Love of books will bring together a pair of youth groups in a partnership created by Oak Bay High grad Clara Bradley.
The third-year member of Rotaract, a Rotary affiliate club at the University of Victoria, wanted to take on a leadership role this year, so signed on as the literacy chair of the group.
“I’ve always been a big fan of literacy. I’ve grown up reading,” Bradley said.
She reached out, as a former member of the Interact club in high school, to the current Oak Bay youth to create a book drive for the 1000×5 children’s book recycling project.
“I really like kids so I thought this would be a good way to give back and help them,” said Interact Club member Nicole Quast.
“I love to read,” the Grade 9 student added. “My mom would read us two or three books a night and I really like to read now.”
The 1000×5 program gathers books which are disbursed through various agencies throughout Greater Victoria in a bid to have every child in the region read 1,000 books by the time he or she is five years old.
Bradely notes “there are so many other aspects aside from literacy.” Reading to babies promotes bonding, stimulates imagination, develops listening skills and contributes to early learning.
Rotaract and Interact members will gather new and gently used books suitable for children under five years old in front of the Oak Bay High building on Cadboro Bay Road from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Feb. 28. They also welcome cash donations to purchase books.
The book drive is timely, according to the president of the Rotary Club of Oak Bay.
“March is literacy month for Rotary,” explained Jim Force.
Over the past three years of the partnership, he said, they’ve raised $15,000 to purchase and donate about 3,000 books.
“It’s been a really good partnership,” he said. “1000×5 doesn’t have the ability to fundraise, Rotary does.”
To find out about other ways to donate, email firstname.lastname@example.org.