There really is nothing better than a good book, and one Vancouver charity knows it.
Since 2012, A Good Book Drive has encouraged Vancouverites to donate new copies of their favourite kids’ book during the month of November in support of the city’s literacy programs. Started by Cory Ashworth and Lizzy Karp of Rain City Chronicles, the two created A Good Book after learning of the need for new reading material at Writers’ Exchange, a children’s literacy organization.
“It’s really important to honour kids, and give them books that could change their lives or impact their lives,” Ashworth told Vancity Buzz. “So we asked people to donate their one favourite book.”
Ashworth says fostering a love of good books changed his life, and he hopes the work done by A Good Book can help change the lives of today’s kids as well.
“Books always played a huge role in my life,” he says. “I just loved the pictures, and how [books] could take you somewhere else, and always inspire you. Often times if kids have teachers or one-to-one reading time, it’s nice for adults and kids to connect through books. My mum always read to me, it was a part of my childhood that had a huge impact on me.”
Drop sites have been established at locations around the city, including Collage Collage, Nelson the Seagull, The Juice Truck, and more. Since 2012 A Good Book Drive has donated over 3,500 new books to Vancouver literacy organizations, including Writer’s Exchange, Frontier College, and One to One to used in tutoring programs, writing workshops, and hospital room libraries.
Ashworth says while most book drives end up receiving people’s old and unwanted books, by asking for new copies of people’s favourite books they’re ultimately giving kids access to the best material possible.
“It’s more about quality over quantity,” he says. “Quantity is awesome, but if we can have quality books – the one book you think every kid should read – at the end of the drive we’re going to have such a powerful collection of books. If it inspired the donor, it’s definitely going to have the opportunity to inspire the kids that get their hands on them.”
A Good Book has expanded to Brooklyn in 2014, with a new drive in Toronto starting this year. To find the drop site nearest you, visit A Good Book’s website.