Amherstburg Public School receives $70,000 literacy grant from Indigo

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Amherstburg Public School is looking to update its library and has received a giant boost from a national book-selling chain.

Amherstburg Public School received a $70,000 literacy grant from the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation, with the local elementary school being one of 30 schools nationwide to get funding under the program.

Principal Mark Campbell said Amherstburg Public School is “incredibly honored and grateful to have been selected” and added “this support could not have come at a better time.”

Campbell told the RTT Friday morning that the school applied earlier this year.

“Our library is in desperate need of an upgrade,” said Campbell.

Campbell said the school has limited resources but needs to upgrade the library due to the age of the books, the number of books they have and the fact the school now has a French Immersion program.

Amherstburg Public School received a $70,000 grant from the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation. From left: Nya Meloche, Kendra Lowe, Austin Sumner, principal Mark Campbell.

Amherstburg Public School received a $70,000 grant from the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation. From left: Nya Meloche, Kendra Lowe, Austin Sumner, principal Mark Campbell.

“Having just started our French Immersion program this school year, we want to ensure that our students have access to appropriate French materials and books that will support their learning,” said Campbell.

The school learned just over a week ago they would be getting the grant, with Campbell stating they had a positive 10-15 minute interview as part of the process.

The hope, Campbell added, is that students will not only be able to learn and obtain new books, but that the library will become “the hub of the school.” He pointed out the grant is spread over three years with equal installments paid over the three years totaling $70,000. The money can be used on anything Indigo/Chapters sells, including technology, with Campbell stating he will be asking if they can use some of the funds on furniture for the library as well.

Some funds may be used towards technology or books in classrooms, but Campbell said the bulk of the money will be used to upgrade the library.

Amherstburg Public School is affiliated with the Indigo store in Lakeshore. The school has a “wish wall” where students are putting titles they would like to see with Campbell adding a committee is being put together with the aim of making their first purchases soon.

“We want to make our first purchase at Indigo by the end of the year,” he said.

According to a press release sent out by the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation, Amherstburg Public School currently has 436 students who regularly use the library.

“The average age of the books in the library is 16-years-old,” said Campbell. “It’s not the oldest in the board but it’s old.”

The library is used now and also serves as a place where students can congregate during recess.

“The more things I have in there, the better it is and the more occupied they are,” said Campbell.

Campbell credited the staff and students for their involvement with the grant application, saying staff showed a real team effort to get the grant application in.

The Indigo Love of Reading Foundation commits $1.5 million annually to “high-needs elementary schools across Canada in an effort to bolster literacy and give all children equal access to books.”

To date, the foundation has committed over $19.5 million dollars to over 245 high-needs elementary schools since 2004 through its literacy fund grant, and an additional $5.5 million through its other programs.

“Over the past 13 years, we have seen the positive impact of these grants in communities across Canada. They have been hugely beneficial in cultivating literacy skills and a lifelong love of reading in kids from coast-to-coast,” said Heather Reisman, chair of the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation in a press release.

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