George Jay Elementary receives grant for new books

An elementary school in Victoria is one of six schools in British Columbia to receive funding for new books to modernize and diversify its library.

The funding was announced Monday in a statement from the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation and is part of a nationwide grant program totaling $1.5 million benefiting 30 schools.

The total amount George Jay Elementary will receive will be announced Thursday at a special event at Royal Athletic Park and will be distributed over the next three years.

The Indigo Love of Reading Foundation says the grants are intended to help tackle declining literacy rates across the country and “invest in the next generation of Canadians.”

“Canadian public school library budgets allow for less than one-third of a book per child and up to 30% of third graders fail to meet provincial reading standards across Canada,” the foundation said.

The foundation says the 30 schools that have been selected as grant recipients represent a range of communities across Canada.

“This year’s Literacy Fund grant recipients represent a diverse cross section of communities and backgrounds. We are working with more First Nations communities than ever before, as well as schools in urban centers and rural areas,” said Rose Lipton, Executive Director of the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation.

The Greater Victoria School District says 90% of the grant funding will be used for books to support library and literacy initiatives in schools, with all books purchased from Indigo.

The remaining 10% will be for other things like library upgrades to support technology or storage.

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