Pam Craig, Literacy Alberni chair, delivers books to the Nuu-chah-nulth Friendship Centre Baby Welcoming celebration. The society delivered 75 books of three different titles.

Literacy Alberni ensures students have new books

EJ Dunn literacy program boosted by community donations as well

Literacy Alberni delivered the gift of learning to a number of children and schools this holiday season.

The society has been running free book distribution to schools this year through First Book Canada, a partnership in which all Literacy Alberni has to do is cover the shipping costs.

“Our goal is providing barrier free literacy, so kids don’t have to go anywhere to get books,” said executive director Graham Hughes.

This year, Literacy Alberni has been able to provide two books to students from the ages of kindergarten to grade 7.

Literacy Alberni delivered books to schools and community organizations. École Alberni Elementary School was able to host a free book fair for students, with sufficient brand new books that every student was able to take one home for the holidays.

The Society also delivered about 75 books with culturally appropriate subjects to the Nuu-chah-nulth Friendship Centre Baby Welcoming celebration.

But through a new, local partnership with Port Alberni and District Labour Council and the local Rotarians, Literacy Alberni sent each child at E.J. Dunn Elementary School home with a new book following their Christmas concert last month.

Port Alberni and District Labour Council donated $1,000, while each Rotarian donated $20. Together, both of these organizations are donating 1,500 books.

“We’ve been very lucky,” said Hughes. “It’s kind of our Christmas miracle to have this happen right before Christmas.”

Hughes added that E.J. Dunn has a very supportive environment for literacy.

“The staff is supportive and engaged for providing opportunities to their students,” he said.

Literacy Alberni will also be gifting the school two classroom sets of Speaking Our Truth: A Journey of Reconciliation by Monique Gray Smith—a book about the reconciliation process in Canada.

“It delivers the important information to children in a safe but impactful and informed way,” said Hughes.

Literacy Alberni is now closed for the holidays, but will reopen for classes and tutoring sessions on Monday, Jan. 8.

elena.rardon@albernivalleynews.com

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