Oilers Foundation and Ryan Whitney spreads the gift of literacy

Thursday, 02.16.2012 / 5:52 PM MT / Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation
By Andrea Goss  -
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Oilers Foundation and Ryan Whitney spreads the gift of literacy

“She got a glass of warm water and a spoon, and went across the backyard, down the hill, to the frozen bumpy river. She used the water and the spoon to make a very small hockey rink,” read Edmonton Oilers Ryan Whitney from Just One Goal.

Books have the unique ability to stir the senses, inspire the imagination and spark a love of reading in young minds. On Thursday afternoon, Edmonton Oilers defenceman Ryan Whitney joined the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation (EOCF) to help spread the gift of literacy and launch the fifth year of the Share A Book program.

Whitney joined the Grade 1 class and their Grade 5 buddies in the library and read aloud from the hockey classic.

“I got a book about a rat [Subway Mouse] and the same book that the Oilers got to read [Just One Goal],” said Monet, a Grade 1 student at Lauderdale. “I really like it because I really like hockey and I like skating. I can’t wait till I get home to read this book.”

The Share A Book program - funded in part through the Edmonton Journal’s Raise a Reader program and through EOCF initiatives - provides two new books and a book bag to Grade 1 students whose families may not otherwise be able to start a library for their children at home. Each year, 5,000 books are distributed to 2,500 young readers and this year’s titles included Just One Goal by Robert Munsch and Subway Mouse by Barbara Reid. Since its inception, the program has distributed 25,000 books to students in Edmonton and surrounding areas.

“I think the program’s important. I remember my parents always telling me to read growing up and I think the more books you get it’s easier to do,” said Whitney.

For more information on the Share A Book program, please visit


The Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation cares deeply about our Community. Established in 2001, the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation (EOCF) continues the Oilers legacy of giving back by contributing its unique resources and financial support to charitable organizations that serve the communities of Northern Alberta. With a focus on education, health and wellness for youth in Oil Country, the EOCF is dedicated to building strong, vibrant and safe communities by demonstrating philanthropic leadership.

Led by a dedicated community Board of Directors, the EOCF has developed a number of programs and partnerships that target those who need it most.

The EOCF raises its funds through a variety of fundraising initiatives that take place during Oilers home games and the generous contributions of Oilers fans and friends.

The Foundation gives back in excess of $2.5 million annually to charitable organizations registered with Revenue Canada whose programs support education, health and wellness for youth throughout Oil Country.