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Adopt a School program brings the joy of reading to students

This year, two schools in Nunavut are reaping the benefits of the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation's 2019 Adopt a School program.

Last fall, the program united with Indigo, Chapters and Coles stores to raise funds for Pond Inlet's Ulaajuk Elementary School and Arctic Bay's Inuujaq Elementary School.

These schools were selected based on their "high-need" for additional monetary support for their school library.

photo courtesy of Recbecca Hirtle
Grade 6 student Angela Ootoovak poses with some new books at Ulaajuk Elementary School in Pond Inlet.

Indigo had provided a free online registry, where the adopted schools could list 50 books. The goal was to bring new books and educational resources to the schools in order to enrich the lives of elementary students.

"We know the power that one book can hold and believe that every child deserves the opportunity to fall in love with reading," said Rose Lipton, Executive Director of the foundation.

This month Nunavut News followed up with some teachers to report the effects this program has had on the students. According to teacher Recbecca Hirtle from Ulaajuk Elementary School, the program has been "phenomenal." The school has recently started purchasing books online and is slowly receiving them.

"The students and teachers are very excited to have brand new beautiful books on our shelves," said Hirtle.

The program has allowed the school to create a new classroom library. Hirtle believes the new books will help increase literacy. Some students are very eager to read The Diary of a Wimpy Kid, said Hirtle.

"It has been so magical seeing my students' faces when they open the boxes and see the crisp new books. Books that they have been wanting to read and asked for," explained the Grade 6 teacher.

Some teachers are equally excited to order and receive the books. "When receiving their first box of books, one teacher said, 'this is better than Christmas!''' expressed Hirtle.

At the request of students, Hirtle has been ordering books about seals and hunting that reflect Inuit culture.

The school was given $10,105 to spend on books.

Teacher Paulette Campbell of Inuujaq Elementary School admitted the school has not yet officially purchased any books.

She mentioned the program allows the school to have a 30 per cent discount on Indigo purchases with a maximum of $6000 in savings.

Since the discount rate is valid until the next school year, the school is still exploring Indigo's inventory for books that may be of interest to the students, explained Campbell.
So far, the teacher has selected books like My Happy Book and Land Skills Big Book that are written in Inuktitut.

Campbell is happy with the book selection provided by Indigo.

"There are a good number of books that relate to the Inuit culture and environment, Inuit art books, and I was very happy to find Saqiyuq: Stories from the Lives of Three Inuit Women, by Nancy Wachowich," said the teacher.