VANDALIA — The MOST Club at Helke Elementary in the Vandalia-Butler School District certainly lived up to its name. The service club, which stands for Making Others Smile Today, inspired a lot of smiles with their recent book drive.
About 30 second and third graders belong to the MOST Club, and they had an idea to hold a book drive before Spring Break. Under the direction of teacher Julie Mahl, they reached out to Project READ, a non-profit literacy organization serving children and adults in the Dayton area. Project READ was pleased to partner with the school and to receive all collected books at the conclusion of the book drive.
Ms. Mahl cautioned against setting expectations too high. Little did she know that they were going to exceed all expectations!
Kids, parents and the community responded in a big way. The book drive collected 4,839 books! This amount included more than 1,000 new books donated by Kids Read Now, another non-profit literacy organization that provides books for summer reading to the district.
“When Ms. Mahl contacted me with the results of the book drive, she asked me first if I was sitting down,” laughed Laura Mlazovsky, executive director for Project READ. “I was stunned when she told me how many books were collected! The students did an incredible job and we are so thankful.”
“What started out as an idea from a small group of students quickly grew into something big,” said Ms. Mahl. “It is amazing to see the support that our Helke families have for others. Helke students loved being able to share their love of reading with others.”
The books will support literacy programs and families in the Miami Valley. Most books were added to Project READ’s robust book distribution program, which gives away thousands of books every year to schools, non-profit organizations, and directly to children and families in need.
Some books will be sold in Project READ’s partner bookstore: The Bookstore at Antiques Village. The bookstore is located at 651 Lyons Road in Centerville, and sells new and gently used books at a big discount. 100% of book sale proceeds support Project READ’s literacy programs in the Miami Valley.
To learn more about Project READ or how you can donate books, visit Project READ’s website at www.project-read.org/programs or call (937) 461-7323.