Letter: Community responds, kids have books

Dec. 18, 2012 @ 07:22 PM

To the Editor:

Recently, Carver Elementary held its annual book fair. As I was discussing the fair’s progress with our librarian Jody Long, she mentioned there were several students who couldn’t afford to buy books. Mrs. Long also expressed how heart breaking it was that children couldn’t take a book home despite their real desire to read.

Mrs. Long’s story stuck with me so I later mentioned the problem to my wife Susan and my mother Linnea because I suspected their membership in Delta Kappa Gamma, a sorority for educators, would open a network of givers who might donate to help our kids.

I am still amazed at how profoundly that network opened up and made things happen. In a little more than four days, we collected $670 in donations to help our kids buy books to take home. The donations, which ranged in size from $5 to $75, came in from all corners of Vance County and as far away as Florida. While I have a passion for literacy, I was dumbfounded and heartened to discover that same passion in the kind hearts of everyone who donated to our kids.

On the last day of our book fair, 110 of Carver’s kids were able to choose books to take home courtesy of Delta Kappa Gamma members and other generous community members. At this time of year, many of us want to give kids what they want: clothes, video games or other toys. I hope we can all follow the example of Carver’s cheerful givers and remember that every child wants a book, too.

David C. Westbrook

The letter-writer is principal of G.W. Carver Elementary School.