Browsing through their small library of children’s titles, nostalgia flooded back to Ed Hardy and his family.
“My mom was a children’s librarian so we had literally thousands of books in the house,” recalls Hardy, who kept many of those books for his own children.
Tucked between the pages of virtually every book are countless memories of family bonding over story time before bed.
It was, and still is, a routine at the Hardy household to read to the kids before bed, even though they are now getting old enough to read to themselves.
It’s a skill that the Vernon doctor feels strongly about, and wants more families to make a habit of reading to their kids.
“If you can’t read you really can’t do anything much in life,” said Hardy.
“There’s these kids in Grade 5 who are reading at a Grade 1 level and they just need some more one-on-one time.”
Which is why the Hardy family donated stacks and stacks of books to the Junction Literacy Centre’s Heap the Honda initiative, presented by VantageOne Credit Union.
“Lucky for us and all the other families in the North Okanagan who get to enjoy them,” said Wendy Aasen, Junction Literacy Centre executive director.
As part of VantageOne Family Literacy Week, Heap the Honda is a chance for families to clear out their own bookshelves of new and gently used books to share the gift of reading with other families.
Books can be dropped off at the Okanagan Science Centre, the Vernon library, Bannister Honda, all VantageOne locations or Heap the Honda at the Village Green Centre from Monday to Jan. 27. The Honda will roll over to the OSC for VantageOne’s Soup and Stories from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.
Everyone is invited to bring some books to the event in exchange for a home-cooked bowl of soup and story telling. Babies to five-year-olds can enjoy Mother Goose with Asia Dolling at 11 a.m., then Kiki will entertain three to five year olds at 11:30 a.m. followed by storytelling for five to nine year olds by author Wilf Pauls at noon and Gabe Newman at 12:30.
All of the books collected will help less fortunate families through the Books on the Bus program and the Give and Take bookshelves.
“Give and Take bookshelves, for example at the Salvation Army, are for families who can’t afford books,” said Aasen.
Bannister Honda’s Pat Loehndorf is proud to support the initiative which encourages more families to get familiar with the pages of a good book.
“With the electronic age, it’s even more critical,” said Loehndorf.
For more information visit www.junctionliteracycentre.ca or call 250-275-3117.