Coral Harbour school gets $20,000 grant to overhaul library
Sakku School gets funds for Inuktitut books, e-readers and community programming
Coral Harbour’s Sakku School is one of 30 elementary schools across Canada to receive money to give its library a facelift.
The school will have access to $20,000 over three years, announced the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation on June 16.
The money will go towards things like Inuktitut books, e-readers, audiobooks and new community programming.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity to fill the shelves with culturally relevant books,” said Rose Lipton, the executive director of the foundation.
Lipton said leaders at Sakku School also showed interest in getting more graphic novels to get reluctant readers on board.
“I think that’s the great part of the partnership,” she said. “Helping schools find the books they’re looking for to meet the needs of their students.”
The money can also go to refurbishing the library or creating community programs.
The funding is intended to be “transformational,” Lipton said. “It’s not just a small piece.”
Coral Harbour has a population of about 975, according to the Government of Nunavut.
In its application for the grant, Sakku School pitched the idea to start up a community lunchtime reading program where students and their parents could gather in the library to hear stories read by elders.
“Many of the schools we work with have books that are 30 years old, or tattered or aren’t going to be engaging,” she said. “It’s not just about having a book, it’s about having the right book at the right time.”
Lipton said a love of reading is important for students’ education, but also to inspire them and help them find their passion in life, whether that be art, science, or other topics they can explore through reading.
At least 90 per cent of students at Sakku School can speak Inuktitut, but with limited proficiency, language loss is one of the primary literacy challenges for students, according to a new release from the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation.
“With most students not mastering English or Inuktitut, 90% of students are below grade level in reading and writing,” the release stated.
Sakku School staff were not available to be interviewed as they are on summer break, but the Department of Education is “pleased” they received the grant, department spokesperson German Bernal said in an email statement.
“Literacy skills build a foundation that enables children and youth to experience the world and express themselves,” he said.
Schools in Igloolik, Chesterfield Inlet, Kugaaruk, Rankin Inlet and Iqaluit have previously received funding from the foundation, Bernal said.
Indigo pledged more than $1 million to high-need elementary schools across Canada over the past year to make sure kids had access to books during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a news release.
Coral Harbour was the only Nunavut community to receive funding this year.