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Established in Calgary in 2004, ICE is dedicated to promoting children’s literacy and cross-cultural education, at home and abroad. Our current priority is to donate high quality illustrated books featuring stories from the Middle East and Central Asia to literacy programs serving children in need.

 

Our literacy focus grew from a survey we conducted in 2004 in which we learned that Canadian literacy programs for disadvantaged children suffer from a severe and ongoing shortage of high quality books. Current requests from our Canadian partners reveal a need for at least 50,000 books annually.

 

In just 16 years, ICE has donated 327,658 books to children free of charge. We've given 149,200 books to Canadian children in need with help from over 80 Canadian non-profit literacy groups; and 1140 books to Mexican children through our partner there.

 

Volunteer in Surrey loading books by Afghan author Idries Shah for children's literacy

ICE volunteers in Surrey, BC packing books to send to partner organizations


LATEST NEWS

Thank you letter from Literacy Alberni:

Literacy Alberni
Jun 4, 2021

 

Thank you note from Saskatchewan Literacy Network:

Saskatchewan Literacy Network
May 20, 2021

 

ABC Head Start Facebook Post:
Thank you to everyone who donated activity supplies: the Institute for Cross-cultural Exchange, the United Way of the Alberta Capital Region and the Government of Canada for helping us support the wellbeing of families during this difficult time.

ABC Head Start
May 15, 2021

 

Thank you note from Thompson Nicola Cariboo United Way:

United Way TNC
May 10, 2021

 

Thank you note from North Shore Community Resources:

North Shore
May 10, 2021

 

Thank You Letter and Facebook Post from the Powell River & District United Way and The ORCA Bus Program who helped distribute our books.

ORCA_Letter Ombre Blue Sky
May 6, 2021

 

Thank you letter from United Way East Kootenay. Sponsored by: Community Connections Society of Southeast BC

United Way East Kootenay
May 4, 2021

 

Thank you letter from Frontier College (Main Office)

FrontierCollegeBC
May , 2021

 

Thank you letter from Frontier College BC
Frontiercollege

FrontierCollegeBC FrontierCollegeBC FrontierCollegeBC
Apr 8, 2021

 

ICE donates books to children supported by the Richmond Christmas Fund of Richmond Cares, Richmond Gives.

Richmond Cares, Richmond Gives
Feb 5, 2021

 

Thank you letter from Frontier College

Frontiercollege
Nov 5, 2019

 

The YUKON LITERACY COALITION thanks ICE for their continued partnership and book donations. The most recent title, Neem the Half-Boy, is being used in a variety of ways.

Yukon Literacy Coalition
Nov 3, 2019

 

The SASKATCHEWAN LITERACY NETWORK thanks ICE for the donation of 1000 copies of Neem the Half-Boy.

Saskachewan Literacy Network
Oct 31, 2019

 

ABC Head Start Society of Edmonton thanks ICE for the donation of books to 500 children from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds.

ABC_HeadStartSociety

Sep 13, 2019

 

Thank you to the Institute for Cross-cultural Exchange for donating some children’s books to the Immigrant Welcome Centre of North Vancouver Island! We are very appreciative of your support and your act of "Local Love"!

ImmigrantWelcomeCentre

Jun 12, 2019

 

We are deeply grateful to our tireless team of volunteers who just packed, labeled and shipped Neem the Half-Boy by Idries Shah for 29 partner literacy organizations and the 13,300 Canadian children they serve.

ICE book packaging ICE book packaging ICE book packaging ICE book packaging ICE book packaging

May 2, 2019

 

"The Saskatchewan Literacy Network is very grateful for the 800 copies of The Farmer's Wife that we received from the Institute for Cross-cultural Exchange. We were pleased to share these books with literacy organizations & events all across Saskatchewan. We..heard a story from one of our partners. They had a celebration ...and all the children were invited to choose books to take home.... several newcomer families recently from Syria, were present.... almost all of the children of those families....quickly chose The Farmer's Wife. They were excited to see a book with someone on the cover who looked like people in their families, and they proudly showed their families what they chose. Without your donatation, this wonderful opportunity for children to find books that they could easily identify with, and for any of the children to experience a story from a culture that may be different than their own, would not have been possible." Sincerely, Phaedra Hitchings, Executive Director. (See complete letter here:)
Feb 16, 2018

 

"When I saw the smiles on their faces, I realized that the books made a real difference to the children, their families and educators...Thank you again for the wonderful books and the generous donation." Blessings... Elsa Ngan, Family Literacy & Adult Learning Program Coordinator, ASSIST Community Services Centre, Edmonton Alberta. (See photos below.)

Farmer's Wife - ASSIST Community Services, Edmonton, Alberta

Farmer's Wife - ASSIST Community Services, Edmonton, Alberta

Farmer's Wife - ASSIST Community Services, Edmonton, Alberta

Jan 31, 2018

 

JonArno Lawson is a Toronto children’s author who is a Governor General’s Award Winner & four-time winner of the Lion & the Unicorn Award for Excellence in North American Poetry.
In this video he discusses ICE, an all-volunteer Canadian literacy organization, the children they help and the unique qualities of the books they donate to Canadian & Mexican children in need.
Oct 16, 2017        

 

“During our kindergarten immunization clinics… each pre-kindergarten student was given a brand new book to take home with them… we received rave reviews from families and nurses alike…the younger sister of one of the little girls I’d immunized the week before….entered my office & her face lit up.. ‘I saw you last week! Do you have another book for me?’ The books, not the needles, were this little girl’s lasting memory of our appointment.”
Read the entire letter here.
Lynne Reside Early Years Community Development Manager Success by 6/Children First BC: North Okanagan, Columbia , Shuswap Region
June 26, 2017       

 

 

In January 2017, we delivered 12,500 copies of The Farmers Wife by Idries Shah to 27 literacy organizations serving children across Canada. HUGE THANK YOU’S to Key Food Equipment Services for generously donating their warehouse space & to volunteers Stephanie Bogaert, Anthony Fuller, Ben Fuller, Tess Fuller & Shawn Fuller who stickered and labelled all those books for shipping. (See picture below.) “When I saw the smiles on their faces, I realized that the books made a real difference to the children, their families & educators.” Elsa Ngan, Family Literacy & Adult Learning Program Coordinator, ASSIST Community Services Centre Edmonton Alberta.
Feb 9, 2017       

 

Volunteer loading books by Afghan author Idries Shah for children's literacy

January 2017
ICE volunteers in BC packing
"The Farmer's Wife" to send to partner organizations


 

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  Institute for Cross-cultural Exchange - ICE/
  Institut d'échanges interculturels - IEI
 
6 – 1134 11th Ave. West
  Vancouver, BC  V6H 1K3  Canada
  Tel:  888.422.0280
  Email: director@iceeducation.org
  Web:  www.iceeducation.org

  Charitable Registration Number
86260 1077 RR0001