The Curious Case of the Orange Lunchbag on Twitter

7 weeks after blogger Parker Donham first voiced suspicion that the selection of the color orange in a bag carrying children’s books and given out in schools was a political decision, and went so far as suggesting the NDP should reimburse the taxpayers before writing his apology post stating “I was wrong”, the Nova Scotia Liberals raised the issue repeatedly in the Legislature and on Twitter.

The Curious Case of the Orange Lunchbag on Twitter:

SK_Moore: NS Liberals slams $527k in spending on orange lunch bags.

TokenGranola: Don’t you feel just a *little* queasy about going after an initiative designed to address literacy for low-income kids?

Tim_Bousquet: Not to keep pimping @kempthead but he was all over the orange bags like 3 months ago or something. Why is this news now? I thought it was bullshit first time around.

KennedyJosephin: so the NDP spend $ on lunch bags, here’s an idea buy books!!!!

HFX_Lauren: you do know their ARE books and learning tools inside that lunch bag right?

anitahovey: Ok…seriously? $500K on orange lunchbags?

Nicki_doyle: Utter nonsense. Libs obsessed with a colour not a policy.

RealDealNS: NS Liberals playing politics with children’s literacy. Those “lunchbags” could mean the only books in some low income homes.

NSLiberal: Casey: Half million for lunch bags – why not use that $ to implement task force recommendations?

RealDealNS: Seems Karen Casey thought it was a good idea when she was handing them out…

Liberal MLA Karen Casey handing out "lunchbags" when she was Conservative Education Minister. Oops.

The majority of low income families do not have a single book for their children. But in the debate on the orange lunchbags, there has been a surprising lack of conversation about what is inside the bags: books.

The single biggest barrier to the development of literacy is access to books in the home. Tackling that problem will create a generation of lifelong readers.

The books: Jack and the Missing Piece (a picture book), I Went Walking (a children’s book), and My Toys (a children’s book).

There’s also Paws and Claws (a musical CD by Halifax children’s musician Maria Alley).

The horror. The horror.

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