On Saturday, December 3rd, all the fans at the Red Deer Rebels home game had the opportunity to donate books to a great cause, Books on the Bus (BOTB), a grassroots literacy program that brings reading materials to transit riders in the City of Red Deer. This program, delivered in partnership with City of Red Deer Transit, Red Deer Public Library, City of Red Deer Social Planning, Family and Community Support Services (FCSS), COSMOS, and the CAPRA Literacy Action Committee, ensures that books will be placed on City transit buses for people to read and enjoy free of charge, thus removing the barrier of access to reading material.
Prior to the game, the book drive was promoted through social media, a news release and with specially made BOTB bookmarks handed out to fans at the 2 games prior to the book drive. The BOTB logo was up on the Jumbotron throughout the game, with a goal to collect 1500 books. Sobeys South also distributed the bookmarks to their customers.
The BOTB bus was parked outside the Centrium prior to game time, along with the COSMOS trailer, to collect the donations. Volunteers collected approximately 900 new and used paperback books for children, youth and adults donated by the Rebel’s fans. There was also approximately $250.00 in cash donations that will be used to purchase more children’s books, which are always in short supply.
Red Deerians needn’t wait for an invitation or special event to donate to BOTB, though. Over the first 9 months of this initiative, over 7,000 books have been donated and distributed on city buses and mobile book carts located at Sorenson Station. Donations of books can be made at the GH Dawe Centre, the Recreation Centre or the Collicutt Centre. The BOTB program would like to add more buses, but require a dependable and steady supply of books as well as increased volunteer capacity to make this a reality. You can volunteer to sort books and get them on the buses by contacting CAPRA at info (at) capovertyreduction . ca
Thanks, Red Deer, for the great donations; Enjoy your ride, and your read!