Grant helps boost school literacy

AT JUST $1,000 a year, Thornhill Elementary School’s library book budget wasn’t even close to keeping up with demand.

  • Jun. 6, 2012 9:00 a.m.

AT JUST $1,000 a year, Thornhill Elementary School’s library book budget wasn’t even close to keeping up with demand.

Book fairs have helped but even the  additional $1,000 or $2,000 a year they’ve brought in barely made a dent in the need.

But now that the school has received a $56,000 grant, principal Debbie Koehn is looking forward to meeting her students’ collective desire to read.

“It was very exciting news for our school,” said Koehn of learning about the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation grant, which will be spent over the next three years. “Literacy is a focus in this school with all of our staff and this will help immensely,” she said.

Koehn added that the teachers and others at the school kept to their desire to improve literacy levels despite the stresses of the teachers’ job action this year.

And although the library contains older books it would never dispose of, Koehn did say the average age of a book is 16 years, much older than the students it serves.

The lack of a book budget has put a particular cramp in the school’s ability to update its fiction series collection.

“A lot of children, when they read one book in a series by an author, they will want to read every other book in the series,” noted Koehn. “Students are always asking us for the next book but we may only have one or two by that author.”

She cited the Hunger Games series as an example of a high readership demand.

“The kids couldn’t get enough. I ended up buying three sets of the Hunger Games myself,” said Koehn.

She’s not sure yet how many books the grant will buy, adding that non-fiction books for young people, for example, range from $35 to $70.

Students as well as teachers will be asked for their opinions on what should be purchased and there will also be attention paid to non-fiction books.

“We don’t have a lot of current non-fiction material,” said Koehn.

Koehn wants to combine the impact of the grant with a program from Vancouver Island University to provide assistance to further improve literacy skills at Thornhill Elementary and at New Hazelton Elementary School.

“I’m looking forward to a way of bringing the two together,” she said of the impact on Thornhill. “Each can exist independently but together they would have an impact.”

The Vancouver Island University assistance will come in the form of a literacy coach to work with the two elementary schools.

Koehn hopes to fill that position as literacy coach with the island university to then cover the cost of replacing her when she’s on assignment.

The Indigo Love of Reading Foundation has previously provided grants to two other northern BC schools – $150,000 to David Hoy Elementary in Fort St. James and $51,000 to Conrad St. Elementary in Prince Rupert.

Koehn said she saw an advertisement about the foundation in the Indigo-owned Coles book store at the Skeena Mall, which has since closed.

 

Just Posted

B.C. freestyle skier wins gold

Cassie Sharpe of Comox shines in the halfpipe

Annual Heritage Day celebration highlights Terrace history, culture

Over 30 vendors displayed various vintage and historic items from the city’s past on Feb.17 in the Sportsplex Banquet Room.

Terrace River Kings win playoffs

Defeating Williams Lake Stampeders, the team now heads to the Coy Cup for the fourth year in a row

First annual Valentines Day Memorial Walk to honor missing and murdered Indigenous people held in Terrace

Mayor Carol Leclerc and RCMP Cst. Angela Rabut joined members of the Radek family and walkers on Feb. 14 from the Chill Soda Shop on Highway 16 to the Tempo Gas Station.

Most Highway 16 closures for avalanches in years after multiple dumps of snow

Highway 16 has had four closures between Terrace and Prince Rupert due to 35 mile avalanche area

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Virtue and Moir end ice dance careers with Olympic gold

Virtue and Moir’s gold medal win at the Olympics makes them the world’s most decorated figure skaters

Canadians find living in small spaces teaches creativity

Canadian families choosing to live in small spaces to bring closeness to children

SAR suspends search for missing man at Sun Peaks

RCMP will continue to search for a missing man near Kamloops but SAR has suspended their role

Lottery will help save children’s lives

Each ticket gets you a chance to win a lot of money, while helping a lot of kids

B.C. RCMP officer officially cleared in car wash shooting incident

A report found the Salmon Arm officer fired 14 bullets at the man’s truck

Interest in Canadian Armed Forces remains high

Canada seeks about 5,000 recruits each year for its regular forces of about 68,000

Rules reviewed to keep drug money out of B.C. real estate

Investigator looking at loans as well as casinos, David Eby says

Most Read