Volunteer Feature: 1000×5 Literacy Project

Celebrating Volunteer Week by Highlighting the Work of 1000×5, a Children’s Literacy Project

Volunteers make a difference to ensure children in our region have the chance to hear 1000 books by age five.

1000×5 volunteers helping clean, package, and redistribute gently used books for early readers.

This year’s Student Trustee Representatives—a group of highly motivated and passionate students from across the Greater Victoria School District—identified mental health and wellness as a core area that students were interested in learning more about, especially in the realm of existing community resources.

In our schools, we are so grateful for each teacher, administrator, EA, counselor, and student support staff that go above and beyond for our students. Often, behind the scenes and beyond the walls of our district schools, there are even more volunteers, individuals, and groups supporting our learning community.

One such group includes the volunteers that run the 1000×5 Childrens’ Book Recycling Project.

The 1000×5 project supports literacy within our district and aims to support families with enabling their children to hear 1,000 stories by the time they turn five.

“We have estimated that if children hear 1,000 stories—not always 1,000 different stories—before they go to school, they’re going to be better prepared and have book knowledge,” says Eileen Eby, 1000×5 Project Coordinator. “Those years are crucial. You can’t go back and duplicate those early years.”

Gently used picture books and books for early readers are donated by families that no longer need them, dropping them off at designated pink tubs in Elementary schools across the Capital Region. Over 40 different schools and agencies collect books and monetary donations for the project.

Pink tubs are placed in Elementary schools across the district where donations are collected.

Once the books make their way to the group of volunteers, the journey to their new home begins.

“Our group of volunteers go through the tubs of books, clean them, and give them a little love if they need it, and then we sort them in the age groups we think they will fit in,” says Loralee Sealey, 1000×5 volunteer. “Getting books out to families is what’s critical in order to support literacy, create bonds between child and caregiver or parent, and to foster a love of books.”

The various stages of a donated book that arrives at the 1000×5 project including restoration, labelling, wrapping, and buddling them for various community agencies.

The project provides books to 27 different agencies in our community that need the extra support to provide literacy to their young children.

Thank you to the many volunteers that continue to make this project successful, investing over 9,000 hours of volunteer time to distribute more than a total of 500,000 books to new families across Greater Victoria, Saanich, and Sooke school districts. Thank you for supporting literacy in our community!

Donors and 1000×5 volunteers work together to provide books for local families.

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Greater Victoria School District No. 61


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