First aired on The Sunday Edition (20/3/11)
At any given time in Canada, there are 25,000 children whose mother is incarcerated. That is 25,000 children without a mother home to care for them, clean up after them, play with them and read to them.
An award-winning group in New Brunswick is trying to change that, one book at a time. The Elizabeth Fry Society in Saint John, New Brunswick, runs the Read Aloud Program, which creates the opportunity for mothers in jail to read to their children, grandchildren and other loved ones through recordings.
The Read Aloud Program has recorded 8,000 books since its inception in 2000, and last year it won New Brunswick's Human Rights Award. The program was the first of its kind in Canada and has inspired similar initiatives in Quebec and British Columbia.
Earlier this year, The Sunday Edition followed the group, its organizers (a woman named Wanda and Mariana Stack, president of the Saint John chapter of the Elizabeth Fry Society) and the women and children who can connect through reading thanks to the program.
This is their story.