Committed to reading
Raven Hydronic Supply Ltd. continues its fundraising initiatives through Room to Read.
Ashley Bouchard, Raven Supply’s project manager, returned from Palpa, Nepal in March 2015, following the construction of Shree Madan Asrit Lower Secondary School. “There was a new, two-room section of the school built – one, a Grade 1 class, and the other, a library for the whole school,” said Bouchard.
Eleven teachers make up the school’s faculty. They serve students in pre-school to Grade 8 – 108 girls and 98 boys. Subjects include science, social studies, reading, writing, Nepali and the local dialect of Nepali.
“After the welcoming ceremony, my sister and I were then invited to sit in with the Grade 1 class, where the students began practising the alphabet and sounding out words,” said Bouchard of the experience. “There was no English taught in the school. However, you could see the sense of pride in the students’ eyes when the teacher was encouraging them.”
Devised by Raven Supply owner Brian De Jaegher, the fundraising model was initially meant to only include vendors. However, customers are now also part of the initiative.
“We fundraise half the amount with our vendors by asking for a discount or a cheque from our customers, and then we match it at Raven,” Bouchard said.
Vendors were asked to provide a discount on one order per year, with Raven Supply matching the funds and donating them to the Vancouver Chapter of Room to Read – a non-profit that strives for global access to quality education for children.
“Room to Read chooses schools that need the most in these areas,” Bouchard said.
Raven Supply is currently on its third fundraising initiative, with a library in India and 50 one-year scholarships for girls valued at $17 500 still on the way.
In 2014, Raven Supply also raised funds for another two libraries in Nepal, along with teacher training. The libraries are designed to fuel a friendly learning environment for children and offer both English and Nepali books and puzzles. The company has donated more than $74 000 to Room to Read since 2013.
Editor’s note: At press time there was no word as to the state of the lower secondary school following the earthquake that struck Nepal on Saturday, April 25. Children in Nepal do not attend school on Saturday. All Room to Read staff were accounted for after the earthquake.
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