It's so simple. A printed cardboard card with a moose on it and a place to attach 10 toonies. Designed for elementary school children, the card offers the opportunity for artwork, the the chance for recognition.

It's a grass-roots fundraiser for the new Barrie Public Library in Barrie's south end. Long overdue, this additional community service will offer not only books, but reading programs, internet access, e and audio book opportunities and children's programs. With the downtown library being the busiest in Canada, a second library is way behind the scheduling that should have been.

This is exciting news for 11 year old Shayna Seinstein, a grade 6 student at Algonquin Ridge Elementary School in the Kingswood subdivision. Shayne zips through two books a week, with a wide-ranging reading appetitie; she was so excited to know that there will be a new library that she'll be able to ride her bike to.

But what can an 11 year old do to build a new library? What can her school do?

Turns out there's quite a lot.

The Tooney cards have been developed by the fundraising team in its effort to offer grass roots opportunities for kids to get involved.

She used toonies from her allowance; she asked her parents and her grandparents to help out and her tooney card was full. She coloured in her card and was very excited about the prospect that he name will appear as a donor recognition for her $20 donation. But, somehow this didn't seem like enough. She went to her school principal who gave her access to the PA system and soon, classes at Algonquin Ridge were colouring and filling tooney cards, and receiving a Marvin the Moose pencil for each card turned in.

Shayna's school raised $1224 for the new library... enough money to get the school's name on one of the library's bookshelves.

And so Shayna is issuing a challenge: if her school can raise $1200 for the new library, what can other schools raise? And which school can raise the most? If one classroom can raise $200 and 10 classrooms can raise $2000, what can 20 schools do? As the library campaign strives to reach its $1 million goal, it's the small gifts from many, many people that will make the ultimate difference.

And every participating tooney-card-filler gets that important Marvin-the-Moose pencil as well as their name recognition. Imagine if every school had its name on a shelf!

For now, Shayna will have to be happy with her regular visits to the downtown library, stuffing her knapsack with her book allotment, turning on that flashlight under the covers so she can finish those last desperate pages and wait for a year or so until the new library doors are ready to open.

It won't be long now; it'll be a lot sooner with students all over the city putting in their two-toonies' worth!

Thanks, Shayna.

On another note, I had a tweet lesson on Friday. It shouldn't be this hard. I have only 140 characters but I can develop a network of people to connect with and use my 'tweets' for brief comments on bigger issues. Then I can use a web address of some kind to expand on those thoughts. This might be very useful for those quick thoughts this, or that which are forgotten by the end of the day. I can even put a tweet connector on my website.

Hmmm. Stay tuned.

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