As summer vacation approaches, there are plenty of kids across the country who are just itching to be free from school work for a few months.
But just because school is out doesn’t mean learning has to stop completely. Everyone likes a relaxing summer break, but going cold turkey on reading for a whole summer can be very detrimental to a child’s reading abilities—especially for those who don’t have any books at home.
Two dedicated educators know it doesn’t have to be that way.
JoAnn Hooker has been a special education teacher at South Polk Elementary in Tennessee for over 20 years. She’s taught countless kids how to read, so she knows the importance of literacy year-round.
She’s also imparted that on her daughter, Sara Weaver, who teaches first grade at the same school.
Together, they’ve come up with an inspiring idea that has become a welcome school tradition for the past four years:
They buy thousands of books and give them away to the students!
Since 2014, the mother and daughter have given away a whopping 16,000 books.
At the end-of-the-year giveaway, the students excitedly pick out books to take home for the summer, and the school faculty couldn’t be happier to see them so enthusiastic.
“It’s like Christmas morning!” School Supervisor Joel Cox told WTVC.
The donation is most beneficial to the students who can’t afford them.
“Some students have no books at home, so this is big to inspire them to pick up a book during the summer,” Cox said.
Hooker and Weaver pay for the books out of pocket, but it’s well worth it to motivate kids to read over the summer—and hopefully, for years beyond that.
“I just hope they grow up to love reading and explore a big wide world through books,” Hooker said.
For their generosity, the mother and daughter got a big thank you in return.
When Newschannel9 showed up to cover this year’s book giveaway, it was to do more than just cover the event. Teaming up with McMahan Law Firm, they granted them $500 for all their hard work.
“We appreciate everything you do,” Cox told them, handing them the money.
Mother-daughter duo donates 16,000 books to kids: https://t.co/xCGZQPkSfq
— WTVC NewsChannel 9 (@newschannelnine) May 29, 2018
Some of those kids walked away with 10 books in their plastic bags. Hopefully they have fun this summer but still find time to keep up their reading skills—and get lost in a good book.