Canadian children’s author triggers a donation of 280,000 brand new books to kids in need across the Niagara Region

WELLAND, ON (November 13, 2019) – Working in collaboration with the Niagara Children’s Planning Council (NCPC) and the charitable partner First Book Canada, today Dr. Rumeet Billan announced the donation of over a quarter of a million brand-new books being distributed to children and youth across the region.  Throughout this week, community groups and educators from the Niagara region have started to pick-up brand-new books to be given to the kids they serve at a unique Book Pop-Up Distribution at The Seaway Mall. The NCPC were able to get wonderful local partners The Seaway Mall, Fontaine Transport and The Book Depot to provide remarkable donations of books and services. This is the largest book distribution in First Book Canada’s 10-year history.

Today, Rumeet will be speaking to students at two elementary schools in the Welland area, as well as the children at the EarlyON Centre in the mall.  In addition to supporting the Book Pop-Up Distribution, she is donating and signing a copy of her bestselling book “Who Do I Want to Become?” to each student she is talking to today. In the afternoon, not only is she helping with book distribution and meeting group leaders as they come pick-up their books but will also speak with Library Technicians from the Niagara Catholic District School Board for an in-service presentation with tips and information about how best to use “Who Do I Want to Become?” with students.

“I am thrilled to be working with the NCPC and First Book Canada, to get as many books into the hands and homes of children who need them,” said Dr. Rumeet Billan, best-selling author and Chief Learning Architect, Viewpoint Leadership. “It is a privilege to support this initiative and I am excited to speak to students about ‘Who Do I Want to Become?’ The book invites young readers on a journey to discover something wonderful about themselves that has nothing to do with what they want to be and everything to do with who they are and who they want to be.”

Darlene Edgar, Director of Children’s Services at Niagara Region said today, “NCPC and Niagara Region Children’s Services appreciate the opportunity to partner with First Book Canada and Dr. Rumeet Billan to bring books to children in Niagara. We have witnessed the impact that having a new book can make on a child and are committed to continuing to make books available to Niagara’s families. The books provided by First Book Canada are distributed through a community of local organizations, schools and child care centres enabling families to build their own home libraries and discover the connection that reading can bring. We are looking forward to sharing books at the upcoming Niagara distribution and to being part of the author reading at the EarlyON Centre located in the Seaway Mall. Thank you to First Book Canada and Dr. Rumeet Billan.”

“Because of her remarkable donation and contribution of her own books we are in the remarkable position of being able to place over 280,000 brand-new books in the hands of children across the Niagara region who really need them,” Tom Best, Executive Director of First Book Canada, said today. “Rumeet Billan is one of the most generous people I know, and the message of her book ‘Who Do I Want to Become?’ is so important today.  Along with our remarkable partners at the NCPC, our publishing partners and of course the Seaway Mall, we cannot think a better way to begin the holiday season.”

About First Book Canada 
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 7 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 TwitterFacebookInstagram, and LinkedIn.  

About the Niagara Children’s Planning Council (NCPC)
The Niagara Children’s Planning Council is a collective working to improve the well-being of children and families in Niagara. The Council is supported by Niagara Region Children’s Services, seeking to ensure access to a coordinated diverse range of affordable quality services and supports for young children and families residing in Niagara.

For media inquiries, contact:  
Tom Best, Executive Director, First Book Canada
866.732.3669 ext. 0310

Karen Schmidt
NCPC Coordinator, Children’s Services
905-980-6000 ext 3828