Red Deer has plenty to smile about this week.
On Thursday, Tim Hortons along with the Red Deer Public Schools Reading college announced how much was raised during the past two Smile Cookie campaigns in the city.
Between 2020 and 2021, the fundraiser collected $74,650 which will go a long way to provide learning opportunities for young children.
“I am overwhelmed, this means the world to us,” said Sue Carmichael, program coordinator with the Reading College.
“The need is greater than ever.”
Reading College, which is held in July, provides students who already have reading gaps a summer experience that will develop their reading skills, while also piquing their interest and motivation in reading.
Students leave the program with increased reading and writing abilities, and a solid foundation for future success in school and life.
“The Smile Cookie Campaign is a great opportunity to raise awareness on the importance of literacy, it really does create life chances for students. Reading College is made possible through great support from our community and Tim Hortons – we could not operate it without this support,” said Kristine Plastow, Foundation for Red Deer Public Schools board chair.
Red Deerians consumed more than 38,000 smile cookies from Sept. 13-19 this year, with one dollar from every cookie going towards the Reading College. Over the last two years, Red Deerians ate 74,650 cookies, which means $35,979 was raised in 2020 and $38,671 was raised in 2021.
That support also brings a smile to everyone who put in work behind the scenes, from those who made the cookies and beyond.
“It’s incredible. It’s so wonderful to be back together. Obviously last year because of the pandemic we weren’t able to get together and do events like this. It was exciting to be able to present two years’ worth of cheques to the foundation,” said Tanya Doucette, Tim Hortons Restaurant owner in Red Deer.
“The community in Red Deer is just incredible. The work that Reading College is doing to help those kids transition from learning to read to being able to read to learn is huge and it’ll set these young people up for success in all of their future school endeavours.”