A bit of history


Born to Read, inspired by a similar program in Quebec, was started in St. Stephen, New Brunswick in 1991 by Heritage Chapter IODE and soon became a provincial IODE project. In 1997 Hon. Marilyn Trenholme Counsell, Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick and a champion of early childhood and family literacy, became Born to Read’s Honorary Patron. Her guidance and generous financial support helped make possible the vision of Born to Read reaching every newborn in the province. This vision was fully achieved when Francophone organizations created Le goût de lire, Born to Read’s French language counterpart.


As public awareness has grown regarding the importance of the first developmental years in a child’s life, Born to Read has become firmly established in New Brunswick, with a committed volunteer network and wide support from individuals and groups throughout the province.

In 2003 the New Brunswick government made a commitment to provide annual funding to pay for the Born to Read bag and one of its books,  preferably a book by a New Brunswick author and illustrator. Purchase of additional books for the bag are made possible by financial contributions to Born to Read, a registered charity, by generous private, organizational and corporate donors.

Born to Read is a program that directly impacts on the quality of life for the children of New Brunswick. It is an established and respected program providing an invaluable service. The message on the importance of reading to children from birth needs continual reinforcement and access to books is fundamental.

Approximately 7,200  babies are born in New Brunswick each year. There is a Born to Read or Le goût de lire bag for each one of them.


The people behind born to read

Our Board of Directors

Shirley Downey - President

Mary Stickles - Secretary

Bob Stranach - Treasurer

Sarah Kilfoil
Christin Sheridan
York Library Region
New Brunswick Public Library Service

Lynda Homer
Family Literacy Specialist

Blake Robichaud
New Brunswick Teachers’ Association

Dr. Pam Whitty
Early Childhood Centre
University of New Brunswick
Faculty of Education

Linda Collins Lebans
IODE NB

Honorary and Associate Members

Hon. Jocelyne Roy Vienneau
Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick
Official Patron

Tim Richardson
Office of the Lieutenant Governor

Trish Seely
Department of Education & Early Childhood Development

Bonnie Horncastle
York Library Region
New Brunswick Public Library Service

Ruth Mullin
Bell Aliant Pioneers

Natacha Bosse
Community Volunteer/ Parent

Jackie Phinney
Community Volunteer/ Parent