Books need home after fire fallout in Kamloops

Parkcrest elementary blaze and student movement that followed means Literacy in Kamloops loses space to store its many books

About a dozen Literacy in Kamloops (LINK) volunteers have stocked their homes with hundreds of books in the wake of the Parkcrest elementary fire of Sept. 5.

One couple, who look after two of the busier community bookshelves at the Tournament Capital Centre and at the downtown YMCA, are up to their necks in titles.

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“I think they took over 500 books home,” Literacy in Kamloops co-ordinator Fiona Clare told KTW.

After about eight years, the non-profit is being displaced from George Hilliard elementary, where it has stored thousands of books from the annual Heap the Honda event and from other donations that help line two-dozen Bright Red Bookshelves in schools and other venues in Kamloops.

Clare explained the non-profit, which does not have a home base, relies on community partners. It teamed up with the Twin Rivers Education Centre in George Hilliard to store its books. Now, as Parkcrest students move into George Hilliard and TREK students move to NorKam senior secondary, LINK is seeking a new permanent partner and home for its tomes.

“We’ve had probably up to 15,000 books stored here at TREK and then our volunteers come in and pick up books to take them to the bookshelves,” Clare said. “Now, we have to find a new home or community partner to help us with this program.”

A temporary stop-gap is in the works at Westsyde elementary. The re-opened school has space, at least for now. Clare said, however, the expectation is that the school will be full in the next year or two, meaning the books will again be on the move.

“We’re still looking for a space,” she said.

Literacy in Kamloops promotes literacy in the city via myriad programs, including the Bright Red Book Shelf, the Bright Red Book Bus, Unplug and Play, Parent-Child Mother Goose and a program that allows Kamloops Regional Correctional Centre inmates to record stories and give them to children at home.

Literacy in Kamloops also helps organize the annual Raise a Reader program, which will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 25.

On that day, notable Kamloopsians will fan out across the city, selling copies of KTW — which will include a Raise a Reader section. Raise a Reader Day is a national initiative run through Postmedia Network, with non-Postmedia organizations like Kamloops This Week getting involved.

Other Kamloops-area communities taking part include Barriere, Clearwater, Chase and Logan Lake.

All money raised goes to fund Literacy in Kamloops programs.

© Kamloops This Week


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