At the instigation of an international student at Burnaby Central Secondary, a group of students collected almost 1200 used books to send to children who are learning English overseas.
The idea came from Alivia Truong who is from Vietnam. She noticed that in her home city of Hue, there was a large demand for English books, but many children had barriers – financial or otherwise – to getting them. She proposed to Burnaby Central’s Business Club the idea of a book drive to support English fluency for children in Vietnam. That idea grew into a team that the students named Pages to Places. Here’s how they describe their mission:
We know that education is the gateway to opportunity, but limited resources prevent access to quality learning. As a result, Vietnamese students’ English exposure is limited to dry grammar and vocabulary lessons which are less applicable to daily life. We seek to overcome this by donating lightly used books and shipping them overseas. Donating these books will inspire children and nurture their passion for English.”
The books they collected range from picture books for younger readers to fiction for older students. The donations will go to three schools in Vietnam. In order to get the books to learners there, the students in Pages to Places connected with the Vietnamese Embassy in Canada to arrange to have the books taken on a government flight.
Pages to Places are already planning future efforts to inspire children’s learning in more countries.
See the stories about the group in the media, and hear the interview on CBC Radio with Alivia:
Burnaby students collect over 1,100 English books to support language learning in Vietnam
CBC News: Early Edition, June 28, 2021
Burnaby students mobilize to save Vietnamese kids from boring English lessons
Burnaby Now, June 22, 2021
Posted July 2021