Books, books and more books needed! After attending the local school board meeting in September, Marcus Riley, Accomack County 4-H Youth Development Agent, learned that school libraries were closed. The media specialist could bring a limited number of books to the classroom for students to select. Students need to read to improve their vocabulary, reading comprehension of text and stimulate their minds/imagination. A parent in attendance also voiced his frustrations with closing the library for students. Due to the uncertainty of COVID-19 and safety protocols in place, this made an almost impossible task for the schools to provide personal books to its students given the financial strain it would put on their budgets.
Thanks to Virginia Cooperative Extension’s partnership with the Molina Foundation, the “Molina Books Across Virginia program,” the Accomack County 4-H program was able provide all schools within the local public school system with several thousands of brand new books and novel sets, totaling over $37,500 for students to keep. The books were given to the teachers and staff to support their creative events, incentives and programs. Through this coordinated effort, approximately 2,000+ Accomack County Public Schools students received books. The books provided much needed relief for teachers, parents and students. Appreciation and thank you letters were sent to Accomack County 4-H expressing gratitude for their supportive efforts.
“Thank you so much for so many wonderful books! We are doing an incentive program to encourage reading and plan on using some of the books as rewards for our students.” -Metompkin Elementary School
“These books have been a blessing and are being use as incentives to support our At Home/School Title I Reading Program. It has been a delight partnering with you.” -M. Teets Reading Specialist, Nandua Middle School
“Thank you so very much for the incredibly generous donation of Young Adult novels to Arcadia Middle School! …Our school has decided to embark on a community outreach initiative in an effort to bolster our encouragement and support for students learning virtually this year. Through “Panthers Pounce on Reading,” we will provide festive gift bags for students to include these beautiful new books, a writing journal and a bit of Halloween candy. One of our overarching goals is to inspire students to become lifelong readers…Increasing access is crucial to building the skills and reading habits of students. Your contribution will greatly assist us in this endeavor.” -W. McCray, Principal and A. Misener, Reading Specialist Arcadia Middle School
“They [the books] are especially useful in the current situation of “no sharing supplies” due to COVID. You and the VA Cooperative Extension/4-H are helping all of us “jump boundaries…” -N. Moore Librarian, Arcadia High School