Seven years ago, Kathne Holt, elementary school librarian at the time, and the Partners in Education committee offered a book swap at the end of the school year at the school.
The goal was to make sure all children at the elementary school got a hop on summer reading. Able to choose books free of charge, the students were sure to have at least a start on their reading for the summer break.
All year long, outside the principal’s office, there is a trunk that books can be deposited in for the Book Swap. The books are sorted, cleaned and boxed and stored until May of each year. Following the Book Fair, students are offered an opportunity to visit the Book Swap and pick books for their summer reading. The number of books donated for each level determines how many books each class can choose.
This year was a bonus year for the students. A call came in from the Ruby Sisson Memorial Library asking if swap organizers wanted to look at the books they were discarding. With additional nonfiction and fiction books, the numbers this year allowed the students to pick between four and eight books each.
Students are encouraged to pick books they want to read, that will challenge them — books they can read to younger siblings or even books that involve their whole family, like cookbooks or science experiment books.
Volunteers encourage the students to read over the summer so the youngsters don’t get behind. Students are encouraged to use the Ruby Sisson Library and the Summer Reading Program that begins there June 1, and bring in books once school starts again to add to the collection for the next swap.
Volunteers this year included Rita Harbur, Lori Unger, Dawn Robel, Sonya Peterson, Jan Lewis, Ronnie Doctor and Joanne Irons. The Methodist Thrift Store, Humane Society Thrift Store and Upscale Resale all added to the Book Swap this year. With all this support and excitement from the students, elementary school librarian Ms. Mackey will continue the swap next year. Please save your gently-used children’s books so this can be successful for years to come.