Submitted by Alison Zinni
Because Elmdale Public School is currently under renovation, the school’s much-loved BookFest will look a little different this year. The February 21-22 event will take place a few blocks away from its usual location, at Fisher Park/Summit Alternative Public School on Holland Avenue.
Members of Elmdale’s BookFest Committee have been working hard to ensure that the school’s iconic book sale runs smoothly and feels familiar to students, neighbours, book lovers and bargain hunters across the city who eagerly anticipate the annual event.
“BookFest patrons can look forward to the same high standard they’ve come to expect from the event,” assures Committee Chair Traceylyn Watchorn. “We know our regulars expect a large selection of expertly sorted books at great prices and we won’t let them down!”
Teachers, staff and volunteers at Elmdale are making sure students experience the excitement of the upcoming event even though they won’t see the books piling up in the halls or feel the buzz of book sorting around them.
“We are excited to keep the BookFest tradition alive in 2020 and look forward to hosting it again at Elmdale in 2021,” says Principal Isabelle Flannigan. “This is such a great opportunity for the community come together. Although we are not in our usual building, the spirit of Elmdale has come with us to our temporary site and will be felt at BookFest this year.”
In keeping with the tradition of promoting literacy and a love of books among young readers, students will be treated to readings from storytellers and authors like Mary Wiggins, Christos Aslanidis, Bob Plamondon and Charles Gordon in the week leading up to BookFest. This year, they will also hear from Parkdale Food Centre’s Karen Secord and have a special workshop with librarians Jennifer Johnson and Catherine Boyd.
A very dedicated group of parent volunteers has been organizing BookFest for decades as a fundraiser to support Elmdale’s educational programs and to raise money for local initiatives. While the faces of volunteers have changed over the years, the event has mostly stayed true to its roots.
The idea was originally conceived several decades ago by parent volunteers like Simone Binkhorst, who sadly passed away recently. This year’s volunteers will be thinking of Simone as we carry on the BookFest legacy.
Donations of gently used books are gratefully accepted and can be dropped off in the front lobby of Fisher Park until February 14.
Photo by jennifer leach hollander