Annual student literacy fundraiser may not happen

This year might be the final chapter for an annual used book sale benefitting local school libraries.

This year might be the final chapter for an annual used book sale benefitting local school libraries.

Dorothy Watchman, founder and organizer of Books for Kids, has raised money for the past 13 years to help ensure students have a good selection of books to choose from in their school libraries.

She was recognized by Nanaimo school trustees last week for raising more than $110,000 over that time.

But the annual event likely won’t happen next spring, because the event only raised $5,500 last March – well short of Watchman’s $10,000 goal. Books for Kids raised $9,000 the year before.

She attributes the low sales in part to lack of adequate space available and said the event is too much work to raise only half the goal amount. Ten schools shared the money.

“It’s not getting any easier; it’s almost getting harder,” said Watchman. “It’s just too much work to only make $5,000.”

Trustee Jamie Brennan said he hopes someone else will step up to continue the fundraiser.

“The district has never had enough money to buy enough materials to stock our libraries,” he said. “That’s going to leave a deep hole in terms of replacing her. I hope somebody will step up.”

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