Spirit Club launches summer reading project

The BCSS Spirit Club hopes to keep people reading this summer with free book bags.

The Boundary Central Secondary School Spirit Club

The Boundary Central Secondary School Spirit Club

The Spirit Club at Boundary Central Secondary School is gearing up for another community-focused initiative – this time, dealing with books!

The club is putting together book packages to keep people reading over the summer months, but before they can send them out the club are asking for people to come forward and let them know where these packages are needed.

The student volunteers decided on the book bags during the fall semester. Since then they have been collecting donated books, going through their own collections and preparing to create customized packages for families.

“There are typically three to five initiatives [in a school year],” said one of the club’s teacher sponsors, Cindy-Anne Spelay. The Spirit Club is made up of 40 students from grades 8 to 12. “The kids are the driving force of it all. They come up with the ideas and make them happen.”

“Can we agree that having them ready for the end of the school year is good?” Spelay asked the classroom packed with students as they finalized plans for the donated books during one lunchtime meeting. “And is everyone good with using some of our money to buy bags and some kind of ribbon for the packages?”

Spelay consulted the students about the funds because, as it turns out, the club itself generates all of the money the students have to work with.

The students meet every Tuesday during their lunch break.

Some Midway locals might recall seeing Spirit Club members at their doors this past Christmas, volunteering for the food drive that helped support the Kettle River Lions Club Christmas hampers, as well as the West Boundary Food Bank.

Spelay works with the other teacher sponsors, Cameron Spelay and Kelly Fenwick-Wilson. The team offers direction and resources for the students in making their ideas a reality, whether that support is in the form of managing funds raised or bringing new inspiration to the table, or resources such as kiva.org, where the students are able to spread their money around the world through micro-financing for farmers and families in need.

“It’s amazing to see how much they really care about what they’re doing,” Spelay said. The club’s mission statement is to “build empathy through local and international charitable activities and improve school spirit through fun events.”

“I wanted to get to help people,” said Eric, a grade nine member of the club. He jokingly added “it looks good on a resume.”

With the students learning how to effectively be the change they wish to see in the world, they are learning valuable tools for future work and community engagement.

“Right now these books are the big focus,” Spelay explained. Ultimately, this project has reached the point where in order to go forward the club is going to need members of the community to give direction. “Once we know where they’re going, then we’re ready for the next step.”

Custom book packages for the residence of Boundary are being put together for anyone who would appreciate them. If you would like to receive one of these packages, all you need to do is contact Cindy-Anne at 250-449-2224, list the members of your family, age and interests, and let the club put together your book bag for the summer.