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Kiwanis club gift books to local elementary schools

by Marvin Richards | April 5, 2021 at 8:30 p.m.

The El Dorado Kiwanis Club delivered books to several local elementary schools in the area on Monday. One of the schools to receive books from the club was Northwest Elementary School.

The book given to Northwest Elementary students was Dr. Seuss’ “Fox in Socks.” Inscribed inside the book was a quote by Dr. Seuss that read, “Don’t give up. I believe in you all. A person’s a person. No matter how small.” The quote was embedded on Kiwanis Club stickers that the members personally place inside the front cover of each book.

“El Dorado Kiwanis is all about kids and kids need Kiwanis,” Jaren Books, Kiwanis President said. “What better way to provide for kids than to give them a book to read. Reading is such a huge part of everything that we do, so why not start early with a good book.”

One Northwest class was brought outside to a bench area in front of the school where they could sit and be given the books by the Kiwanis Club. As soon the students received their books, they quickly opened them to immediately begin reading. One student exclaimed, “we get to take these home?” to which Jaren Books replied, “you sure do.”

One student could even be seen sniffing the pages and enjoying the smell of a brand new book.

“One of the most significant things a student can do is practice reading,” Kristie Mann, Northwest literacy instructional facilitator said. ”Unfortunately, a lot of students don’t have a large amount of books to read at home so this will provide them with one of their very own that they can take home and practice the skills they are learning in school.”

A lot of the teachers and administrators present for the gifting of books were joyful seeing the children light up when handed a book, including Jeannie Strother, El Dorado School District literacy chair.

“We are very appreciative of the work that they do, not only in our school system but in our community as well,” Strother said. “We know that they support other organizations as well, so we feel privileged having them purchase books for our students.”

Kristie Mann also offered up her perspective on why it is so crucial for students to have access to books.

“I tell students this all the time, If you play a sport, a musical instrument, you have to practice, practice,” Mann said. “The same goes for reading, the more they practice and have opportunities to practice the better readers they’re going to be.”

Last month, members of the Kiwanis Club “visited” El Dorado schools to read “Fox in Socks” to students. They recorded themselves reading the books aloud, and the videos were played in classes as students read along, all as part of Dr. Seuss week recognized the author’s career.

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