Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and a change in venue, the Growing Families Society’s 5 For Life Community Book Sale was a great success.

Books were being sold for $1 or 50 cents for children’s books and because of generous donations from the Strathmore and Wheatland County community, the sale generated $1,400.

5 For Life Early Childhood Coalition’s Debbie Taylor explained that the book sale is held once per year.

“We just have one yearly at the end of January.” She noted that it began as a way to support family literacy day, which is held in the first week of February.

In the past the province funded over 100 coalitions similar to 5 For Life where the focus is on zero to five-year-olds.

“We're one of the few remaining coalitions. We're all volunteers. There's no paid staff, and so the funds go directly to the community,” said Taylor.

5 Foe Life hosts a number of community events like workshops for children and for their caregivers.

On February 10 they will be having a gymnastic session at the Strathmore Gymnastics Club. Similar events are hosted for the families of children who are aged zero to five years old.

Another will be held on February 11th called ‘Talking with your mouth full,’ and on February 18th called ‘Out and about.’

On the subject of the book sale, organizers received so many donations of books from the community this year.

Normally the sale is held at the Civic Centre, but this year Hope Community Covenant Church provided the organizers with a room to collect and sort the books.

“The last one (sale) we had was in January 2020, and because of the pandemic, people were cleaning their houses and getting rid of books that they’ve read or don't want anymore, so we had a huge onslaught of books donated and from all of Strathmore. We had depots around the town Strathmore but also throughout the county, we were collecting books out there as well,” said Taylor.

The sale was held on January 28th and 29th. “We were very busy Friday and that's with mainly our senior community. Saturday was a little bit slower, so we were kind of worried if we were going to really make much money, but people were so generous. Our prices were a dollar a book, all children books were 50 cents and people would buy whatever $5 with the books, hand us at 20 and say keep the change,” she said.

“So because of that huge generosity, we did come out where we made roughly $1400. Overall it was very good”

Find out more about 5 For Life Early Childhood Coalition’s programming when you visit