School libraries play a major role in children’s academic success by boosting their drive to learn. For some kids, the library can be the first place they discover a love of reading.

Nearly 90 per cent of Canadians agree that school libraries are important to children’s learning and development; however, most high-needs elementary schools do not have the necessary funds to provide students with adequate access to books. In fact, the average book available at most school libraries is 15 years old or more, and an ongoing lack of school funding has left bookshelves badly depleted. In 2001 alone, teachers spent nearly $143 million of their own money to buy books and learning materials. Simply put, with libraries facing these conditions, kids are less inspired to read.

1Organizations like the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation work to address the under funding of high-needs elementary school libraries and promote children’s literacy. The Foundation’s annual ‘Adopt a School’ program connects Canadian schools with Indigo stores in their communities to raise funds, which helps transform school libraries with new books and educational resources.

Why School Libraries Matter

1. Access to Books: Kids growing up in low-income areas may not have access to a variety of books at home, if any at all. Libraries in high-needs elementary schools play a big role in providing children with the opportunity to read.

2. Reading Sparks Imagination: Exposure to books and reading programs at school gives kids more opportunities to use their imagination.

3. Not Everything is Available Online: With so much information available online, it’s easy to forget the value of real, physical books. Not everything exists in a digital format and school libraries have key resources that cannot be found on the Internet.

4. Breaking Language Barriers: Canadian school libraries often have access to dual-language books, which can boost a child’s literacy when English is their second language.

To support an elementary school in your area through the Indigo Adopt a School program, visit your local Indigo store or go online to adoptaschool.indigo.ca to donate.

 

Written by Cleo Neufeld

Cleo Neufeld

Before meeting the love of her life, Cleo was a single mother to a beautiful little girl for many years. She shares her expertise in single parenting, building a relationship, living on a budget and more.