Łı́ı́dlı̨ı̨ Kų́ę́ Elementary to receive $20,000 for new books

Fort Simpson’s elementary school has been selected to receive grant funding from the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation to replace worn books and expand its collection.

Marcia Howell-Ricketts, who teaches the second grade at Łı́ı́dlı̨ı̨ Kų́ę́ Elementary, set the wheels in motion for the application last year. “We’re ecstatic, we’re very thankful,” she said.

“I’m really looking forward to working with the kids and getting these books into the school.”


Howell-Ricketts says the process of ordering the books will be collaborative, to ensure every student at the school gets a say in what they want to read.

“This will be big for our library,” said principal Marty Leach. “It really needs updating, and we hope over the course of the next three years we can bring in books that better represent our students.”

Łı́ı́dlı̨ı̨ Kų́ę́ Elementary will be one of 31 schools across Canada to receive a combined $1.5 million in funding for their libraries. The organization says the donation is part of a pledge to improve literacy rates and equalize access to books.

“Through the Literacy Fund Grant, we strive to help close education gaps and inequalities that unfortunately exist in Canada’s education system today,” said Rose Lipton, executive director of the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation, in a press release.

The grant program, which has been running since 2004, offers 90 percent of its funding as a credit to order books from Indigo. The remaining 10 percent funds other literacy initiatives.


Pauline Gilmour, regional literacy program coordinator for the Dehcho Divisional Education Council, said reading material that goes beyond textbooks in classrooms is important.

“There was a similar grant at some other schools in the region previously, and that’s been great, to be able to purchase new books for all our different programs – and we’re very fortunate to have those – but this grant will allow us to buy books that are just fun,” Gilmour explained.

“I think that’s wonderful. It just fosters that love of reading… I guess it’s in the name of the grant.”