Marianne Okrainetz piles books out of boxes in the Marie Sharpe gym. The books are from a donation by First Book Canada and Scotia Bank that gave books to 10 schools affected by this summer’s wildfires.

Scotiabank donates 1,500 books to Cariboo Chilcotin students

On Dec. 11, teachers and a bank manager were busy pulling hundreds of books out of boxes, pairing them together and bundling them with a ribbon to tie it off.

It was a literacy assembly line, efficient in bringing boxes of books to children, just in time for Christmas.

The books come from an initiative by First Book Canada and Scotiabank, who has donated 15,000 new books to 10 schools in communities throughout British Columbia that were affected by this summer’s wildfires.

Just over 1,500 of those books went to Marie Sharpe Elementary School, to be given to the students to take home for the holidays. “Young people are our future leaders” said Aaron Mannella, the branch manager at the Scotiabank.

“Scotiabank’s goal is to help ensure that they have the necessary skills and resources they need to support their success.”

At the assembly line, teachers arranged books by age group, picking from the piles of princess books, fairy tales, ten minute stories and Star Wars adventure series.

The books were presented at a luncheon at Marie Sharpe on Dec. 14.

Related: Movember elementary school style

Students, unaware of the gift, filled the gym for their Christmas Turkey lunch, and were interrupted when their principal, Calvin Dubray, made the announcement.

The excitement was palpable.

“It’s just a nice gesture by them to recognize some communities need some support,” Dubray told the Tribune. “We’re just honoured that we were chosen.”

The school is donating the books they didn’t use to other schools in the district. Two books each will be going to students from kindergarten to Grade 4 from Naghtaneqed Elementary, Anahim Lake Elementary, Tatla Lake Elementary, Alexis Creek Elementary, Dog Creek Elementary and Horsefly Elementary.

“It’s a nice early Christmas gift and kids get to go home with some books they can read at home with their families and it’s just promoting literacy,” said Dubray.

Related: Halloween fright at Marie Sharpe Elementary School


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Diane Willis, helped by Sascha Katsura and Aya Katsura, as well as Scotiabank branch manager Aaron Mannella sort through books on Dec. 11, prepping them for a give away to every student in the school.

Nature Kindergarten student Max LaPointe receives a book from Scotiabank branch manager Aaron Mannella during Marie Sharpe Elementary School’s turkey lunch.

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