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Book Week: Novel idea sees Colac Corps partner with local school

Colac Corps Ministry Assistant Josiah Van Niekerk (front) met with Colac South West Primary School students to launch the school’s book fair this week. Photo courtesy of the Colac Herald

This week is Children’s Book Week in Australia. It is a time when schools and public libraries celebrate books and Australian children’s authors and illustrators. The theme for Book Week 2023 is Read, Grow, Inspire.


Pre-loved books are finding new love thanks to a Colac Salvation Army initiative with a local primary school.

Colac South West Primary School, in south-west Victoria, is having a book fair this week, where students can each pick up a free second-hand book. The fair coincides with Book Week activities. Children will each get a chance to peruse an array of books on offer and take one home for free. They range from picture storybooks to longer books, educational and activity books. Most of the books have come from the Colac Corps, with school families also providing books to give away. Colac Corps Ministry Assistant Josiah Van Niekerk said the book fair provided a great use for pre-loved books that came to The Salvation Army’s thrift shop. Josiah said The Salvation Army received a lot of donated books and sold huge amounts through the shop, but some books had minor defects that made them unsellable but still readable.

He said the book fair meant The Salvation Army didn’t have to send those books to recycling. “It’s been great to be able to provide books for free. It keeps them out of being recycled.”

Josiah said he would like to offer the book fair program at other primary schools and Colac Secondary College in the future. * David McKenzie is a journalist with the Colac Herald.


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