Book Out

Second Street School students Raven Sumpter, left, and Taylor Sumpter received a new book with their back-to-school packets last week. Thanks to Book Out, a community initiative that raised more than $2,500, nearly every SSS student will receive a free new book. (Photo submitted)

It seems the African proverb rings true. It does take a village to raise a child, especially during a global health pandemic.

Back in mid-April not long after schools ceased in-person instruction, the Frankfort Independent Schools Education Foundation began collecting tax-deductible monetary donations for Book Out, a community fundraiser to support elementary students and families as well as downtown bookstore Poor Richard’s Books.

Book Out’s goal was to gift a new book to each of Second Street School’s roughly 450 students in kindergarten through fifth grade, and thanks to the outpouring of support the program is succeeding.

“We raised over $2,500 and Poor Richard’s was able to provide five cases of books to Second Street School,” Suzanne Fernandez Gray, a writer and president of the Franklin County Arts Council, told The State Journal, calling it a win-win for the school district and the downtown bookstore.

According to Pamela Felts, Rigor Alignment coach at Second Street School, the community’s generosity — including a $1,000 donation from Richard and Anna Marie Rosen — will help ensure students have more access to resources.

“The books are a wonderful collection of relevant, grade level and culturally representative books that will serve as one more tool for students as we grow them during an unprecedented time,” she said.

Originally, the books were to be distributed at the district’s emergency feeding sites, but with school starting soon they are being given to students on a first-come, first-served basis when they pick up their school devices for virtual learning.

Felts said the students are excited to receive the books and the district is grateful for all who supported the cause.

“They have shown how members of a small community can make a difference in the life of a child,” she added.

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