Last Thursday and this Thursday St. James High School students are giving away free books to the students of Northside Elementary.
This commitment to making literacy matter springs from a project last summer where St. James High School students attended a religious youth gathering in New Orleans promoting literacy.
The students who are members of First Lutheran and Augstana Lutheran Church wanted to replicate the spirit of that experience.
According to Erin Kuehl at First Lutheran Church, the students wanted to, “Bring it home and be the change.”
Kuehl said this was the high school students idea and that they brought a real passion to do this. Over $2,500 was raised by the students and went to the purchase of the books.
More than just giving away the books, the students spent time reading to the young students who came to pick up their books.
Principal Karla Beck said of this youth effort, “This type of book give away and reading room would be great ideas no matter where we are as a school; however, the School Improvement Grant mandates we connect in new ways with our community.
“This initiative involving church youth groups, Scholastic Books, Rotary and the school is a great example of realizing that none of us lives or learns in a vacuum. We're in this together. This project ties in with the need for Northside to improve test scores and with the mandates that were part of the federal grant the school received at the start of the school year.”