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Love rebuilds a library in Clark’s Harbour school


CLARK’S HARBOUR - “Imagine what our library looked like before,” said Clark’s Harbour Elementary school principal Lesley Smith.  “And come take a look at it now.”

Just a few months ago, the school library had nothing but rows of bare, empty shelves.

A leak in the roof led to every single book being tossed out due to mould issues.

More than $4000 worth of books was destroyed.

A heartbreaking moment, Smith said, for teachers, parents but especially students.

Over the Christmas break, the first of the donations began to trickle in.

As word spread on the school’s lack of books, donations started to pour in.

“The support has blown me away,” said Smith.  The “pay it forward movement” that began in Carmen Huskilson’s name, a five-year-old girl whose death sparked a movement throughout the community and country, began supporting the cause.

And then others began to donate books in loved ones names.

Some came even as far away as Australia.

“Here on the island there has been an outpouring of amazing support,” said Smith,  “by moms and dads, teachers, businesses and local government.”

It did not take long for the shelves to fill up, said Smith, and now  - with more than 3,000 titles  - the library opened its doors to students April 8.

The library’s shelves are filled with vibrant books, colourful round cushions waiting in a stack for children to settle in with their favourite read.

“We tried to make it a rich collection for readers at all levels,” said Smith.

They are sure to find their most-loved authors and books because the children had provided a wish list to donors.

“All of the books were chosen because they love them,” said Smith.  “Kids gave a lot of input in what they wanted.”

The choosing, ordering, organizing and processing of the thousands of books was made possible by a small but dedicated group of parent volunteers lovingly dubbed the “nerd herd.”

“They have worked beyond belief to have the library set up,” said Smith.

Some donations received were anonymous cards with gift certificates to popular bookstores. A few children threw birthday parties where they requested new books for the library instead of gifts.

“When the leak happened it was my worst nightmare,” said Smith.  “But turned into my dream… to see the response and passion that went into this… it was so good to see.”

Just a few months ago, the school library had nothing but rows of bare, empty shelves.

A leak in the roof led to every single book being tossed out due to mould issues.

More than $4000 worth of books was destroyed.

A heartbreaking moment, Smith said, for teachers, parents but especially students.

Over the Christmas break, the first of the donations began to trickle in.

As word spread on the school’s lack of books, donations started to pour in.

“The support has blown me away,” said Smith.  The “pay it forward movement” that began in Carmen Huskilson’s name, a five-year-old girl whose death sparked a movement throughout the community and country, began supporting the cause.

And then others began to donate books in loved ones names.

Some came even as far away as Australia.

“Here on the island there has been an outpouring of amazing support,” said Smith,  “by moms and dads, teachers, businesses and local government.”

It did not take long for the shelves to fill up, said Smith, and now  - with more than 3,000 titles  - the library opened its doors to students April 8.

The library’s shelves are filled with vibrant books, colourful round cushions waiting in a stack for children to settle in with their favourite read.

“We tried to make it a rich collection for readers at all levels,” said Smith.

They are sure to find their most-loved authors and books because the children had provided a wish list to donors.

“All of the books were chosen because they love them,” said Smith.  “Kids gave a lot of input in what they wanted.”

The choosing, ordering, organizing and processing of the thousands of books was made possible by a small but dedicated group of parent volunteers lovingly dubbed the “nerd herd.”

“They have worked beyond belief to have the library set up,” said Smith.

Some donations received were anonymous cards with gift certificates to popular bookstores. A few children threw birthday parties where they requested new books for the library instead of gifts.

“When the leak happened it was my worst nightmare,” said Smith.  “But turned into my dream… to see the response and passion that went into this… it was so good to see.”

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