How USMC assisted families in the GTA
Sharon Lee CONTRIBUTOR
Earlier this month from March 2 to 6, the University of St. Michael’s College (USMC) Office of Student Life partnered with First Book Canada to host a Pop-Up Book Distribution event. The goal of the event was to assist low-income families in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) by providing them with books to read.
The Pop-Up Book Distribution, which took place at Father Madden Hall, had over 20,000 brand new books generously donated by their publishers that were available to be picked up for free. Multiple recipient groups consisting of schools, community organizations, early childhood programs, and more arrived at Father Madden Hall to choose suitable books from various selections and deliver them to families and children in need.
The Mike reached out to Oriana Bertucci, the Director of Student Life, for insight on the event. “The beauty of the Pop-Up Distribution is that there will be a lot of loose books from different publishers, so there will be a lot of choice,” says Bertucci. “Recipient groups will be able to offer books to meet the multiple needs and ages of the populations they serve.” In this way, children are given the opportunity to have more access to the educational resources and programs that they need.
Students, staff, and faculty members were invited to volunteer at the Pop-Up Book Distribution. Volunteers included members from First Book Canada, the USMC Book & Media Studies program, Pi Beta Phi Fraternity for women and Alpha Delta Phi Fraternity. The volunteers helped the success of the event by setting up books and guiding recipient group representatives through the book shop.
The event focused on serving community organizations and schools around the GTA through the help of recipient groups assigned to each population. Each of the recipient groups serve children with disabilities or areas where 70% of children come from low-income families. In particular, USMC hosted a special reading celebration on March 5 in partnership with Rose Avenue Junior Public School, where author Cinders McLeod was invited to the event to read her book titled Spend It! Each child in attendance was given a copy of the book afterward.
First Book Canada is a non-profit national organization. Its mission is to help the lives of children by providing better access to educational opportunities. Throughout the year, First Book Canada looks for volunteers to help at the various events. More information about the organization, including the ways to donate and volunteer at its upcoming events, can be found at https://firstbookcanada.org/take-action/.[TM1]