Brian Jeffrey

Brian Jeffrey

Buy the books

PORT HARDY—North Island students will find some new book selections on the shelves, thanks to a donation by the BC Hydro Power Pioneers.

PORT HARDY—On their next visit to their school libraries, North Island students will find some new selections on the shelves, thanks to a donation by the BC Hydro Power Pioneers.

Brian Jeffrey and his wife, Mirjam, presented School District 85 Superintendent Scott Benwell with dozens of brand-new children’s and young-adult books during last week’s Regional Science Fair at the Civic Centre.

Jeffrey is a member of the Power Pioneers, made up of retired BC Hydro employees who buy and gather donations of new books to distribute to schools, literacy advocacy groups and other service organizations.

“We really support the idea of, today’s readers — tomorrow’s leaders,” said Jeffrey, a member of the Nanaimo/North Island chapter of the Pioneers. It is one of two chapters on Vancouver Island and one of more than a dozen province-wide.

The organization has set a goal of donating 10,000 new books across B.C., and in five years of activities is closing in on that target.

“We should hit 10,000 by next year,” Jeffrey said.

Last week’s donation to SD85 is the first by the group to the local school district. It came on the Jeffreys’ second consecutive trip north to serve as judges at the Regional Science Fair.

“That’s just fantastic,” said Benwell. “I appreciate your lobbying on behalf of our district.”

He can thank in part the Jeffreys’ friendship with Sunset Elementary School secretary Patricia McKinnon, with whom the couple spent Easter weekend following the science fair.