As all followers of the Write to Read Project are aware, Rotary clubs around the province volunteer to partner with First Nations communities who want to participate in our literacy initiative. The clubs choose those projects that interest them, plan their own fundraising efforts, and then deliver books and computers and furniture to their new partner. In the case of the Mission Rotary club, their decision was to deliver furniture (library shelving) and books to the Lax Kw’alaams community, located in the school in the little village (700 people) about 50 km north of Prince Rupert.
Formerly known as Port Simpson, Lax Kw’alaams was once a thriving trading post. Fishing then became the main industry on the northern coast. But these days the fish are gone and unemployment is way up. The best and fastest way to help any community rise up out of poverty is through literacy. So the Mission club went of a mission to do just that.
Joining them in their initiative were two members of the Library Response Team, or LRT as they are called, retired professional librarians who teach the local aboriginal community library staff code and keep track of books. So the Mission club volunteers learned just that as they unloaded and shelved the books. 563.00 was for outdoors, 914.00 for sports, or something like that. Each book had its own place on the shelf, and as it turns out there were more books than shelving. The Lax Kw’alaams library, inside the school, now has several thousand books, starting from Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys to aboriginal stories. The kids, teachers and parents are thrilled and the Mission Rotary volunteers should be pleased as punch as well, for a job well done.
(Photos) From top left. Louise, Janet, Lyod, Roger and Bill