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#201, 11456 Jasper Ave NW
Edmonton, AB T5K 0M1
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Our Mission Statement:
The Centre for Family Literacy builds, develops and improves literacy with families and communities.

Decade Old Program Still A Success

In September 2000 a big yellow school bus painted to look like a cow began to visit neighbourhoods in Edmonton on a weekly basis. The C.O.W. (Classroom on Wheels) Bus was a Success by 6®initiative with the Centre delivering the program.

The C.O.W. bus is a bookmobile that offers an opportunity for families with little resources to borrow books for free. Informal book sharing, story telling, singing and modeling of literacy strategies provide parents with the knowledge they need to support their children’s learning. According to Dr. Ruth Hayden, Professor Emeritus, University of Alberta: “This is a striking example of how impressive outcomes result from a simple concept.”

In December of 2005 Success by 6® decided to transition out of programming, and the Centre took ownership of the bus. The Centre knew that the program was doing far more for families than only supporting their literacy development. One parent mentioned that, for her, “getting to talk with other adults was the most important part of the program. I have been so alone for so long with my children; this program was a life saver for me.”

In the past ten years, the C.O.W. Bus program has touched the lives of thousands of parents and children in Edmonton. Many of the family members who participate in the C.O.W. program develop life-long reading habits. The comment of one parent sums it up: “because of this program, I am reading more myself and reading more to my children. Even my husband is reading more. It’s great.”

On COW Bus

I love the C.O.W. It has helped me and my children develop a love of books in such a nice atmosphere.


In June 2009 the original bus was put out to pasture and a new bus with a very pink nose hit the streets.


It has been a great place for my kids to come and be with other kids and discover how great books are.

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