Lethbridge Public Library’s main branch downtown hosted a reading tent event Thursday, aiming to help get free books to all ages and engage in reading and writing skills.
The event is offered throughout summer with many opportunities to help spread awareness on literacy skills needed for everyday life.
“Frontier College is a non-profit literacy program all across Canada. We work in schools during the school year to help kids improve their reading skills. Plus, during summer, we do summer camps and reading camps. Today at the library, we are doing a reading tent where we bring free books for families to take home, and they can take as many as they want. We also have some colouring activities for the kids, so they can sit here and read if they want to or just colour. Coming and going as they please,” said Joanne Hartigan, Lethbridge coordinator for Frontier College.
“It’s an event where families can come and choose books and take them home. This summer I think we’ve already given away around 1,700 books. It’s really good to give kids the opportunity to read.”
“The first time we had Frontier College here this summer, we had over 100 kids here and they gave away over 110 books. Which was a fantastic response from the public,” said Barbara Longair, manager of Children’s Services at the library.
With great turnout the events see many returning families ready to come back and grab more books to add to their reading list.
“A lot of the parents, I’ll see them at more than one event. They enjoy them, coming back for different events to see if there’s different choices and books the next time. We have some that come regularly to all of them, which is really nice,” said Hartigan, noting the books are all brand new and donated by Scholastic Books.
“At Frontier College our first line of our motto is that we believe that literacy is a right of everybody. We realize in Canada that access to that it’s not always available. Most people think it’s easily available to everybody, but for a lot of families it isn’t. What we are doing with these events is giving people in the public a chance to come out who need the resources and can get them for free. Because a lot of people also can’t afford to buy their children books on a regular basis,” said Hartigan.
“The books are all age appropriate, and we just hope that people will come in and take advantage of being able to take a variety home.”
Ryan Clarke, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Lethbridge Herald