(L-R – Tara McLaughlin, Wayne Green, Denise Finch)
If you’ve ever donated an old kids book to one of those blue donation bins around town, chances are it’s ended up in the hands of a local elementary school student. Thanks to a partnership signed last year between United Way of the Fraser Valley and the Reading Tree, thousands of refurbished books were donated to schools across the valley last week. Denise Finch is with Discover Books, who are the first ones to see the stock.
“We work with them to collect and recycle gently used books. Some of the books we sell online, but while a lot of them may not have a value from an online basis, for a lot of people they do have value. So a lot of the kids books we re-distribute back through our community partners, such as United Way.”
United Way decides which schools could get the greatest benefit from the books, and then through the Reading Tree program the deliveries are made, and you’d think it’s Christmas morning based on the reaction of the kids. Wayne Green, Executive Director of the United Way of the Fraser Valley, talks about the reaction.
“One of the stops we made was the the Upper Fraser Valley Developmental Pre-School, and the kids just went wild. We opened up one box, and they were Disney books…..things they recognized. One little boy and little girl started fighting over them…but we’ll get over that.”
Tara McLaughlin is the ECD Supervisor for the Sto:Lo Nation, who received 400 books.
“This is going to reach every family in our homes and knowing the fact that they’ll actually be able to see the books with their children. It’s wonderful to know that there are communities out there that are giving back in a way that reaches further than what they actually do know. It’s an honor and a privilege and my thanks go out to all the people who donated these books, rather than throwing them in the garbage…it’s something that’s worth more than money.”
Around 6100 books were donated to 7 schools and organizations in Chilliwack alone on Friday. This is part of their commitment to deliver 18,000 books a year to kids.