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Kobo and Free the Children Partner to Advance Literacy of Aboriginal Youth Across Canada

September 17, 2013

Toronto, September 17, 2013 - Kobo, a global leader in eReading, and Free The Children, today announced a year-long partnership focused on supporting literacy among Aboriginal youth in Canada. Both organizations share a commitment to making Reading more accessible and are working together to support literacy programs in Aboriginal communities across the country. Kobo has donated 3,500 of its award-winning Kobo Touch™ eReaders as well as $100,000 to develop a program designed to cultivate a love and passion for reading. The program includes a speaking tour to educate youth about literacy in Aboriginal communities and encourage them to explore their own culture through digital reading.

"Books not only enrich us individually by helping us to explore our own ideals and beliefs, but they also help us to express and celebrate our culture,” said Michael Serbinis, CEO, Kobo. “At Kobo, we are committed to getting more people to read more often because – as booklovers ourselves – we know the impact reading can have in helping people, families, and communities develop. Our partnership with Free The Children is designed to empower youth across Canada to become active in their own learning, develop their imaginations, and explore the world through the written word.”

The 25-stop speaking tour, beginning this fall, will help to educate and engage Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students on the importance of education and literacy skills, and its importance in building strong, empowered communities. The tour targets youth in grades five to 12, stopping at schools and Aboriginal community/friendship centres across Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and British Columbia. Students will take part in workshops to learn about the role literature plays in storytelling and maintaining a strong cultural identity. As part of the tour, 3,000 Kobo Touch eReaders will be donated at each local school and/or community centre to make reading more accessible to the youth in these communities. Each Kobo Touch will be pre-loaded with books by Aboriginal authors such as Lightning Rider by Jacqueline Guest, Catching Spring by Sylvia Olsen, and Him Standing by Richard Wagamese.

Kobo and Free The Children will also support Frontier College, Canada’s original literacy organization that delivers literacy programs to children, youth, and adults in communities across the country, by providing an additional 500 Kobo Touch eReaders to support existing programming.

“Literacy is fundamental in any young person’s education,” said Marc Kielburger, co-founder, Free The Children. “We are so thankful for Kobo’s commitment and generous donation to help us shed light on the importance of education and literacy, while bringing to life Aboriginal stories and culture to youth across Canada, enriching the lives of young people and helping to preserve a piece of Canada’s history.”

About Free The Children

Free The Children is an international charity and educational partner. Founded in 1995 by international activist Craig Kielburger, Free The Children believes in a world where young people are free to achieve their fullest potential, and empowers youth to remove barriers that prevent them from being active local and global citizens. The organization’s domestic programs—which includes We Day, Free The Children’s signature youth empowerment event—educate, engage and empower 1.7 million young people across North America, the UK and around the world to become engaged global citizens. Its international projects have brought more than 650 schools and school rooms to youth and provided clean water and sanitation, health care and food security to one million people around the world, freeing children and their families from the cycle of poverty.

The organization has received the World's Children's Prize for the Rights of the Child, the Human Rights Award from the World Association of Non‐Governmental Organizations, and has formed successful partnerships with leading school boards and Oprah's Angel Network. For more information, visit

About Kobo Inc.

Kobo Inc. is one of the world’s fastest-growing eReading services offering 4-million eBooks, magazines and newspapers to millions of customers in 190 countries. Believing that consumers should have the freedom to read any book on any device, Kobo provides consumers with a choice when reading. Kobo offer an eReader for everyone with a wide variety of E Ink eReaders and Google-Certified Android tablets to suit any Reader’s style including the award-winning Kobo Touch™, Kobo Mini, Kobo Glo, Kobo Aura, Kobo Aura HD, Kobo Arc, Kobo Arc 7, Kobo Arc 7HD, and Kobo Arc 10HD. Along with the company’s free top-ranking eReading apps for Apple®, BlackBerry®, Android®, and Windows®, Kobo ensures the next great read is just a page-turn away. Headquartered in Toronto and owned by Tokyo-based Rakuten, Kobo eReaders can be found in major retail chains around the world. For more information, visit

For more information please contact:

Cerys Goodall


Sr. Director, Public Relations


Julia Thomas

Free The Children

PR Manager

416-925-5894 ext. 381

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