Our Mission

The Reading Bear fosters a more conscientious and loving society by providing intergenerational mentorship and reading resources that encourage early literacy, social wellbeing, and emotional health across generations and communities.

Our Goals

  • To strengthen Vancouver’s Healthy City Strategy by developing mutually beneficial relationships among youth from schools across the city.
  • To promote the development of character and the core values of empathy, compassion, and inclusivity.
  • To promote early childhood school readiness and success and a view of education as a lifelong journey.
  • To foster reciprocal relationship building, mutual well-being, and creating collaborative communities with existing literacy and community-based programs.
  • To establish the RBS program as an evidence-based and sustainable approach to addressing a myriad of social issues by cultivating multidisciplinary and interprofessional expertise.

What We Do

Kindergarten and StrongStart classroom presentations

Visits from university and medical student ambassadors, where we share our love of books and bear facts. This 50-minute visit involves reading, sing songs, and the sharing of bear facts and artifacts.

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Preschool and kindergarten classroom visits by Dr. Bear

Visits from medical student ambassadors, who share what doctors do during an office visit using bears. Children get to look in their teddy bear ears and listen to their teddy bears heart with a play stethoscope.

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Student practicums

University or mature high school students are invited to apply for a practicum under the guidance of a FLEX team of experts.

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Online Reading Bear buddy reading program for kindergarten children and peers.

The buddy reading program is an early literacy environmental stewardship reading buddy program that connects youth from various schools or within a school. The RB buddy reading program is based on the BC kindergarten curriculum and embraces the eight bear species. The My Bear activity booklet that is completed at each buddy session was specifically created under the guidance of literacy expert, Dr. Linda Siegel and the RB advisory board. This activity booklet guides each peer buddy reading session and introduces children and youth to bear habitats and facts about bear life. Over the course of one year, the peer comes in for eight one-hour sessions to read with a kindergarten child. The high school peers have a reflective writing component and classroom modules discussions to further promote empathy and compassion via the peer buddy relationship.