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Helping improve education and literacy – we’re making an impact

Our commitment to literacy in action – a Cenovus employee reads with a student at a literacy event.

November 2016 – Supporting literacy programs in local school districts and communities where we have operations is a priority. Low literacy skills are directly linked to poverty, poor health, and high unemployment. We recently donated $250,000 as part of our partnership with the Northland School Division No. 61 (NSD61) to support literacy efforts near our operating areas. This unique school division provides education services to primarily First Nation and Metis students in northern Alberta. The NSD61 partnership is one of four that we support in community school districts in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Over a two-year period, our donation will support three key programs in the NSD61 district:

  • The Literacy Initiative
  • Career and Technology Studies
  • The Attendance Improvement Initiative: Every Day Counts

“Since we began our partnership three years ago with NSD61 we’ve seen the positive impact these programs have on youth and the community as a whole,” says Leanne Courchesne, Group Lead, Community Investment. “The number of students reading at their grade level has increased by 19 percent across the division and division-wide attendance has increased by three percent. I believe our ongoing support will help improve student engagement and graduation rates across NSD61.”

Literary support near our operations

This isn’t a one-off approach. We’ve supported several school and community initiatives aimed at increasing literacy rates near our operating areas. In 2014, Grasslands Public School Division received a $600,000 donation to be made over three years to Grasslands School Division No.6 for its Literacy Initiative. The donation has provided literacy resources for 20 schools in southeastern Alberta. Also in 2014, we donated $150,000 over three years to the Medicine Hat School District No. 76. This money supports more than 7,200 students in literacy enhancement and the development of a library commons in their secondary schools.

We’ve also made substantial and ongoing donations to Frontier College and Calgary Reads. Through our partnership with Frontier College, an Aboriginal Summer Literacy Camp has been delivered each year since 2014 in Beaver Lake Cree Nation. This three week camp works to reduce summer learning loss, while strengthening community capacity by hiring and training local community members.  Our support for Calgary Reads has allowed them to team up with the Calgary Food Bank to help improve access to books for children who have few of their own.  Research has shown that simply having more books in the home correlates with higher reading levels. The Calgary Reads Book Bank initiative provides books for children age 0-8 along with a food hamper to tackle this disparity.  

Our partnership with NSD61

Since 2013, Cenovus has donated $1.15 million to support literacy, career and technology studies and student attendance programs at Northland School Division No. 61. Our partnership with NSD61 aligns with our three community investment focus areas: learning, safety and well-being, and sustainable communities. We believe making a commitment to supporting education and investing in programs that build skills helps creates bright futures for individual students as well as strengthen communities over the long term.

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