Posted by: jockmackenzie | October 18, 2013


YIMBY stands for Yes, In My Back Yard. While teaching seven and eight-year olds at Reading College (a summer program for students reading below grade level), I discovered many don’t have books in their homes. My kids had bookshelves filled with books. Hmmmmm? 

I went to Karen Vanderwater, principal at Mattie McCullough Elementary, and asked her if she thought her students might donate their gently-used books to students right here in Red Deer who were less fortunate. It would be a program to solve a problem in our own back yard. Mattie 1

Jock and Mattie girls

Since that first conversation, the students at Mattie have donated over 2000 books. Several other schools are now on board. Money for labels and banker boxes was donated by Dan Murdoch of Doormasters, a local firm with an interest in helping the community. High school art teacher, Carrie Waldo, used the remnants of her paints in June (and the assistance of two of her classes on the last day) to decorate the boxes.

Logo - Doormasters

YIMBY box 1

YIMBY boxes

YIMBY template

Many of the books collected from Mattie McCullough Elementary went to the K to 8 classes at G.H.Dawe School. In response, Mrs. Gwen Dawes-Harker’s Leadership class organized a YIMBY project of their own and collected over 1500 books.m

Dawe Challenge

Dawe carrying

Dawe kids at truck

A keen eye will note that the Dawe students aren’t using the decorative boxes. Well, not all stories follow an easy to tell timeline.

Some of the books made their way to Normandeau School and were, in part, given away to parents and kids who attended a special parent night. Shown here is librarian Amber Martin at the Take A Book Home table.

Amber at Normandeau

Yet another Leadership class has joined the project. Shown below is VP Sean Grainger of Glendale Science School (K – 8) and his group of enthusiastic students.

Glendale students

And just recently, a load like this went to Westpark Elementary School. 

Truck load of books

The journey continues . . . and it could take place in your town. No franchise fee, no fuss, no muss, just the desire to say, “YES, in my back yard”  will see that once-read books get read again and again and . . .

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