Airport Elementary students were all smiles after hearing that their library is receiving $25,000 to go toward the purchase of new books. Photo by Dave Flawse

Airport Elementary students were all smiles after hearing that their library is receiving $25,000 to go toward the purchase of new books. Photo by Dave Flawse

Airport Elementary gets funding boost for library books

Dave Flawse

Special to The Record

Airport Elementary in Comox (Lazo) now has the means to revitalize its library and enrich the lives of its students after receiving a $25,000 literacy fund grant from the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation.

The Canadian bookstore chain’s literacy program gives books to high-needs elementary schools across the country.

“We are adequately funded,” explains the Comox school’s principal Al Johnson. “However, if we want to renew or update our library it’s super hard because we have limited resources.”

“Socio-economically we’re fairly needy as well,” says the principal. “I think The Love of Reading Foundation saw that in the grant that [librarian] Mrs. Johnson wrote.”

With the money, the school will purchase new, updated, and place-based educational books at a discounted cost through Indigo.

The place-based collection will feature books about Vancouver Island, the Comox Valley, and books relevant to students with Indigenous ancestry.

The books will also help mitigate summer reading loss. When students come back from summer break, they are months behind in their reading level, explains the principal.

“The plan is to send kids home with books every year,” he says.

Indigo awarded the giant cheque in front of the entire school in an assembly on May 28.

“We knew we were getting an award,” says Johnson. “But there was a lot of guessing going on. [Indigo] wanted it to be a surprise.”

Airport Elementary was one of 30 schools to receive a literacy fund grant in Canada this year. To date, the foundation has donated 236,050 books to elementary schools in BC.