The Literacy Committee wanted to involve our club with an international literacy activity and in October we started to organize the collection of gently used or new backpacks, computer bags, or small bags with straps and zippers, paper, notebooks, pens, pencils, crayons and any suitable school supplies which would be delivered to the Rotary Club of Grand Bend during one of their container loading events at either the Hensall Co-Op Warehouse in Exeter or the Thames Valley School Board Warehouse in London.
Our club will deliver the bags and school supplies to the Rotary Club of Grand Bend to be included in their Global Literacy Project. Surplus school supplies, furniture and books are salvaged from schools that have been closed in our area. These supplies that would otherwise have been destined for landfill sites have been shipped to South Africa, Haiti and Guyana where many schools have very little.
Once we heard about the Town of St. Marys participating in the #Giving Tuesday event, we decided to extend our collection efforts to be involved in this community event. We have three locations in town where anyone can drop off bags or supplies. If it's more convenient for our club members, you may bring the bags and school supplies that you wish to donate to any club meeting. Ron Aitken and Pierre Chateauvert have spoken with the three schools in town to check for their interest in being involved with our activity. We have made arrangements to discuss further in January and will set up presentation dates. We have made arrangements with the Library to set aside for us any children's books that were not sold during their sale of purged books. Any copies of old children's magazines will also be given to us. 
Heather Ellis set up the collection boxes with posters at Vet Purchasing, Meridian Credit Union and St. Marys Public Library on Nov 21st until Feb 28th. During this time period Grant Barton will check on the boxes and remove the school bags and supplies as the boxes fill up and will store these items in his shed. The committee will sort these donations and ensure that each bag has a few school supplies in them. If necessary the club will purchase school supplies to go into the bags. 
Kyle Burnside has agreed to post information about this literacy activity on Facebook and Instagram to keep the community informed. We will also submit a few articles about this activity to the Independent newspaper. 
The schoolchildren in the photo are now using desks and chairs provided through earlier shipments by the Global Literacy Project.
Let's work together to help the Rotary Club of Grand Bend with their Global Literacy Project. Don't forget our activity will complement their project. 
 Look! We already have some bags and school supplies!
Let's work together to help the Rotary Club of Grand Bend with their Global Literacy Project. Don't forget our activity will complement their project.