When boxes of books were placed in the lobby at SEAPARC, no one expected the kids would dive into the pile of books and cart away as many as they liked. It became the true testament to a program that is proving to be highly successful – getting kids to read.
“It’s a pile of books,” said Alice Gable, a volunteer with the Book Bin Program. “This way children can pick up books that pique their interest and they can take as many as they want. It’s a real gift the community is giving them.”
For the past three years the Sooke Region Literacy Project has been filling bins with books. It all began when outreach coordinator Stephanie Croft came and talked to the Rotary Club. Interest in the program grew from that initial contact and there are now book bins at the T’Sou-ke First Nation, SEAPARC, Sooke Family Resource Society (CASA) and the Stick in the Mud. Volunteer Chris Dykman has been busy lately building new shelves for the children’s books.
“We all love books, we have a passion for books, everyone should read,” said Gable speaking for the six volunteers.
She said children love books they own.
“They can fall in love with it, keep it, return it. It’s so successful, everyone loves the book bins.”
She said the books are free they don’t need to be returned or replaces.
“They can just pick them up and discover new things,” said Gable.
Community members who might wish to donate books can call Alice at 250-642-7720 or Linda Young at 250-642-6429.
The biggest need seems to be books for children and young adults.
Books are being collected in January and February by the Sooke Girl Guides.
“Every year the national Girl Guides set up a national service project and in 2015 it was literacy, said Girl Guide Leader Jill Wark.
“We’ve got a bin at the Girl Guide cabins and we’ve been collecting (books) since December.”
So far, the young women have collected about 300 books.
“The girls are happy to know there was something in the community they could help with,” said Wark.
Girl Guides are made up of:
Sparks (ages 5-6)
Brownies (ages 7-8)
Guides (ages 9-11)
Pathfinders (ages 12-14)
Rangers (ages 15-17)
Adults (ages 18+)
If any girl is interested in joining the Girl Guide movement they can go to the web page www.girlguides.ca and get information and a link for joining the Sooke Girl Guides.
And, said Wark, the every popular, often sold out Girl Guide cookies will be on sale the end of March.