Comox Valley, B.C. – Carol Walters, a Comox Valley Schools Literacy Support Teacher, is
doing some creative work with literacy helping children both near and far.

Walters belongs to a network of teachers on Vancouver Island who recently took on a literacy
project to create books for young learners.

The books are designed to enhance place-based education whereby students are immersed in
local sites, animals, and experiences using language and images that engage young readers.

Walters’ network consists of 10 teachers who meet five times a year for various projects. One of
their recent undertakings has brought the joy of reading into the hands of Vancouver Island
students and ended up being shared across the world.

Approximately 70 beautiful books have been created using donated images along with those
from Creative Common sites. These books were produced in the school district’s in-house
publication services, the Print Shop by graphic artists. While the focus of their project is
Vancouver Island, these books were shared thousands of miles away in Kenya.

The books were delivered in person by Walters’ network of fellow VI educators during their
annual trip to Africa this past summer. But the images in these books weren’t of Vancouver
Island. Instead, images local to the African children were inserted into this book format using
photos from the previous year’s trip.

Walters says that the Vancouver Island Literacy Network set out to create affordable books for
emergent readers in school districts across the Island.

“Little did we know the same format would be used to make books that would travel across the
world and end up in the hands of children who normally never see books of this quality,” said
Walters. “We heard the African children literally stroked the pages and touched them to their
faces!”

Typically, books of this quality cost approximately $10 each, but our print shop is able to
produce them for a third of that price. Because emergent books need to be replaced regularly,
this work offers affordable classroom options with local content not normally seen in this type of
book.

For more information, see page 13 in the Print Shop 

Mary Lee

Manager of Communications, Comox Valley Schools (School District 71)