Ellendale Elementary School principal Rabinder Sull-Bains, left, with parent advisory council secretary Lauren Di Iorio in the school’s library. Ellendale was adopted by Indigo at Grandview Corners for the annual Adopt a School program which is a fundraiser to stock high-needs schools’ libraries. (Photo: Lauren Collins)

South Surrey Indigo ‘adopts’ school

Adopt a School program fundraises for new library books, resources

A North Surrey-area school will have the opportunity this fall to purchase new books and educational resources.

Ellendale Elementary is participating in the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation’s 2018 Adopt a School program with the Grandview Corners Indigo store in South Surrey fundraising on the school’s behalf. According to a news release from Indigo’s Adopt a School program, the high-needs school is in “very short supply” of new books and educational resources.

On the Adopt a School website, adopted schools have the opportunity to provide a bit of information about the school.

Principal Rabinder Sull-Bains said Ellendale’s parent advisory council fundraising efforts over the past few years have mostly been focused on a new playground, but after the PAC received some funding grants for the playground, Sull-Bains said there was a bit left over to get to work on updating the new library.

PAC secretary Lauren Di Iorio said the PAC was going to apply for a Love of Reading grant, but instead heard about the Adopt a School program.

RELATED: Indigo donates $30K to Surrey’s Bridgeview Elementary

Sull-Bains said some grants are “hundreds of thousands of dollars” and Ellendale doesn’t have the population to support that. The elementary school has a population of about 140 students.

Di Iorio said Indigo counts the book goal for each school based on the population of the school. As of Sept. 26, Di Iorio said the school had doubled its book count.

“Indigo sets it (the goal) as one book per student. They want to put one new book in every student’s hand. We surpassed that goal and our new goal is three books in everyone’s hands,” said Di Iorio, adding that the school is “desperately” in need of new books.

Sull-Bains said Ellendale is a tiny and old school. Just last year, she said, the school got a $50,000 learning commons grant from the school district to update its library.

“That’s all great, but then we had no books.”

Around the same time, Sull-Bains said, the librarian also got rid of “hundreds of books” because they were outdated. Some of the books were from the 1990s, Sull-Bains said.

By being adopted by the Grandview Corners location, Sull-Bains said, the school will continue to be able to foster a love of reading which she said is very important in the digital world.

“What we kind of fail to realize, is kids actually really do enjoy the tangible books. There is still a love for reading.”

The Indigo Adopt a School program is an annual three-week fundraising campaign in the fall.

During the program, each participating school can use the Adopt a School online fundraising platform to raise funds for their library. In addition, a select number of schools will also be adopted by an Indigo, Chapters, or Coles store and will receive every dollar raised by that store during the program. The Adopt a School program values a book at $10.

Di Iorio said the PAC will be at the Indigo store Sunday (Sept. 30) to set up a table where people can buy specific books that the kids like or need, and the PAC will get the books at the end of the day.

From Sept. 15 to Oct. 7 people can donate online or in-store. The online platform allows Canadians to support a local school with no donation required. Supporters can share a story on a school’s online page or “heart” a story, which will spark a book donation to the selected school, up to 20 books for each school.

Once the Adopt a School program closes, each participating school will receive every dollar raised in the form of an eGiftcard and each school will also receive 30 percent off books at Indigo, Chapters and Coles when using program donations.

There are more than 600 schools in Canada involved in the program. Ellendale Elementary is the only school in Surrey that’s been adopted, but Forsyth Road and Harold Bishop elementary schools are participating online.


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