There’s some much-needed help on the way for Calgary kids who’ve been struggling with learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.
They’re getting a big boost with the return of a book bonanza.
The Calgary Reads organization is preparing for its annual fundraising book sale, the first it’s been able to hold since 2019.
“So, the pandemic, with two years of no book sale, that’s been hard on our little-engine-that-could organization,” Calgary Reads CEO Steacy Pinney said.
The organization has been missing out on the approximately $350,000 the sale raises each year, money that supports reading programs for kids.
Many young Calgarians have been struggling with literacy during COVID-19.
“All the kids in school, nowadays as soon as they get a sniffle, they have to go home — lots of learning loss is occurring, because children are not able to be in school” Pinney said. “Early childhood literacy has taken a big hit, for sure — this sale and the proceeds are more important than ever before.”
So, Calgary Reads is expanding the sale, going beyond the usual four-day sale to an 11-day event, which begins May 6 at the Calgary Curling Club.
1,200 volunteers are on board to make it all happen.
“Every April and May I make sure I take about two or three weeks from work, so that I can sign up for volunteering down here at the Big Book Sale,” longtime volunteer Brett Miles said.
Donors are also stepping up, bringing in books by the boxful.
“This is a good time to open up horizons to new things, after children have had this difficult time,” donor Janice Bowie said. “so new opportunities are very important.”
Calgary Reads will be accepting donations of books at the Calgary Curling Club up until May 1.
“We see the mountain of books here and we are thrilled,” Miles said. “The community has spoken and made the donations and will hopefully continue to make the donations over the next week.”
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