I joined ONE TO ONE as Executive Director just over a year ago—I’ll admit to you now that I had a secret motive.

I believe in our mission of helping children develop literacy skills for success in school and in life, certainly. And I believe deeply in the power of connection— there is no telling what the undivided, empathetic attention of a caring adult can awaken in a child and ONE TO ONE volunteers prove that every day.

But I’m here because I believe in the power of books, of literature, of stories. I’m inspired by author Vera Nazarian’s quote: “Whenever you read a good book, somewhere in the world a door opens to allow in more light.” When you are a reader, your curiosity is constantly piqued and then satisfied. Reading literary fiction builds empathy. It improves your capacity to understand what others are thinking and feeling. You’re never really alone when you have a good book with you. When my daughter was introduced to Hermione Granger, it was like her soul breathed a sigh of relief— she’d found someone just like her.

That’s the power of books. That is the gift that our mission offers. It’s the joy of reading that brought me (and I suspect you) to ONE TO ONE.

We are turning a new page here at ONE TO ONE. Today, I would like to introduce you to Carol Neuman, who will take over the reins as Executive Director on Wednesday, June 20th. My story is taking me and my family to Toronto. Though I am sad to leave an organization, a team, and a community that means so much to me, I am excited to follow along for ONE TO ONE’s next chapter.

With an MA in Communications Studies from the University of Calgary and a Certificate in Executive Leadership for the Non-Profit Sector from Grant MacEwan University, Carol has been in leadership roles at a non-profit capacity-building organization, a post-secondary student advocacy organization and in volunteer capacities across the city. I look forward to working with her over the coming weeks to ensure a smooth transition. Carol can’t wait to meet as many of you as possible over the coming months.

My own chapter at ONE TO ONE was short, but I think it was a pretty good one! I hope you like the direction this is going. Thank you for being a part of it.


Josée Thibault
Executive Director
ONE TO ONE Literacy Society

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