The Merritt Central Elementary School was one of the hardest hit institutions in the community during the November floods.

While other schools such as Merritt Secondary and Diamond Vale Elementary School have already recovered and have reopened their campus doors, CES is still away from their home. Classes are currently conducted at Coquihalla Middle School and the campus isn’t expected to reopen until the start of the next school year.

“Moving from location to location, we’ve been trying as best we can to provide students with as close to normal as we possibly can,” said Leanne Cleaveley, librarian for Central Elementary.

The library within CES was severely damaged. It’s location made it vulnerable to the flood water that came in and roughly 2000 books were ruined. Cleaveley along with the school tried their best to create makeshift libraries where kids were relocated towards.

“Literacy is a very important skill for kids to have and having a library is a big part of that,” said Cleaveley.

“We just want to make sure that the kids have access to the books even though we’re not in our same location.”

As many charitable organizations have stepped up to help the community through donating goods and volunteering labour to help clean out flood-damaged homes, one Vancouver group by the name of Monic Charity Foundation has decided to host a book drive to help restore the CES library.

“One of the main reason we wanted to help the kids is that we want to instill in them the giving mindset,” said Stanley Ho, director of Monic Charity Foundation.

“When they receive gifts or donations we hope they will recognize this act of kindness and in turn do the same when they grow up and have the capability to give.”

Since March 24, Monic has been collecting books to restock the CES library. Donors have the option to donate new or reasonably used books. They can also donate money for Monic to order in books on their behalf.

“We’ve been actively reaching out to local bookstores and there were a couple of them that were willing to donate as well and we’re very grateful for that, ” said Ho.

Monic is looking to provide books that fall into these categories;

-Fiction picture books from kindergarten – Grade 7

-Fiction chapter books from kindergarten – Grade 7

-Non fiction books on environments

-Non fiction books on habitats

-Non fiction books on oceans and animals

-Graphic novels for Grade 4 – 7

“This is going to be a big help for getting our library back on track for sure,” said Cleavely.

“We’ll be able to fill in a lot of holes that we have in our collection. We’re a big school with over 200 students and to provide a variety of books that they need, we need to ensure that we have a large collection.”

Monic plans to drop-off these collected books at the Coquihalla Middle School on Wednesday, May 4 at 11 am. For more information on how to donate please visit or contact Monic’s office at (604) 762-6899.