Book drive raises more than $8,700 for literacy projects

Stephen Brun
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SUMMERSIDE – Totals are in from this year’s book drive for literacy, with the Journal Pioneer and the Rotary Club of Summerside collecting more than $8,700 last weekend.

The 5th annual book drive for literacy raised more than $8,700 last weekend.

The fifth annual book sale took place over four days at the Shipyard Market, with all proceeds going directly to programs that foster literacy on the Island.

The sale took place a week after Prince County residents generously donated thousands of books for the initiative.

“We’re always pleased with the community support we get for the book sale, not only in dropping the books off, but also coming back and purchasing the books,” said Journal Pioneer publisher Sandy Rundle.

“We like partnering with the Rotary Club of Summerside because we both have vested interests in literacy in the area and there are some core literacy projects that we work on as well.”

The $8,761.44 raised last weekend will be split evenly between the Journal Pioneer’s Newspapers in Education fund, and the Rotary Club’s literacy programs.

Projects that received funding from Newspaper in Education last year included the Summerside Church of the Nazarene’s “Reading to learn, reading for life” program, and the Mi’kmaq Confederacy of P.E.I. for the Dolly Parton Imagination Library.

Rotary was able to donate to its Read Along project, which provides books to local Grade 3 and kindergarten classrooms. The club also donated to the Dolly Parton Foundation, which provides books to pre-elementary students in P.E.I.’s native communities.

“It’s a very good initiative from the Journal and it really allows us to support literacy projects here in Summerside, and actually throughout the world. It’s terrific to raise that kind of money over a weekend in Summerside,” said Nelson Snow, president of the Rotary Club of Summerside. “When this opportunity came along to partner with the Journal, we saw it as a great fit, and we were able to provide some of the volunteers to help get it organized and to man the sale. It’s been a great partnership.”

This year’s sale also offered readers a new location. With Holland College now in the former Waterfront Mall, the Shipyard Market became the book sale’s new venue.

“We were really pleased this year to partner with Tourism Summerside and utilize the Shipyard Market… and it was an excellent venue,” said Rundle. “Lighting was great, the layout worked really well and we had a lot of positive comments from folks in buying books.”

Most positive though, was the opportunity to raise thousands of dollars for an issue that affects many in the province.

“It’s no secret that on Prince Edward Island literacy is an issue, and it’s recognized from the school level through to the government. We wanted to try to give back and raise some funds so that we could help literacy on the Island, and with a book sale it was a natural fit,” Rundle added. “Reading is one of the cores to our community and our society. As a newspaper, if we’re able to help our community with literacy projects, that’s what it’s all about.”

Organizations: Holland College, Rotary Club of Summerside, Newspaper in Education Summerside Church of the Nazarene Dolly Parton Imagination Library Dolly Parton Foundation

Geographic location: Prince Edward Island, Prince, Summerside

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