The Smile Cookie campaign on at Tim Hortons restaurants in Red Deer supports the Foundation for Red Deer Public Schools’ reading college. (File photo by Advocate staff)

Smile Cookie campaign supports reading college

The annual campaign runs next week

Tim Hortons will sell chocolate chunk cookies decorated with smiles next week to inspire central Alberta children to read.

The annual Smile Cookie campaign will run from Monday to Sunday and will support the Foundation for Red Deer Public Schools’ reading college program.

School superintendent Chad Erickson said due to COVID-19, this year’s reading college “looked a little different,” but was still a great success.

“We set up this amazing and fun summer program for kids where they learn to love reading, and learn to gain the skills to continue their growth as learners. If they don’t improve their reading level in the next year or two of their lives, they are not set up for a lifetime of success,” said Erickson.

“However, if we can get them over that milestone, that’s a lifetime of difference for that child. It will make a difference for them, make a difference for their families and make a difference in their life experiences. That’s the beauty of reading college.”

Tim Hortons restaurant owners in Red Deer will donate all proceeds from sales of the special cookie to support reading college. The $1 treat helps community programs across Canada in the cities where they are sold.

Tanya Doucette, Tim Hortons restaurant owner in Red Deer, said she wants to thank customers for their “generosity and support” of the Smile Cookie campaign.

“Tim Hortons is thrilled to support The Foundation for Red Deer Public Schools and reading college with the funds raised and bring smiles to so many people’s faces. We welcome everyone to come in to buy a delicious freshly baked Smile Cookie in support of a great cause,” said Doucette.

Dave Tilstra, foundation board chair, said he encourages the community to buy these smiling cookies next week.

“The Smile Cookie campaign is a great opportunity to raise awareness on the importance of literacy. It really does create life chances for students,” said Tilstra.

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