Raymond Brooks, Arts Reporter
Textbooks and childhood classics were all the rage during the Early Childhood Education (ECE) student council’s book sale at Humber North.
Collecting more than 1,000 books from teacher and student donations, they were sold for under $3. The majority of the money raised will be donated to a community organization serving children and families in the Etobicoke community.
The organizer of the event, Pina Leo, said the event’s goal is strengthening community.
“Some of the proceeds are going to local school-age organizations and shelters, but the final decision will be made by the ECE students and faculty,” she said.
A significant donation came from a retired teacher, who offered 500 books.
“The event was a huge success thanks to our 21 volunteers,” Leo said.
One of those ECE student volunteers, Shayla Laforce, said they were given 15 boxes to sell at the start, with more added later in the day.
“Book genres include children, teen, softcover, hardcover, textbook and teacher’s resource,” Laforce said. “Part of the proceeds are also meant to go to the ECE council. Events like these are great because a lot of people think that they don’t like reading but once they see a book in front of them that is cheap to buy, they think, why not?”
A member of the council and ECE faculty, Shanice Simmonds said the program requires funding for a placement.
“This event is partially used to facilitate that. Another benefit is acquiring old textbooks at a good price, which is useful for teaching staff,” she said.
“Most of the books were donated by the faculty of the health sciences and our students,” Simmonds said. “Personally, I think it’s a really good thing because the money that’s going to go back into the ECE program, because we’re one of the programs that we require a lot of funding to be able to do our job and secure placements for our students.”
The book sale is usually held every year, but there was a gap after the event’s founder Carol Reid died in 2016.
Reid, a professor in the Early Childhood Education, established the ECE Resource Centre which provides ECE students with books, toys, puppets and art materials. A Carol Reid Resource Centre was established and the learning lab can be found on the third floor of E Building.
“This is the first year trying to pick the book sale back up to support ongoing initiatives and bring awareness to ECE issues. Social cuts have hurt the program in recent years,” Simmonds said.
“There was the petition that we were signing, a couple months back. The Liberal government put in a $2 (pay top up) on top of us, and the Conservatives are trying to take it away,” she said.
Simmonds said ECE’s are the first teachers children encounter.
“There’s a lot of responsibilities that go with us. A lot of students don’t realize that when they send their kids to daycare, they send their kids to the ECE program,” Simmonds said.
“There is the two-year diploma program and another year after that for special needs,” she said. “It’s a really big field and I’m just trying to make sure that the experience is fun, because it’s a fun program.”