Tamara Stewart

Tamara Stewart

Book chain supports Nanaimo school library

NANAIMO – Georgia Avenue Community School's library to receive plenty of new books.

A Nanaimo elementary school’s library is about to start a new chapter.

Georgia Avenue Community School has been selected as recipient for Indigo’s 2016 Adopt a School campaign, which raises money for elementary school libraries across Canada by donating a portion of sales made at its stores. The campaign also allows individuals to make book and cash donations online.

As a result, a percentage of sales made at the Woodgrove Chapters until Saturday (Oct. 8) will be donated to Georgia Avenue.

Tamara Stewart, a teacher-librarian at the school, said money from the campaign will be used to completely revitalize their library’s badly out-of-date book collection.

“I was working on the non-fiction section and I found a book talking about a computer that could fit in a single room,” she said. “This money really helps revamp the library.”

Typically, public school libraries receive funding from the local school district and according to the B.C. Coalition for School Libraries, a properly funded library should have a budget of $25 to $36 per student at the elementary level each year. However, Georgia Avenue receives funding that works out to roughly $3 per student each year, according to Stewart, who said the thousands of dollars that will be raised from Chapters equates to several years’ worth of funding from the school district.

“School libraries are pretty underfunded when it comes to the funding that we get from the school board,” she said. “The fundraiser they are doing for us is like a decade’s worth of funds that we would get from the school board.”

Stewart said Georgia Avenue also receives a 30-per cent discount on books at Chapters, adding that every book donated or purchased for the school and every dollar raised from the program will have an impact on students.

“It’s one thing when you donate money to the cancer foundation, but this is a school in our community helping local kids,” she said. “Kids like things that are new to them. This really helps to promote literacy and give a breath of fresh air and get kids excited about reading.”

A number of other elementary schools in Nanaimo also have fundraising pages on the campaign’s website, including Bayview, Cedar, Forest Park and Rock City.

Please visit www.adoptaschool.indigo.ca.