Toronto students celebrate reading alongside KPMG volunteers

TORONTO, Ontario (April 2, 2018) – On March 29th, First Book Canada, KPMG, and children’s author Andrew Larsen brought the magic of reading to Market Lane Junior and Senior Public School. Market Lane Public School is a relatively new school in the St. Lawrence Community, a mixed social and economic community that is still undergoing development. With support from sponsors like KPMG, First Book Canada has brought unique Reading Celebrations to the school on multiple occasions, creating experiences they can carry with them. This event featured a reading from Andrew Larsen’s In The Tree House, and each student received a brand new, signed copy of In The Tree House that they can keep, take home, and share with their family. They also spent time reading with volunteers from KPMG’s Global team. This Reading Celebration was generously supported by KPMG.

“At KPMG we are committed to our communities. Having the incredible opportunity to work with First Book Canada in a Reading Celebration opportunity helped to promote and support one of our values of life-long learning,” said Mandy Gibson, Senior Manager of Internal Communications at KPMG Global Advisory. “It was such a positive experience to participate with First Book Canada at a local school and see first-hand the wonderful impact that reading books can make to children. Acting as responsible corporate citizens and broadening our skills, experience, and perspectives through our work in our communities is key to our employees and values at KPMG.”

First Book Canada has seen the impact of reading to children through Reading Celebrations like the one at Discovery: conversations with volunteers and authors have allowed students to discuss topics and stories that they might otherwise feel too shy or intimidated to start. Studies have shown that reading aloud to children in an engaging way, like a Reading Celebration, promotes literacy, language development, and a love for reading.

“Anytime you can get bestselling Canadian children’s author Andrew Larsen and enthusiastic volunteer readers from the KPMG’s Global team in a school library full of Grade 2 and 3 students, you know it’s going to be magical,” Tom Best, Executive Director for First Book said. “We know that a good book is really a dream that you can put in your hands. Thanks to the generous sponsorship by KPMG today we were able to give out a great number of dreams!”


Andrew lives in a neighborhood in Toronto that has tall trees, old houses and lots of stories. He lives with his wife and two children. Sometimes Andrew goes looking for stories and sometimes stories come looking for him. As a young boy, Andrew dreamed of being a hockey player. His first job was delivering newspapers to the houses in his neighborhood. He has had many jobs over the years, but once he started a family, Andrew discovered his true calling: he became a stay-at-home dad and started writing stories. He still loves to skate. Andrew spends his days cooking, cleaning, daydreaming and writing. He often visits schools and libraries, where he encourages children to discover their own stories.

About KPMG International and the Global Resource Centre

KPMG is a global network of professional services firms providing Audit, Tax and Advisory services, operating in 154 countries with 200,000 people and with global revenues in FY17 of more than $26.40 billion. KPMG International, a matrix organization, works at the global level and sets strategy, ensures global consistency and provides expertise to support member firms in the achievement of their business and Employer of Choice objectives. Many resources to support Global have been centralized at the Global Resource Centre (GRC) in Toronto. The GRC provides Global Marketing & Communications, Learning & Development, Procurement, Risk, Finance and IT.

About First Book Canada

First Book Canada provides new books to children in need, addressing one of the most important factors affecting literacy – access to books. By making new, high quality books and educational resources available on an ongoing basis, First Book Canada is transforming the lives of children and elevating the quality of education in the country. Since 2009, First Book Canada has distributed over 6 million new books to hundreds of thousands of children in need across Canada. For more information, or to register for books, visit us at and follow our latest news on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Media Contact:

Tom Best, Executive Director, First Book Canada
866.732.3669 ext. 0130