Kaitlyn and her teacher, Mme Marss looking through some of the books
Do you think 11 year olds can lead change? We know one who can and did. In early March, Kaitlyn, a Grade 5 student from Ecole Quadra Elementary, cleaned and bagged the 100000th book collected for the Victoria 1000 X 5 project. Kaitlyn spearheaded a drive that collected 600 books from two French Immersion grade 5 classes in just two weeks. What a leader!
Kaitlyn attended the Vancouver Me to We conference hosted by the Kielburger brothers in the fall of 2015. There each young person is encouraged to take action – at a local and/or global level. Their mission is to improve the lives of others and to demonstrate that young people have power to change outcomes. Kaitlyn’s Mom, Layla, had heard of 1000 X 5 and when she explained it to her, Kaitlyn knew she had a project that she could spearhead.
“I’ve always loved books;” Kaitlyn grinned “and the Bernstain Bears were my favourite when I was little. I didn’t know that lots of little kids don’t have night time stories because they don’t have books.”
Kaitlyn created a mini contest with the prize really the glory of which class could collect the most books within 2 weeks. There was also a Tim Horton’s treat provided by Kaitlyn’s Mom Layla. When I asked her how she kept the books coming, she said “I just kept reminding them and told them how much we had already done!” Even Kaitlyn was surprised at the final number of books: 600.
The volunteers who weekly sort and bag the books welcomed Kaitlyn and her Mom to the wonderful occasion of receiving our 100,000th donation. Kaitlyn toured our setup and cleaned and gift bagged that book.
What a great motivator you are Kaitlyn and what an inspiration to others to show what can be done just by trying. And I love your approach: “just keep reminding them and telling them how much we have already done”. In total, 1000 X 5 Children’s Book Recycling Project has donated over 220,000 books so that many more wee ones can experience the joy of a bed time story.