TOP PHOTO: Valley View Elementary School students participated in a Book Blast fundraiser.
By Charlotte Underwood
LAFOLLETTE, TN (WLAF) – Valley View Elementary School participated in a Book Blast literacy initiative with the goal to raise funds and “get as many new, age appropriate books as possible into the hands of our students,” according to Valley View School Librarian Angie Crutchfield. This effort paid off with nearly $30,000 raised and a treasure trove of more than 2,000 books purchased and put into student’s hands. On Thursday morning, the 2,207 books were distributed at a pirate themed event at the school.
Children were all smiles as they lined up to receive the books they had helped raise funds for.
Businesses and individuals were invited to participate in the fundraiser and help build stronger literary skills in area youth. More than two thirds of the students in the school participated in the fundraiser. Every student in the school received at least three books to take home and add to their personal library. Some students, as top sellers, got to take home up to 10 books. Bailey and Brody Ball were both top sellers for the school’s fundraiser.
“We were astounded and shocked at the response from our parents and our community,” Crutchfield said.
“The parents and the community came together for our students, and I’m super stoked about the response and outcome,” Crutchfield said.
Reading Interventionist Karen Hendricks said when they learned how much funds had been raised and the books were dropped off at the school that she and librarian Angie Crutchfield were “dancing in the hallways.”
“This is just amazing. As teachers, we fight the competition of technology and the hope is this brings kids back to reading. We even got the pre-school students involved; reading can never start too young. We would like to repeat this fundraiser each year,” Hendricks said.
Valley View Principal Jason Dotson said it was one of the largest fundraisers the school had participated in and that he appreciated the parents and the community who always stepped forward for fundraisers at the school.
“Anytime we can put books in the hands of our kids is a time to celebrate at our school. Reading is 100 percent important, and we’re excited to utilize these books,” Dotson said.
Funds raised will also go towards purchasing books for the school’s new custom book vending machine, which students earn tokens for through good behavior and grades.
“We couldn’t have these wonderful things for our kids without the efforts and support of our parents and our community, ” Dotson said.
The school’s next fundraiser will be Valley View’s Fall Carnival on Thurs., Oct. 27 at 4 pm. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 10/07/2022-6AM)