About Us

Be Reading is both a not-for-profit corporation in Canada and a registered 501(C)(3) non-profit corporation in the United States. Both organizations operate separately but with the same underlying goals of providing free literacy services to the children of the world.

Our Boards along with our growing number of members and volunteers are passionate about kids and literacy, and are excited by the impact that our online service is making throughout Canada and around the world. If you are interested in becoming part of Be Reading as a member and/or volunteer, we’d certainly love to hear from you.

Even though we provide the Free Reading Program for free to everyone, we need funds to maintain the large technology infrastructure, grow the program, support a worldwide community of users, and advocate for literacy. If you believe in literacy, in education, and the practical impact of our online approach, please consider a financial gift.

Thank you!


Meet Our Canadian Board

Joan Barrett


Joan has worked in education for 42 years, initially as a classroom teacher then as a literacy specialist/consultant with the Toronto District School Board, and most recently as the National Literacy Consultant for Scholastic Canada. An author and producer of educational materials, she has advised the Ontario Ministry of Education and worked across Canada, the United States and spent eight years working on Indigenous Reserves from coast to coast. She is past President of the Rotary Club of Scarborough and is the Coordinator of Basic Education and Literacy on the Rotary District 7070’s Area of Focus Committee.

John Barrett

John is the 2020-21 president of the Rotary Club of Scarborough and long-time Rotarian. Now retired, his career with IBM covered years as a computer analyst and programmer to country IT Security Manager.

Alex Battick

Lawyer, notary, public speaker, and entrepreneur, Alex holds an Honours BA degree from McMaster University in Sociology, and a law degree from City University London, in England. With a professional focus on education law he is a Board Director with the Rexdale Community Health Centre.

Cathy Carson

Cathy is a recently retired Educational Administrator – Toronto District School Board and former Principal of Concord College of Canada – International School. She is a graduate of the University of Toronto Faculty of Education. Along with her volunteer work promoting literacy. She’s Vice-President of Guildwood Tennis Club and an active Rotarian.

Michael Cooksey

Michael is a graduate of Director’s College of McMaster University. He also serves as a Director of YouthLink, The GTA Scout Foundation and is a Governor of Centennial College. He is a Past Governor of Rotary International.

Amy Taghavi

Amy is an aspiring lawyer passionate about humanitarian work; she completed a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) from the University of Kent and a Master of International Laws (LL.M) from the University of Law, UK. Amy was a founding member and the 2020-21 President of the Rotaract Club of Willowdale.

Marcy Tomassini

Be Reading’s Treasurer, Marcy is the owner of Independent Financial Services and is also the President-elect 2021-22 of the Scarborough Rotary Club.

Hugh Williams

A writer, producer and communications consultant, Hugh has served as a board member and an executive with several charitable organizations that work with children and youth. Connect on LinkedIn

Heather Lennie


As co-founder and principle animator, Heather has conducted online literacy training programs and implemented e-learning strategies for schools, corporations, non-profits, after-school programs and families.

Although not a Board member of Be Reading, Heather is the Board Chair of our affiliate, the Education Community and Learning Centre in the U.S.