17Dec 21

SaskTel Steps Up for Children’s Literacy

RELEASE DATE December 20, 2021

Saskatoon, December 20, 2021 – Literacy matters to SaskTel, and their decade of support to READ Saskatoon has never been more important than over the last two years. Their contribution ensures children and volunteers have access to appropriate learning resources and they are pleased to support READ Saskatoon with another sponsorship.

Spark, READ Saskatoon’s children’s literacy program, matches trained volunteers with students in grades 2-4 to provide one-to-one reading support. The goal is to strengthen children’s reading strategies and bring their skills to grade level. Students are selected by the school’s principal, vice-principal, or resource teacher to participate in the program.

“Spark is one of our fastest growing literacy programs,” says Sheryl Harrow-Yurach, Executive Director of READ Saskatoon. “We have been able to meet a 37% increase in students, even with program delivery being online. We feel growing pressure; we are hearing from teachers and parents that would love more support for students. Many schools are asking for more spots than we can provide. When the program moved online almost two years ago, we needed access to leveled readers and duplicate copies of all resource materials. SaskTel’s sponsorship generously covered these unexpected expenses, in addition to the support they already provide.”

This program had been running in Saskatoon for three years, then, during COVID, expanded to four school divisions in the province. “We were so pleased to sponsor a community literacy program that positively impacts our province,” says Doug Burnett, SaskTel President and CEO. “With the disruptions to education in the last 20 months, children need extra support.”

Children in the program also receive a book each week to add to their home library. At the beginning of the pandemic, book donations became more of a challenge and SaskTel also sponsored the purchase of new books to send home to families.

“The goal is to be in every school division across the province in four years. It is an ambitious goal, but with the help of supporters like SaskTel, we will get there,” says Harrow-Yurach.

About SaskTel

SaskTel is the leading Information and Communications Technology (ICT) provider in Saskatchewan, with over $1.3 billion in annual revenue and approximately 1.4 million customer connections including 639,000 wireless accesses, 289,000 wireline network accesses, 289,000 internet accesses, 114,000 maxTV subscribers, and 81,000 security monitoring customers. SaskTel and its wholly-owned subsidiaries offer a wide range of ICT products and services including competitive voice, data and Internet services, wireless data services, maxTV services, data centre services, cloud-based services, security monitoring services, advertising services, and international software and consulting services. SaskTel and its wholly-owned subsidiaries have a workforce of approximately 3,400 full-time equivalent employees (FTEs). Visit SaskTel at

About READ Saskatoon

Established in 1979, READ Saskatoon is a volunteer literacy organization that provides adult, family and financial literacy services to individuals and families. Literacy programs are delivered by staff and trained volunteers. Their vision is to help support a community that values literacy, and they believe that lifelong habits contribute to strong and resilient communities.


Sheryl Harrow-Yurach, Executive Director, READ Saskatoon t. 306-652-5448

SaskTel Media Relations, t. 306.777.2727