Nisaika Kum’tuks Elementary Centre vice-principal Heather Goodall, Lieutenant Governor of B.C. Judith Guichon and third grade student David Tom take a moment to look around the new library, donated by Write to Read. The school marked the official opening of the library with speeches, songs and a ribbon cutting Wednesday morning. TAMARA CUNNINGHAM/News Bulletin

Lieutenant-governor helps open school library

Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre school partners with Write to Read

Students at Nanaimo’s Nisaika Kum’Tuks Elementary Centre no longer have to go far to find a good book.

The public school celebrated the official opening of its first library Tuesday with Lt.-Gov. Judith Guichon.

It’s a new chapter for the centre and its 30 students, who previously walked to the public library for books. Now, iPads, computers, video conferencing and children’s and adults’ books are at the fingertips of students and their families, thanks to Write to Read B.C., a partnership between indigenous communities, Rotarians and Government House to help with graduation rates and improve literacy and access to libraries.

Since the initiative was begun by former lieutenant-governor of B.C. Steven Point, 16 libraries have been opened, including this one, and the creation was a community effort. Contributions were made by Nanaimo area rotary clubs, the Young Professionals of Nanaimo, Nanaimo Foundation and inmates of the Nanaimo Correctional Centre, who built the bookshelves.

Write to Read B.C. could create two more libraries in Nanaimo at Snuneymuxw First Nation and Sanala townhouse complex, but this is the last to be opened by Guichon, whose appointment is coming to an end.

“I’m a little bit sad about that. It’s been a wonderful job and to serve has been such an honour and to have learned about and been involved with the library project has been great learning,” said Guichon, who added that the libraries are, as Point said, opening up a world for children and now that they’re also being hooked up to the internet, puts the world at their fingertips.

Students gave a resounding “Huy ch q’u,” or ‘thank you,’ for community support, before acting out a storybook, singing and drumming at the event. David Tom, a Grade 3 student, cut the ribbon with Guichon.

“In some ways it feels like Christmas has come a little bit early in Nanaimo when we get to come together and celebrate a gift like this,” said Chris Beaton, executive director of Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre.

Vice-principal Heather Goodall said: “To all of you that contributed to this, it is amazing.”

She told the News Bulletin that the kids love the library and find it a comforting place to be. It’s been named the Hummingbird’s Nest, in recognition of the classroom spirit animal, the hummingbird, and the motto to persevere.

It’s the first time Write to Read B.C. has done a library project in an urban aboriginal school. The two-classroom centre for kindergarten to Grade 6 is within the Vancouver Island West School District and opened on Fifth Street in 2014, as a partnership between Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre, Mid Island Métis Nation and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Vancouver Island.



news@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

UPDATE: Suspect and Mountie bitten by police dog during arrest south of Nanaimo

Two suspects were arrested in connection with a stolen pickup truck in Cassidy on Thursday evening

City to re-name community policing office and keep it open

Council votes 6-2 for city to maintain a presence at Victoria Crescent office

Nanaimo RCMP seek help finding missing Nanaimo boy

Chaas Mearns, 13, was reported missing Jan. 30

Construction set to begin on Nanaimo airport terminal expansion

First phase of construction project to begin in March or April

Duncan family says care home switched mom’s cat with robot cat

Staff alleged to have said they were taking cat for bath, then replaced her with robotic stuffed toy

Nanaimo’s Bohemia Ballet to tour with support from charity ArtStarts in Schools

Dance company will tour B.C. schools from September to June 2019

Beefs & Bouquets, Feb. 22

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail bulletinboard@nanaimobulletin.com

Indigenous elders share history with Nanaimo-Ladysmith School District students

‘Our kids learning their history through elders is nothing that we can find in our textbooks’

UPDATE: One driver taken to hospital after three-vehicle collision in Harewood

Accident happened at Howard Avenue and Seventh Street at about 9:30 a.m.

B.C. ski cross racer wins Olympic gold

Kelowna’s Kelsey Serwa wins the gold medal in thrilling fashion in PyeongChang

New charges against ex-Trump campaign associates

More charges were laid Thursday against President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman and his business associate

Man accused in death of Winnipeg teen Tina Fontaine not guilty

Raymond Cormier was accused of killing Indigenous 15-year-old and dumping her body in the Red River

Okanagan real estate agents brace for speculation tax impact

“There’s a real potential for a domino effect to hurt the market in Kelowna.”

Human remains found near Campbell River

Human remains were found in a rural area outside Campbell River, RCMP… Continue reading

Most Read