Two Comox Valley schools receive $10,000 for literacy improvement

Two Comox Valley schools are about to go on a book-buying spree.

Cumberland Community School and Lake Trail Middle School will both receive a $10,000 donation this year from the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation.

Lesley Johnson, the teacher-librarian for Lake Trail Middle School, spearheaded the application for both schools.

The initiative provides $10,000 to 50 high-needs elementary and middle schools throughout Canada. The funding is used to purchase books and e-readers, as well as improve existing literacy programs.

Lake Trail Middle School principal Gerald Fussell said the school is appreciative of any community support it receives and is excited to receive the grant.

“This school does a lot of amazing things for its kids and they have a great experience here. This is one way we can enrich that experience even further,” he said.

Fussell said Lake Trail currently has six strategies to make its students’ lives better related to topics such as connectedness and sense of community.

He said the school will align which reading materials it purchases with those topics.

“A perfect example is that over a third of our students have Aboriginal heritage,” he said. “We’ll try to find books that fit the profile of our readers, such as having positive Aboriginal role models, to help build that connectedness.

“When you can see yourself represented in a book, you’re going to be more connected to that book,” he added.

Fussell said the donation will also help revamp Lake Trail Middle School’s library collection. He said the books there are, on average, 14 years old.

The donation will come in the form of e-gift cards, which can be used at Indigo, Chapters, Coles and Indigo bookstores.

The 50 schools that receive the donations will also receive a 30 per cent discount on all books purchased, according to the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation.

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