Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Chiles Book Drive donates over 3,000 books

In early December, students at Lawton Chiles High School in Tallahassee, FL made a plan to give a big gift for the holiday season. Together with faculty Book Club advisor Stephanie Smith, the students collected over 3,000 books and donated them to Hartsfield Elementary and Havana Magnet Schools.
    Mary Jo Peltier, media specialist at Hartsfield Elementary, was thrilled to have the books just before the holiday season.
    "What an amazing gift this has been!" she said. "We sorted through all the books to divide by grade level and all of our children were able to visit the Media Center and select two books. There was great excitement."
    Kameelah Weeks, media specialist at Havana Magnet said over 700 students in her school received books. She said watching her students receive books was personally important to her.
    "Growing up as a kid, the only bookshelf in our house was in my room and my mom did all she could, even if it meant placing books people gave her, like Stephen King and Reader's Digest to fill the shelves," Ms. Weeks said. "So it means as much to me as it does our students because I know many of them are in the same or similar situations."
    The book drive was organized with Kids in Need -- Books in Deed by Ms. Smith and the Chiles High School students. The students put up posters, decorated collection boxes, sorted and boxed all the books. 
    "It was truly incredible being able to partner with each of the schools," Ms. Smith said. "I’m so excited to hear the responses from the students."
    Kids in Need -- Books in Deed co-founder, Julianna Baggott, also did a Skype session with the Chiles Book Club to talk about literacy, writing and publishing books.
    "I was very impressed with these students," Ms. Baggott said. "Not only are they a smart and inquisitive group, they're also engaged in the greater community." 

    Kids in Need -- Books in Deed is a non-profit organization which is housed at the FSU Foundation and serves underprivileged children in the state of Florida.

For more information, contact David Scott at