Brandon Wheat Kings

Brandon, MB. – The Western Hockey League’s Brandon Wheat Kings, with the support of CIBC, has announced plans for the return of the popular “CIBC Read to Succeed” Program for the 2011-12 Western Hockey League season.

The program, which was introduced by the Wheat Kings, CIBC and Brandon School Division in September 2004, was designed after a pilot project developed by the WHL’s Vancouver Giants eight years ago. The initiative features several members of the hockey club visiting schools throughout western Manitoba.

“CIBC is committed to nurturing and educating Canada’s kids and young adults so they can build a better future,” said Larry Tomei, CIBC’s Senior Vice-President of Retail Distribution for Central Canada. “CIBC Read to Succeed is a terrific example of how local heroes can make a difference in shaping the future of young students.”

Student participation during the first few years of the program has come in at virtually 100%, with many students exceeding the programs required by the participating schools.

Last year’s program involved over thirty schools, over sixty classrooms and well over 1,000 students.

The Wheat Kings’ CIBC Read to Succeed Program encourages students in grades two to five to spend extra time reading – both at home and in school.

19-year old Captain Mark Stone, who recently signed a National Hockey League Entry Level Contract with the Ottawa Senators, will be joined this year by goalkeeper Corbin Boes, defencemen Brodie Melnychuk, Jordan Fransoo and forwards Paul Ciarelli, Jens Meilleur and Dominick Favreau.

Stone, Melnychuk and Ciarelli were members of last year’s Read to Succeed Team.

These players will visit schools, talking to students about the importance of reading and education. In all cases, the players will read to the students and upon successfully completing a literacy challenge, introduced by each classroom teacher, the players will reward them with bookmarks and complimentary tickets – made possible by CIBC – to an upcoming game at Westman Place.

Each classroom presentation, which will include time for reading, questions and answers and autographs, will take approximately 25-30 minutes.

Schools interested in scheduling a Wheat Kings’ CIBC Read to Succeed visit are encouraged to contact Drew Clayton at 726-3548 or at drew.clayton@wheatkings.com

About CIBC

CIBC is committed to supporting causes that matter to our clients, our employees and our communities. We aim to make a difference in communities through corporate donations, sponsorships and the volunteer spirit of employees. With a strategic focus on Kids, Cures and Community, and employee commitment to causes including the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure, the CIBC Children’s Foundation and United Way, we are investing in the social and economic development of communities across the country. In 2010, CIBC group of companies contributed approximately $34 million to charitable and non-profit initiatives in Canada to support national, regional and local organizations.