350 Berkeley Street (Gerrard & Parliament) Toronto, ON M5A 2X5
Hours of Operation: Mon-Thurs 10am-6pm / Fri: 10am-3pm
- To supply children with books free of charge and function as a facilitator of literacy.
- To provide children from low income neighbourhoods with books of their own.
- To promote independent study by providing children the opportunity to choose their own books about what interests them.
- To promote the communal aspect of literature through the sharing of books (by being donated by one person and given to another).
- To spread the love of literature to those that would not have the opportunity to fall in love with it in the first place.
Notable past and current activities:
- An Extraordinary Evening at CBB: Shannon Neufeldt and the non-status Mi’kmaq Elder Dr. Bob Phillips led the Kairos Blanket Exercise in order to foster a better understanding of the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people (more info about the exercise available at www.kairoscanada.org/).
- Book of the Month (BOM) Club: Every month the CBB posts a book on their online blog, and in these sessions children get to come into the office and discuss that book (recommended ages 8-12).
- An Evening with Author: CBB sometimes invites the author of the BOM—most recently Elizabeth Hay—to visit their office. These events allow for CBB to sell tickets, and the entirety of the proceeds is used to purchase books for the bank.
- 1000 in 1 Day / Storybook Photo Booth: The CBB sets up a photo booth with props from famous storybooks in order to obtain 1000 books in one day from the visitors.
- Stories for Students: Groups of students from a school or day care come to the store to hear and talk about a story together for free, and then each gets to choose a book to take home.
- Books Beyond Berkley Street: CBB delivers books to schools in low-income neighbourhoods throughout the GTA, as well as books to other community book banks outside the GTA. In 2014 they distributed 50 000 books this way (“Charity Intelligence Agency”).
- B3 Program: CBB provides books to local medical facilities for physicians to give to parents during every visit, so they can stimulate the development of reading skills through parents reading to children that are too young to read on their own
Ways to get involved:
- DONATE YOUR USED BOOKS! (Drop them off during the above hours of operation)
- Volunteer as a general worker or for one of their specific events.
- Financial Donations (by website/phone/cheque by mail) and Tax Receipts for all $20+ donations.
- Run your own book drive for CBB—detailed instructions and step by step kit available at www.childrensbookbank.com/how-you-can-help/how-to-run-a-book-drive/
Information compiled by Amritpal Singh.