Monday February 14, 2011


For The Love Of  Literacy

Central Community School receives truckloads of books from Reading Tree

Staff/Voice photos


Kids at Central Community School show off their new books Monday courtesy of Reading Tree and United Way Fraser Valley.


n Valentine's Day, Reading Tree and the United Way were all heart as they made good on a promise to deliver over 2100 books to Central Elementary Community School as part of their Lending Library program which will eventually deliver over 18,000 children's books, with an estimated value of approximately $90,000. Kids in Fraser Valley Schools will get close to half the books and early childhood education will get the rest.

It's fair to say that because of the donation, the little library at the school is bursting at the seams and teacher-librarian Christopher Hunt couldn't be happier.

The donation means that between 7-10 books will be given to each child from the 21-boxes delivered to the school.

Hunt was amazed at the condition of the books saying they were all in marvelous condition and that some appeared to not even have been read.

"It's not like I had to sort any and go 'ah, that one's missing it's cover or that one's all beaten up', they're all really in great condition" said Hunt enthusiastically.

Denise Finch described how they go through the books and sort them 0-5th and 6-12th grade.

"We collect and recycle gently used books, and we establish lending libraries within the community and designate the books for early learning initiatives," said Finch.

Finch said Wayne Green chose the school as a school that would benefit by a "Lending Library".

Green told media that the United Way FV has been in discussions with Reading Tree for about 2-years and it took a little while to get going in the direction that they wanted.

"It's a perfect match for us," he said. "Getting 10 books per child in the school is actually amazing and one of the commitments from the Reading Tree is the school can't charge fines or penalties if somebody loses a book or forgets to bring it back on time, the rule is get the books out to the kids and the Reading Tree will replace any books that get damaged or lost."

He said that his group are currently negotiating with Abbotsford, Mission and Fraser-Cascade school as to which particular schools are the next to receive the books and said his group, the United Way was "the glue that brought it all together."

"We're in negotiations with Abbotsford, Mission and also Fraser Cascade, so there'll be one school in each one of those districts who'll get the books."

One of the best ways to improve children's literacy is when parents read to their kids.

Reading Tree got it's start as Boston-area initiative about 4-years ago and a lot of the books were getting shipped internationally and then they decided to help improve local children's literacy skills and soon that idea spread across the US and eventually into Canada with the help of Thrift Recycle Management Co. Since the program began over 3.5-million books have been distributed.

Reading Tree currently supplies adult paperback novels to B.C. Cancer Foundations Auxiliary, who sell the books for $ 2 at their treatment centre's to support their services. Reading Tree has partnered with Safeway during their giving campaigns to raise money for Breast Cancer Research & Prostate Cancer.

For more information visit  and

Chilliwack Book Drop Locations

The following list are locations where the community can donate their books.

See more photos below.

Copyright (c) 2010 The Valley Voice


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