms in Newfoundland and Labrador. Throughout Atlantic Canada, this year the Aliant Pioneers have placed over 4000 books in various schools.
"This is a very worthwhile project, as it teaches children about positive self-esteem at an early age,” says Minister Reid. “A positive self image is vital for small children, if they are to grow into productive and successful adults. The Aliant Pioneers are to be commended for reaching out to our children, and I wish them every success as they continue with this valuable endeavour."
Frank Fagan Chief Operating Officer Aliant and President of the TelecomPioneers said, “ Every year we will get a new eager group of learners and the Aliant Pioneer Volunteers, working through its many partners including the Department of Education, want to ensure each new group can reap the benefits of this specialized reading program. “ The Pioneers feel passionately about what this program means for the children, and I am very pleased to see that our education department also shares in that vision.”
The Aliant Pioneer Volunteers have made a long-term commitment to enhancing kindergarteners’ self-concept and reading skills in their critical developmental years. Aliant Pioneer Chapter President for Newfoundland and Labrador Anna Ebsary comments, “The organization is seeking cooperative associations with educational and community partners across the province to reach as many kindergarten children as possible. We have reached about 40% of the kindergarten classes and our aim is to be able to deliver the book to every kindergarten class in the province. This will only be possible with the support of partners.”
About the Aliant Pioneer Volunteers
The Aliant Pioneer Volunteers, who currently number close to 8,000 members, can be found working in virtually every community across Atlantic Canada. Membership is made up of current and former employees of Aliant and its predecessor companies. The Aliant Pioneer Volunteers' main focus is to support education and technology and Internet-related projects within their communities. However, over the past nine decades, they have also assisted a wide variety of community service efforts – lending their energetic and innovative volunteer workforce at a moments notice.
In the past year alone, the Aliant Pioneer Volunteer have raised more than $500,000 and contributed over 166,000 volunteer hours to worthy efforts right here in Atlantic Canada.
The Aliant Pioneer Volunteers are part of the TelecomPioneer Association, the world's largest corporate volunteer organization that boasts almost 750,000 volunteers worldwide and contributes more than 18 million volunteer hours annually.
For more information about the Aliant Pioneer Volunteers, please visit www.aliant.ca/pioneers or contact:
Aliant (TSX: AIT)
is an acknowledged world leader in telecommunications, serving its home market of Atlantic Canada. From its offices in New Brunswick, Newfoundland & Labrador, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, Aliant offers a full range of services, including local and long-distance telephone, wireless, Internet, e-commerce, interactive multimedia, data and managed network services to more than 2 million consumers and over 80,000 enterprises. Aliant complements its industry-leading telecommunications business with strengths in advanced technology solutions and knowledge services applications. The company’s 10,000 employees build on Aliant's 100-year history by collaborating to deliver the highest quality of customer service, giving businesses a competitive advantage and ensuring each customer interaction is simple and convenient. Aliant's people, recognized as pacesetters in the industry, consistently demonstrate innovative capabilities that drive growth in Aliant's home market, and new markets worldwide. Aliant is a TSX 100 company with a market capitalization of approximately $4 billion. For more information please visit www.aliant.ca.
For further information, contact:
Communications Manager, Aliant
Department of Education
President Chapter 105
J. Michael Sears
Manager, Aliant Pioneer Volunteers