By Brianna Menzies-Vaught, Now-Leader contributor
SURREY — Generous hearts are filling children’s minds in a Surrey school, thanks to Indigo.
Whalley’s Forsyth Road Elementary school is the latest beneficiary of Indigo’s Love Of Reading Foundation. The Grandview Corners Indigo book store has raised more than $5,000 over a span of three weeks. They will be giving this money to Forsyth Road Elementary to get new books.
“The idea of finding new engaging books to get the kids involved with has been hugely beneficial,” Forsyth Road Elementary principal Jane Clowers said.
|Forsyth Road Elementary principal Jane Clowers. (Photo: Brianna Menzies-Vaught)|
Clowers said because many school libraries can only afford one new book a year for every three students, this causes a shortage of books and it also makes a lot of them “outdated.”
She added the Love of Reading Foundation has been “so accommodating” to the needs of schools, helping educators get new and exciting materials for students to learn from.
“They [the teachers] develop rich literacy lessons from those resources,” Clowers said.
Statistics from the Indigo’s Love Of Reading Foundation’s website shows 30 per cent of Grade 3 students lack basic literacy skills. The foundation also says students who lack basic literacy skills are four times more likely to drop out of high school.
Ariel Siller, executive director of Indigo’s Love Of Reading Foundation, visited Forsyth Road Elementary school this summer to check out the library and to talk to staff.
“When students go into the library and see books with new titles, like ‘Harry Potter’ or ‘Captain Underpants’ they get excited,” Siller said.
With teachers spending $200 million of their own money each year to buy books and learning materials, Indigo says its goal is to provide more “robust library collections” for teachers and students – without teachers having to pay out of pocket.
Forsyth Road Elementary was adopted by the Grandview Corners Indigo bookstore in South Surrey.
Indigo has 500 schools participating in their “adopt a school” program. Indigo also gives out $1.5 million per year, split between 30 schools across Canada.
Forsyth Road Elementary received the literary grant fund last year. The literary grant fund will give Forysth Road Elementary, along with all of the other participating schools, $45,000 ($15,000 a year for three years).
Brianna Menzies-Vaught is a Kwantlen Park Secondary school Grade 12 student completing a work placement program at the Now-Leader.