On my bookshelves today, I still have books that I received as a child: an illustrated copy of Treasure Island from my granddad, a three volume set of classics bound in brown “leather” from my nana, a red leather and gold leaf Bible that I (inappropriately) received from a teacher. They take up space and I haven’t looked at them in years, but I would never get rid of them because they sparked my life-long love affair with books. When I look at them, I think how lucky I am that someone cared enough to spark this passion in me, and how well it has served my whole life.
So, when I was contacted at the beginning of the December by one of our friends at the Vancouver Sun Children’s Fund asking if we could use a donation of books, I enthusiastically said yes! I had no idea the treasure that was going to be dropped off to us though. Books, hundreds of beautiful, brand new books, with subjects ranging from vampire romances to nerdy kids winning the day, each designed to capture the imagination of a teen, the same way mine had been captured as a child.
Generosity like that has to be shared, and so, as classes were wrapping up this week, each Britannia student in the 8th grade received a book wrapped in ribbon, specially chosen for them by Homework Club and their English teachers from among the Children’s Fund treasure. The students were excited as carts of books rolled into classrooms with their names on them, and thrilled to run around the room comparing their books with the books of their classmates. Shouts of “lucky!” sometimes followed by horse trading ensued, as students sat down to look at the treasures they had received. For some, the real book enthusiasts, it was almost a religious experience. For others, it was the first time they had ever been gifted a book, and they were a bit stunned by the unusual experience.
Later, in class after class, I saw students reading the books they had received, students I didn’t even know read, and I wondered how many life-long love affairs we sparked this week?