Airdrie’s Nose Creek Elementary School has been chosen as a recipient of the Indigo 2017 Adopt a School program in partnership with the Love of Reading Foundation.
The Indigo Love of Reading Foundation supports elementary schools by ensuring their libraries have a robust collection of books. Indigo at CrossIron Mills mall will fundraise for Nose Creek Elementary School from Sept. 16 to Oct. 8, donating books hand picked by school staff.
Angela Brinson, support staff at Nose Creek Elementary School, said the school is planning to use the partnership to expand Grade 3 and 4 classroom libraries. The school’s slogan is Learn to Read, Love to Read, so a partnership with Indigo seemed natural, she said.
“Our big goal at Nose Creek is that we want our school community and all the students to learn to love reading at a young age,” she said.
The elementary school has spent the last two years focusing on building up its classroom libraries. The school now has more than 1,000 guided reading books for kindergarten to Grade 2 classrooms.
A parent who worked for Indigo brought the program to school officials and Brinson decided to apply. She said she sent in the application in December 2016 and the school learned they were chosen in June of this year.
“It is absolutely amazing,” Brinson said. “There’s excitement all around our school community.”
According to the Love of Reading Foundation, 30 per cent of Grade 3 students lack basic literacy skills. Ariel Siller, executive director for the Love of Reading Foundation, said statistics like that are important reminders that widespread action is required.
“When (students) go into their school libraries or classroom libraries, what they see are old tattered books that are not reflective of the kids’ interests,” Siller said. “(This) doesn’t really provide a great platform for teaching reading and a general love of reading.”
Over the foundation’s 13-year history, more than $25 million has been donated to more than 3,000 schools. Alberta alone has seen more than $150,000 pumped into local schools through the Adopt a School fundraiser.
Siller said she can see the joy of learning to love reading in her own child and others when they are finally able to “crack the code.”
“I think there’s really no better feeling than having that kind of access and engagement with the world around you. I think it leads to enthusiasm for everything a young student encounters,” she said.
The Adopt a School program has partnered with more than 200 schools for which the fundraising is done in store. An additional 350 schools have signed up to participate in the online fundraising portion of the program.
“It’s a free platform that schools can use and they really love it as an opportunity to rally and engage their community around literarcy,” Siller said.
Nose Creek Elementary School expects to see books in Grade 3 and 4 classrooms by the end of October, she said.